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Old 01-07-2019, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 2,067,373 times
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Please DO NOT turn this into a political thread. I simply want suggestions from mortgage professionals regarding things I might do now to avoid a possible challenge this shutdown might create for selling my house.

The house is listing this week. Our realtor thinks it's smart to go ahead with the listing, but she also thinks there might be a problem with getting the title cleared for the closing. She did not have a suggestion for what we could do, which is why I'm asking here. The IRS needs to verify that there are no tax liens, and they're working with just a skeleton staff right now. I'm not sure how much this might back things up, any thoughts on that?

In the meantime, is there anything we could do proactively? Is it possible to contact the IRS now to get that information in case a buyer won't be able to get it down the line? The title otherwise should have no problems. The property was owned by the same person for more than 40 years. The property lines have always been well known and not violated by the neighbors. The house is in Sterling, VA.

Please excuse me if this is a dumb question. I'm not that well informed about titles and such. I just want to do what I can to sell the house and have the closing go smoothly, even with a shutdown happening.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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You might call a couple of title companies or closing attorneys (whichever is the usual closing agent in your area) and ask for their input as to current status and hurdles.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
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I'm a little hesitant to do that, I figure the title companies won't appreciate getting calls like that. Or does that sort of thing happen all the time? Also curious if I should expect to receive a bill from them for making a call like that? Again, sorry to be such a newbie, but could you tell me exactly how you'd word the request?
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
36,134 posts, read 62,928,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
I'm a little hesitant to do that, I figure the title companies won't appreciate getting calls like that. Or does that sort of thing happen all the time? Also curious if I should expect to receive a bill from them for making a call like that? Again, sorry to be such a newbie, but could you tell me exactly how you'd word the request?
"I am listing my home for sale, and concerned about the government shutdown and inability to get prompt confirmation that we have no tax liens.
Do you have any knowledge, any input you can share?"

I cannot imagine you would not get a reasonable reception.
And, really, I don't know if they could clarify in the current situation, but I would not hesitate to make a couple of calls. It should be no big deal at all for them to have a 60 second or less conversation with you. Heck, they should hit you up for your business.

Of course, perhaps your agent has already done so, and that may be the basis for her discussion with you.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 2,067,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
"I am listing my home for sale, and concerned about the government shutdown and inability to get prompt confirmation that we have no tax liens.
Do you have any knowledge, any input you can share?"

I cannot imagine you would not get a reasonable reception.
And, really, I don't know if they could clarify in the current situation, but I would not hesitate to make a couple of calls. It should be no big deal at all for them to have a 60 second or less conversation with you. Heck, they should hit you up for your business.

Of course, perhaps your agent has already done so, and that may be the basis for her discussion with you.

Good point about the agent. If she hasn't done so, I'll ask her to. She'll know how to ask the right questions much better than I would. (At least, so I hope.)
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,825 posts, read 1,325,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
The IRS needs to verify that there are no tax liens,

Who says so? Your realtor? You don't even have a buyer yet.


I don't recall ever taking out a mortgage where there was a need for the IRS to verify anything.


I agree with the suggestion that you call around to title companies and ask what a title search entails.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
Good point about the agent. If she hasn't done so, I'll ask her to. She'll know how to ask the right questions much better than I would. (At least, so I hope.)

Your realtor might just be an idiot.




I say that because, according to the IRS:


Quote:
A Notice of Federal Tax Lien gives public notice to creditors. We file the Notice of Federal Tax Lien so we can establish the priority of our claim versus the claims of other creditors. The Notice of Federal Tax Lien is filed with local or state authorities, such as county recorder of deeds or the Secretary of State offices.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p594.pdf


If you have a tax lien it will appear in a title search of recorded documents. If a tax lien does not appear in recorded documents, there is no need for the IRS to verify that there isn't one.


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Old 01-07-2019, 10:27 AM
 
3,806 posts, read 8,256,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
Please DO NOT turn this into a political thread. I simply want suggestions from mortgage professionals regarding things I might do now to avoid a possible challenge this shutdown might create for selling my house.

