Home Buying in 34241>Question Details

Laurel Caper…, Home Buyer in Sarasota, FL

How can I tell if a house has liens on it?

Asked by Laurel Caperton, Sarasota, FL Wed Aug 22, 2012

3920 Eton Pl Sarasota, Fl 34241

Help the community by answering this question:


Check the real estate information service website http://www.searchq.com to download a free property report. You can find out if there is a lien (tax, mechanic or even judgement) on the title for free.
If you want detailed information on the liens, you can get an online title search and report at http://www.nextace.com for around $49
Web Reference: http://www.nextace.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 11, 2014
If you only need to know if a house has a liens on it, http://www.searchq.com is the better place to go and it is free.
Flag Tue Nov 11, 2014
You can search yourself, but the most secure is to let the title company do a complete search. They are going to search for liens, past due utility bills, and incomplete permits. If you are buying a bank owned home and, say for instance, there is an permit to for installing the air conditioning that is incomplete, you might be required to sign a "hold harmless" agreement.

There are still many good deals on bank owned homes available in this area, but you are always best to use a Realtor who is familiar with the nuances of bank owned homes.

Good luck in your home search!


Have you been to the For Sale By Owner sites such as http://www.owner.com and http://www.forsalebyowner.com?

I concur with Bill Eckler's previous post, limiting your search to for sale by owner's may cause you to overlook better opportunities. Many (not all) homeowner's choose to try to sell themselves because they want to list the home for more than fair market value. Another consideration is that the seller has not properly disclosed known material defects. I heard a story from someone who purchased owner direct. The owner had made a ground settlement claim with the insurance company and pocketed the amount the insurance company paid to repair the ground settlement issue instead of getting it repaired. Subsequently, the homeowner put the home on the market, did not disclose the ground settlement issue, and then sold the home to an unsuspecting purchaser. The new purchaser discovered the settlement issue and had to come out of their own pocket to make the repairs out of their own pocket. If the buyer had used a Realtor, the buyer would have had more protection and a third party witness to the transaction, with a better possibility of recourse against the previous owner.

If you do purchase directly from a homeowner, make sure you get a signed seller's disclosure that states the seller is not aware of any material defects. Also, make sure everything attached to the requiring a permit has been properly permitted. You can check this information through the central permitting at the county you are purchasing in. Make sure you are not paying too much for the home. Finally, have professional home and termite inspections. If there is a septic tank or well, be sure to have those inspected as well.

Best of luck in finding a great home at a great value.


Fred Strickroot
Lic. FL Real Estate Brokerage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
Skycenturion2004, the only way you can tell is to conduct a full title search.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Hey Sky Centurion,

Lots of excellent answers here. Cape Coral, and all of Florida is easy to find tax records.

When you are connected with a good Realtor, you'll find many parts of the process are covered (and followed ) by the Far/Bar appoved contracts we use -- including a home free of liens for closing.


Sandra (Voss) LaFlamme,Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
2 ways:

1) You can do it yourself by going to your local city's public records website. In Sarasota it is:


2) Contact a title company and they can run a title search for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2012
You can go to the public records online and see if their is any posted liens.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2012
This home is a bank foreclosed home. With most of the bank foreclosed homes, the lender will take care of any liens prior to closing. If they expect the buyer to pay anything additional they will have it written in the bank addendum when you sign the contract.

You can always check for liens against a property owner by going to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for that county. This home is located in Sarasota County. The web site is: http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/default.asp?Page=97. You would type in the owners name and it would give you any documents or liens related to that person. For this home Fannie Mae is the owner.

If you are working with a Realtor on this sale, they can provide you with the details. There are several attachments in the MLS related to this property.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
I thought you were looking in Charlotte county. Check with the Sarasota Clerk and use the owners name to search.

Civil Cases here (foreclosures etc) http://www.clerk.co.sarasota.fl.us/srqapp/civilinq.asp
Official Land and Master Records Search http://www.clerk.co.sarasota.fl.us/oprapp/oprinq.asp
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
A title commitment from a title company or attorney can determine what liens are on this property. Please feel free to contact me at 941-376-4229 and I will be more than happy to assist you in this or any purchase
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
Go to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Sarasota County. http://www.sarasotaclerk.com/default.asp?Page=97
Type in the name of the owner and it will give you any documents related to the owner and tell you if there are any liens on the property.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
Check with the Charlotte County Clerks office. They have a website and you should check the official records. I would also check the civil suites to see if there are any actions against the owner. To get a definitive answer, a you could always order a title search from a title company.
Web Reference: http://www.sarasotaone.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
You can sell it, but the liens will have to be paid by settlement
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
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