Can You Sell a House With a Lien On It?

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Dealing with debt can feel frustrating and scary, especially if this debt is tied to your property. Fortunately, you can sell a house with a lien on it. Liens can vary widely from small overdue water bills to expensive mortgages. Some liens are more serious than others and can prevent the sale of your home, but it depends on what it’s related to.

Depending on how much you will make in profit from the sale, you can still sell your house with liens tied to it. Ideally, as the seller, you will have enough equity in the home to pay off the liens at the close of escrow. Sellers don’t always pay the liens off themselves as everything is negotiable. But typically, sellers are responsible for paying the liens.

Here is a complete real estate guide on how to sell your house with a lien on it and an answer to the question, “Can you sell a house with a lien on it?”.

How to Sell a House With a Lien On It

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Selling a house with a lien on it is easier than you think. Once you find the right homebuyer, your final step is to calculate how much money you will make from the sale. This is also known as your net profit, which can be found on the HUD (US Department for Housing and Urban Development) or seller net sheet.

When trying to sell a house with liens on it, you will find all the financial details regarding the sale on this sheet. For example, if you have to pay off your mortgage, that will be listed here. Once you see your bottom line from the sale, that will show all of the liens that are getting paid off from the sale of your home.

Types of Real Estate Liens

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Liens on properties come in all different shapes and sizes. A mortgage is the most common lien and typically the largest in real estate. Mortgages are usually paid off by the seller with the funds from the sale. Other liens can include:

You can sell your house with a lien on it by using the proceeds of the sale to pay off the debts. This is calculated by determining how much your property is worth and subtracting any debts or costs associated with it. Feel confident going into the sale of your property by running the numbers to calculate the total lien amounts. Or ask a real estate professional to arrange this for you.

The title company that you plan to use will order payoffs from all the respective debtors that money is owed. If lien holder approval is needed, the title company should let you know. They will also coordinate with the title company to have them take portions of the funds from the sale of your home to pay off each lien.

Who Will Buy My House With a Lien On It?

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Finding the right homebuyer is the secret to any successful home sale. The goal of trying to sell your house with a lien on it is to find someone who will pay the right amount. What is the right amount of money for your home? Ideally, you receive an offer from a buyer that allows you to at least break even. Coming out of pocket to pay off liens tied to your property is no fun.

Working with first-time homebuyers may be more challenging when trying to sell your home with a lien tied to it. This is because they are looking for simplicity. These types of homebuyers don’t have much experience. It may also take a while for certain loans that they will use, such as an FHA loan, to get approved.

Additionally, they may be open to buying your property with liens tied to it, but their loan may not get approved by their lender. Banks can cause delays during the home-selling process. Finding a credible homebuyer is important when preparing to sell your house with a lien on it.


Selling a house with a lien on it is possible, especially if the lien is a mortgage. However, some liens are more complicated to sell with than others.

The best way to establish whether you can sell your house with its liens is to speak to a real estate agent. They can determine how much your property is worth and provide an indication as to who will buy your property.

At Brotherly Love Real Estate, we buy houses fast for cash in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. If you need to sell a house with liens fast, our team of experts can help. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step in achieving a seamless sale for your home.