The house is listing this week. Our realtor thinks it's smart to go ahead with the listing, but she also thinks there might be a problem with getting the title cleared for the closing. She did not have a suggestion for what we could do, which is why I'm asking here. The IRS needs to verify that there are no tax liens This information is readily available., and they're working with just a skeleton staff right now. I'm not sure how much this might back things up, any thoughts on that?

In the meantime, is there anything we could do proactively? Is it possible to contact the IRS now to get that information in case a buyer won't be able to get it down the line? The title otherwise should have no problems. The property was owned by the same person for more than 40 years. The property lines have always been well known and not violated by the neighbors. The house is in Sterling, VA.

Please excuse me if this is a dumb question. I'm not that well informed about titles and such. I just want to do what I can to sell the house and have the closing go smoothly, even with a shutdown happening.
Title companies are not impacted in this manner. Business as usual.

The thing that is impacted is obtaining IRS Tax Transcripts for buyers/borrowers. Now, Tax transcripts are not required for all loans, but in cases where they are, workarounds are in place. We are closing loans without tax transcripts - - however if we run across a fully self-employed borrower with several sets of tax returns and gray areas that prevent confirmation of income, we will manage that risk accordingly.

By and large, the only thing, right now, is that you cannot sell your house to a buyer using a USDA Rural Development Loan.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,230 posts, read 8,862,138 times
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A further point: a title company could check on the lien status today, but they will check again closer to the closing date. The point is that a property can be lien free in January and have a tax lien a month later.

Any documentation you get from the IRS prior to, or at listing, will need to be updated later.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,775 posts, read 6,218,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
Please DO NOT turn this into a political thread. I simply want suggestions from mortgage professionals regarding things I might do now to avoid a possible challenge this shutdown might create for selling my house.

The house is listing this week. Our realtor thinks it's smart to go ahead with the listing, but she also thinks there might be a problem with getting the title cleared for the closing. She did not have a suggestion for what we could do, which is why I'm asking here. The IRS needs to verify that there are no tax liens, and they're working with just a skeleton staff right now. I'm not sure how much this might back things up, any thoughts on that?

In the meantime, is there anything we could do proactively? Is it possible to contact the IRS now to get that information in case a buyer won't be able to get it down the line? The title otherwise should have no problems. The property was owned by the same person for more than 40 years. The property lines have always been well known and not violated by the neighbors. The house is in Sterling, VA.

Please excuse me if this is a dumb question. I'm not that well informed about titles and such. I just want to do what I can to sell the house and have the closing go smoothly, even with a shutdown happening.
You should get a different Realtor.

Government shutdowns are not exactly rare. If your agent doesn't already know how this might affect a title search, she should be proactive in finding out. Not just for you but for her other buyers and sellers as well especially because we live in an area where the shutdown affects many of us in ways it doesn't affect others. If she's a full service agent (not getting a reduced commission), she should be the one making the calls.

Liens against a property are public record. FWIW, I would presume that they would be on file in Loudoun County's land records office (and likely available online).

I would be more concerned with a buyer being able to obtain financing. A buyer on furlough will not be able to have their employment verified, and I imagine a disruption in paychecks could cause an issue for some. Have to dip into savings? That may take away from down payment and/or moving expense funds.

And don't forget the government contractors this shutdown is affecting as well - whether or not they receive back pay depends upon how their contract is funded. Odds are not in their favor.

I am not an expert and I'm not advising you to do this but if I were selling my home - I'd wait until the shutdown is over to put it on the market.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 2,067,373 times
Reputation: 10361
Thank you for the replies, everyone. It's been very reassuring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post

I am not an expert and I'm not advising you to do this but if I were selling my home - I'd wait until the shutdown is over to put it on the market.

I wish we could do that, but unfortunately we need to get it sold asap. At least the mortgage rates are going down at the moment, which will help (I hope).
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