What Is A Lien In Utah And Can You Sell A House With It?

Are you trying to sell your house in Utah but have concerns because there’s a lien attached? Read on to find out how you can sell your house fast for cash.

Selling your house in Utah on the open market can be a tough and challenging process, and that’s in ideal conditions. Trying to sell a house that has a lien attached to it adds a whole other layer of potential pitfalls you’ll have to contend with. What really makes things hard is if you weren’t even aware the lien was there until someone does a property search on your title. It happens. All of a sudden, you’ve got a big problem you need to fix if you want to sell on the open market in Utah. 

Finding out you have a lien on a house you want to sell can be quite the shock, but it doesn’t mean that you’re out of options when it comes to selling your Utah house. You can avoid all the potential headaches and sell it fast as-is to a cash buyer like Axess Home Buyers. But if you’d rather try your luck on the open market, you’ve got some options as well. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into what a lien is and whether or not you can sell a house with a lien on it in Utah.

Can You Sell A House With Lien On It?

Definition for what is a lien highlighted

What is a Lien, Anyway?

By definition, a lien is a legal claim made by a company, organization, or person against a property based on an unpaid debt owed by its owner. A lien allows that person or organization to take property or take legal action against the owner of the property in order to satisfy an outstanding debt. Liens are also usually searchable in the public records so other potential creditors can see them. That means they might not want to offer you credit or loans due to the fact that there is a lien or multiple liens against you. 

The most important thing you want to know is that liens are attached to the house or property. So if the transfer of ownership happens after you sell your Utah house, that lien goes with it and becomes the new owner’s responsibility. This is what can make selling a house with a lien on it difficult because so few buyers on the open market want to take on a house that comes with that kind of debt. Most buyers have enough problems of their own, they don’t need yours as well.

What Kind of Lienholders Are There?

You might be under the impression that liens only come from governments or companies. However, liens can be assessed in a wide variety of ways depending on the situation. For instance, if the homeowner hasn’t been paying child or spousal support, a court can put a property lien on the house.

There are many other ways you could end up with a lien, which gives a person, company, or organization a legal right to your property. They include:

Materialman Lien

Let’s say you agreed to have a contractor perform work on your house or property. Naturally, they expect to be paid for the work they do. If you refuse to or simply don’t pay, they can place what’s known as a materialman or mechanic’s lien on your property. It can sometimes be easy to pay this, but you can also negotiate the lien payment into the sale price of the house.

Judgement Lien

If a creditor or organization wins a lawsuit against you, they will try to collect payment from you. As part of that, they could file a lien against any property that you own. This is known as a judgment lien. By doing this, they’ll be able to get paid even if you don’t want to pay them. 

HOA Lien

Your homeowners’ association (HOA) can file a lien against your property over any kind of unpaid fees or broken rules that require financial restitution. Perhaps you cut down trees you weren’t allowed to or you make major changes to the structure of the house that will alter its value moving forward. HOAs can be especially strict and persnickety when it comes to following their rules, so it’s not uncommon to hear about an HOA lien being enforced. Make sure you read your HOA rules when you decide to live in a community that has one.

Department of Revenue Lien

If you don’t pay state taxes, the Utah Department of Revenue could put a lien on your property, which is commonly known as a department of revenue lien. You can often work with them to make payments instead of the lien and perhaps move it entirely to a different property. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a tax attorney or CPA on the matter as this kind of arrangement can get very tricky.

IRS Lien

Just like with state taxes, not paying your federal taxes can result in a lien as well. The Internal Revenue Service can put an IRS lien on your property for failure to pay federal taxes. Of all the liens, this might be the one you want to avoid the most as it can be very difficult to deal with. You will absolutely need to involve legal and accounting experts to help you figure out how to pay off the debt and get the lien removed before selling.

Try to Get Rid of the Lien If You Can

It is certainly possible to sell a house in Utah on the open market even if it has a lien on it, but the ideal scenario for everyone is getting rid of the lien if at all possible. The chances that an open market buyer is going to want to take over a house with a lien on it are very tiny. If you can afford to pay it off, it’s in your best interest to negotiate with the lienholder on a solution that works. 

house with a lien for sale as-is

Sell Your House As-Is

Liens create a real headache for anyone trying to sell a house in Utah with one attached. They act as a real deterrent for buyers on the open market and create questions and concerns you’d rather not have to deal with.

IF you’d like to avoid the hassle and sell your house fast even though it has a lien attached, sell it for cash to Axess Home Buyers. We’ll make you a fair offer, we won’t lowball you, we can close the sale in a matter of days, we won’t make you clean up or get rid of the lien, and we’ll pay you cash for the house. 
All you need to do is contact us today. We’ll reach out to you with some questions and to make an appointment to discuss the house further or potentially take a tour. Once we have all the info, we’ll make you a fair cash offer. If you accept, you can close on the sale whenever you want. Then you’ll get cash in your pocket and we will handle the house and any liens attached. No reason to deal with real estate agents or worry about market buyers. Sell your Utah house with a lien attached today for cash!

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