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Can a property be sold without a clear title?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Real Estate

You’ve been looking for property for several months, and you finally found a home that was large enough for your family and within your budget. You decided to make an offer, but you found out that there was a lien on the title.

Is that legal? How could someone put their property on the market without a clear title?

Clouds on titles: What you should expect

It is true that liens, fines, encroachments and other issues can lead to clouds on titles. Usually, homeowners remove those clouds before they try to put their home on the market because clouds generally halt sales and tend to make them fall though.

Sometimes, though, people don’t realize that a cloud is on the title. They may not realize that a lien has been placed or that they have some other issue to address due to clerical errors.

If a cloud is on a title for a property that you want to buy, it’s a good idea to be wary. However, if the seller is willing to take action to correct the cloud or you’re willing to make the investment in paying off a lien or other issue, then you may still be able to move forward with the purchase.

Buyers are allowed to buy properties that don’t have clear titles, but it’s not a good idea to do this. Why? If there is a lien on the property, for example, and you don’t pay it off, then there could be a risk of a foreclosure or being taken to court over money that you shouldn’t have had to owe.

Good support when looking at homes could help you avoid title issues

When you’re looking at properties in New York, you have to work with a lawyer. Doing so helps protect your best interests and make sure that you have the full truth about a property and its title. If a title isn’t clear, it’s not a bad idea to back out of the purchase and look for another property unless the property owner is willing to resolve the cloud before the sale is completed.