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Check that the home you wish to buy does not have a mechanic’s lien

| Oct 16, 2020 | Real Estate Law

Title checks are one of the most important things an attorney can do when you look to close on Connecticut real estate. Without it, you could end up wasting time and money on a property that the would-be seller does not have the legal right to sell. Mortgage lenders will also turn you down if the title is not clear.

One of the issues that may crop up is a mechanic’s lien. Despite the name, this has nothing to do with greasy men or women in overalls amid a collection of car parts. The word mechanic was once used to refer to anyone who did manual work. A mechanic’s lien can be placed upon a property by someone who was not paid for their work on the building. Often it is the company that constructed the house. Sometimes it is a subcontractor or supplier who was not paid by the primary builder. Alternatively, it could be someone who made improvements to the house at a later date.

A mechanic’s lien means the property owner cannot sell the house until the outstanding bill has been paid. It could be frustrating for them if they paid the principal contractor in good faith.

The ideal home will come with a title free of defects. If you wish to pursue a house with a lien, your real estate attorney may be able to help you clear the title and close on the property. If you can pay the lien, you may be able to work out an agreement whereby the seller reduces the price in exchange for this. Remember, a seller who cannot pay a lien is stuck with a property they cannot sell, which could work to your advantage.