Attorneys Stephen Korshak and Lee Karina Dani

Should you file a quiet title action before you list a property?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2020 | Real Estate Transactions |

Listing real estate for sale can be a stressful, protracted process. Between showings and signings, there is so much to worry about and handle. You probably want to maximize how much you can make on the sale while also minimizing the last-minute investments and work you do on the property.

While you worry about that unsightly popcorn ceiling or getting rid of outdated fixtures in the kitchen, don’t overlook one of the most important aspects of your home, which is its title. Depending on how you assumed title for your property, there may be some legal complications that could increase the amount of work or length of time required for you to successfully transfer the property to someone else.

Addressing those issues now, before the property is part of the Florida MLS, can make for a more seamless transaction after someone makes an offer on your home. You may need to file a quiet title action lawsuit to facilitate a quick and simple transfer of title.

Repossessed, foreclosed and underwater properties may need quiet title action

When someone doesn’t pay their mortgage, the bank may have no option except to foreclose on the home and then list it for sale again. Standing vacant can rapidly diminish the value of a home, making foreclosed homes a real opportunity for real estate investors, as lenders are eager to sell them quickly.

People may not worry too much about the title issues during the purchase because they know they followed all the appropriate procedures. However, clearing those marks off of the title before you sell will be important. Properties purchased through tax sales may also have blemishes on the title that complicate a home sale.

Once the transfer is over and the tax obligations met, quiet title action may be necessary to remove the previous owner’s title claim or other blemishes that could scare off potential buyers. Even short-sale homes and similar properties could wind up with issues on the chain of title that cause problems for a buyer who wants to secure title insurance. Taking action to quiet title now will make your home infinitely more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

You need documentation that invalidates the liens on the property

When you paid the amount of back dude property taxes on the home after the tax lien sale, the record from your bank that you paid those amounts or the receipt from the taxing authority can help convince the courts that the obligation has been met.

Documentation from a short sale or from the purchase of a foreclosed home can also assist you with removing unsightly blemishes from the chain of title on a property that you want to sell. You will need evidence and knowledge about how the courts handle real estate cases to successfully remove title blemishes and make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.