If your question is strictly about the costs you've incurred so far, then my answer would be no
Regardless of the lien, the inspector and appraiser performed a service and they were paid for it. This is the same as if the inspection uncovered something that caused you to back out of the deal or if the home failed to appraise for the purchase price. That doesn't change the fact that they did their job. And it's irrelevant whether the purchase closes or not.
As far as trying to get the sellers to re-imburse you, you can ask but I certainly wouldn't expect to get anywhere with it. First of all, the appraisal and inspection are for your benefit only and the seller didn't require you to get these, they gave you the option to at your expense (although your lender would have required it. Besides, if they can't pay their taxes I'm sure you won't have any luck collecting.
As the others said, you should wait and see how it plays out and pursue ways to make the closing happen. If it all falls apart at the end, then you may be able to pursue them for damages if you can prove they made a blatantly false representation to you. But tax liens are not generally referenced in writing anywhere in the purchase agreement and are likely not discovered until the title search is conducted, so I'm not sure how much of a basis for a lawsuit you would have. That would be a question for a lawyer.
People spend money on inspections and appraisals all the time where the deal does not close for whatever reason. It's a cost of doing business and you may just have to chalk it up as a loss.
I wish you good luck though!
You may ask, if you have not already done so.
You may have a basis for a small claims action although collecting if you win is another problem.
The IRS, as Wendy has pointed out, may allow the deed to convey upon receipt of the equity even if it does not fully pay off the lien.
You may be able to force the seller to go through with the transaction but that would require the advice and assistance and payment for an attorney.
The seller cannot sell to you but cannot sell to anyone else, either. Perhaps the seller can come up with cash to make up the shortage and finalize the sale. The seller is stuck with the house at this point.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant
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