Recently I worked with a client who wanted to sell his home instead of renting it out. He recently had purchased another home and was done with the old space and wanted to sell. we put it on the market and got a cash offer above what his bottom-line was and we accepted gladly.
The trouble started when we began to do preliminary title work which is a necessary part of every deed transaction securing the buyers interest making sure that there are no other parties with ownership rights attached to the deed.
Let's backup to how my client purchased this property, he bought this at the court steps by paying off the back taxes owed to the city and was granted the deed. There was no title work performed and my client moved in to his new home ecstatic about the low amount in which he purchased the home.
Now let's fast forward to years later when we ran title work in order to sell his property. Turns out there were 4 other OWNERS who technically had liens on the property and they would now need to sign off on this property in order for him to sell.
It gets worse, not only were there 4 other owners who needed to sign off on this transaction, but one of the owners actually took out a loan from the city for $10, 000 which would need to be paid back upon selling this property. I know I know, how could that be? Well, the simple answer is DO NOT BUY HOUSES FROM THE COURT STEPS WITHOUT RUNNING TITLE WORK. The long answer comes when you sit down with a real estate professional and ask them how to avoid getting into an unsaleable home situation as I did with my client.
What happened to my client? We were unable to sell this property and as far as I know it is still vacant and far away from being able to sell. The 4 other owners mentioned are unreachable and the costs it would take to locate and get their cooperation is too much work for anyone involved or not worth the end result to justify.
If you are considering putting some cash to work and want to buy homes at your local Sherrif sale, just be careful, do your research, get a relationship with a title company established, and make friends with a realtor who can help you along.