Selling a house is typically an endeavor that calls for preparation, patience, and strategic planning. However, the waters can become even murkier when legal disputes come into play. The only question arises at that time is, “How to Sell a House With Lis Penden?”.
Well, it’s never been easy, and dealing with a Lis Pendens can be a challenging task, but with the right knowledge and guidance, you can successfully navigate this complex situation.
In this article, we’ll find different reasons for Lis Pendens and steps to make a successful sale of your home. Have a look!
What is Lis Pendens?
This Latin term translates to “a suit pending” and refers to a formal notice of a pending lawsuit on a property that could affect its sale. A lis pendens is a notice that legal action has been taken on a property’s title or ownership interest.
The notice in the county records office serves as a record of the dispute, alerting potential buyers of any pending legal action. A lis pendens is recorded on the property title, like a house with a lien or mortgage. You can search for this notice for free at the county clerk or recorder’s office using your property’s parcel number.
Reasons for Lis Pendens
There are some reasons why someone might file a lis pendens on a property.
A lis pendens is to alert potential buyers that a legal dispute over the property’s ownership is in progress. One of the most common reasons for filing a lis pendens is a dispute over the title of a property. This can occur when multiple parties claim ownership of the same property or when there are issues with the title’s transfer history.
A lis pendens may also file during foreclosure proceedings. In this case, the notice informs potential buyers that the property is in the process of being foreclosed upon. This means the current owner is behind on their mortgage payments, and the lender seeks to sell the property to recoup their losses.
Construction or Property Damage Disputes
Another reason to file a lis pendens is to alert potential buyers of a dispute over construction or property damage. For example, if a contractor is claiming unpaid fees for work done on a property, filing a lis pendens ensures compensation before the selling of the property.
Can You Sell a House With Pending Law Suits?
Yes, selling a house with a lis pendens is possible, but it can be more challenging than selling a property without any legal disputes. The lis pendens notify potential buyers of a pending lawsuit or legal claim on the property’s title or ownership interest.
This can make some buyers hesitant to purchase the property. If the lis pendens is resolved before the sale, you can smoothly sell the property without issues. Working with a real estate agent and lawyer is essential to ensure all necessary steps to resolve the dispute before closing the sale.
How to Sell a House With Pending Lawsuits?
To sell your house with pending lawsuits, you need to follow some tips that help you sell your house despite the legal challenges.
1. Consult With Your Real Estate Agent and Lawyer
The first step is to seek advice from a professional real estate agent and lawyer. They will be able to guide you through the process and provide legal advice on how to proceed with the sale. They can help you determine the best course of action and the necessary steps to resolve the lawsuit before closing the sale.
2. Resolve the Lawsuit
It’s crucial to resolve the lawsuit before attempting to sell the property.
Depending on the nature of the lawsuit, you may need to negotiate a settlement or wait for a court ruling. Working with a lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.
3. Disclose the Lawsuit
Transparency is key when selling a house with pending lawsuits. You must disclose the lawsuit to potential buyers, as it’s a material fact that could impact their decision to purchase the property.
Be upfront about the lawsuit, and provide all relevant information to potential buyers.
4. Price the Property Accordingly
Pricing a property with pending lawsuits can be tricky. It’s essential to price the property accordingly to reflect the legal challenges. Work with your real estate agent to determine a fair price that reflects the current market value.
5. Selling to a Home-Buying Company
Selling to a home-buying company can be a viable option for those who need to sell quickly or want to avoid the complexities of resolving a lawsuit before closing the sale.
However, it’s essential to research and works with a reputable company to ensure a fair and smooth transaction. These companies specialize in purchasing properties quickly, and they may be willing to purchase a property with a lis pendens or pending lawsuit.
GET IN TOUCH WITH US TO SELL YOUR HOUSE WITH LIS PENDENS: (629) 206-4166
How Does a Lis Pendens Affect a Potential Sale?
Buyers who purchase a property under lis pendens have to accept the outcome of any pending litigation. Suppose the property is subject to a dispute over property lines. In that case, cash investors must accept the lawsuit’s eventual outcome if they buy the property before it is resolved.
One way to address this issue is to build a resolution of the lawsuit into the sale. For instance, if the seller owes $20,000 to a contractor, the buyer’s and seller’s attorneys can agree that $20,000 of the sale price goes to the contractor.
That way, you can remove lis pendens from the property. This arrangement also helps in the case of foreclosure, where legal fees incurred by the bank can pile up.
What are the Risks Associated with Buying a House with Lis Pendens?
Buying a house with a lis pendens can be risky for a buyer. Here are some potential risks of buying a house with a lis pendens in bullet points:
- Potential difficulty in obtaining a clear title to the property
- Risk of not being able to sell or transfer the property in the future
- Risk of being responsible for accepting the outcome of pending litigation or legal action against the property
- Potential impact on the value or use of the property based on the outcome of the litigation
- Possibility of having to pay off liens or resolve claims before obtaining a clear title
- Need to conduct a thorough title search and review relevant public records to identify potential issues
- Potential for costly and time-consuming legal proceedings to resolve any outstanding issues
What are the Legal Implications of Selling a Home With a Pending Lawsuit?
Selling a home with a pending lawsuit can have significant legal implications for the seller. A lis pendens filed against the property creates a cloud on the title, which may prevent the seller from conveying a clear title to the buyer.
The buyer has to accept the outcome of the pending lawsuit or legal action, which could impact the value or use of the property.
Some of the legal implications of selling a home with a pending lawsuit include:
- Risk of a potential breach of contract or misrepresentation claim from the buyer if the seller does not disclose the pending lawsuit.
- Possibility of the sale falling through if the buyer is unable to obtain clear title to the property
- The potential for the seller is to be held liable for any damages resulting from the pending lawsuit, such as construction defects or environmental hazards.
- The seller needs to settle the lawsuit or resolve any outstanding liens.
- Requirement for the seller to disclose the pending lawsuit and any related information to the buyer and provide appropriate documentation to ensure a clear title can be conveyed
How to Remove a Lis Pendens?
A lis pendens can be removed by either settling the underlying dispute or filing a motion to cancel the lis pendens with the court that filed the notice.
How Long Does it Take to Remove a Lis Pendens?
The length of time it takes to remove a lis pendens can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the state in which the property is located. Sometimes, it may take several months to resolve the underlying legal dispute or satisfy any outstanding liens or claims before the lis pendens can be removed.
Selling a house with a pending lawsuit is not that much easy. However, you can mitigate these risks with careful planning and real estate attorney guidance to ensure a smooth transaction.
To sell a house, settle the underlying dispute, or file a motion to cancel the lis pendens.
Furthermore, the seller should disclose the pending lawsuit to potential buyers and provide appropriate documentation to ensure sell. Working with a real estate attorney can help sellers navigate the legal implications.
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