Do I still have to sell my house if I found liens on title search

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I still have to sell my house if I found liens on title search

My house is under contract to close today but title office found liens I didn’t know about yesterday. The attorney will not accept a lower amount there will not be any equity left and possibly have to bring money to close. Can I back out since I didn’t know about these liens?

Asked on April 19, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't back out due to not knowing abou the liens. That (your knowledge, or lack thereof) was under your control: you could, for example, have done a title search yourself in advance to know if you had any "clouds" on title (liens or other issues). You cannot use something under your control--i.e. where you could have found out about the liens in advance, had you chosen to--to get out of a contact. 
Similarly, you cannot use negative changes in your economic situation--i.e. that something happened or was discovered that will cause you to make less money, or even lose money, on the deal--as grounds to get out of a contract. Your situation is irrelevant to the contract.
You can only get out of the contract if the buyer lied about something (committed fraud) or breached/violated their own obligations in an important or material way. Otherwise, and including if you found liens on your property, you are obligated to go through with the contract; if you don't, the buyer can sue you to force you to sell the home.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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