First-time homebuyers now account for 33% of all house sales in the United States. In Florida, the figure is approximately 25%. For most first-timers, it may be difficult to navigate through the legal documents and fine print of the home-selling process. One detail that is commonly omitted is a property’s lien and tax history.
What is a Municipal Lien Search?
Unlike most states, Florida municipalities will attach unrecorded liens, unpaid taxes, code violations, permits, special assessments, and outstanding bills to the bills to the property itself rather than the owner or associated individuals. As such, you may require municipal lien search companies to help you find out any liens or encumbrances attached to your home before purchase.
Failure to conduct accurate lien verifications may lead to buyers shouldering the responsibilities of the outstanding bills. You may also be liable to bring the home into compliance with the municipal regulations. If you are considering purchasing a property, a municipal lien search can help you acquire the building free of any existing liens.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Municipal Lien Companies
While it can be tempting to search alone, it may not be worth the hassle. Municipal lien search companies can help you locate all unrecorded liens and unresolved violations on the property you wish to buy. But how do you find the right lien search company for the job? Here are five tips to guide you through.
Property lien search involves thorough research to uncover all liens and unpaid property taxes and prepare an accurate report. You may need professionals that will not hold back your closing, or worse, leave you at risk of litigation later on. Inquire about how long the business has been in operation. Longevity may partly indicate the quality of their services.
2. Services Provided
Municipal lien search companies offer a wide range of services. You can request county lien letters, code enforcement letters, violations, and open or expired permit searches, among others. You may need to figure out the exact services that you need.
3. Insurance Cover
Most reputable municipal lien search companies hold professional liability insurance. The insurance offers a guarantee that the firm will do everything in its power to unearth any liens attached before selling a property. Check if the company has an active insurance cover.
Another key factor to keep in mind is the service charge. Request for multiple quotes from different municipal lien search companies around you. Compare the pricing and find one that works within your budget limits.
You can request recommendations from family and friends for reputable lien search companies that they have worked with in the past. Take time to research the proposed companies, digging deeper into their online reputation. What do past clients say about their services? Read through the reviews, testimonials, and complaints before making your selection.
Municipal lien searches are a critical part of a property buying process, allowing you to discover any unknown or undisclosed fees and issues attached to the building. You may need to find the right experts to carry out the search. If you wish to conduct a property lien search in Florida, reach out to Florida Lien Search.