Home Buying in 77077>Question Details

Ergood, Home Buyer in 77077

Who's responsible for paying taxes on a home that was supposed to close in Dec?

Asked by Ergood, 77077 Thu Jan 6, 2011

We are purchasing a home from a family friend that passed away. We have been living in the house since July 2010, without paying rent or utilities, per the estate, but the estate is now trying to get us to pay the taxes for last year (2010). Do we have a legal responsibility to pay this?

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It really depends on what was agreed and signed in writing between you. You are living there for free afterall, whether who is leagally bound to pay, it is the right thing to do. Afterall you are using teh utilities and not even paying for what you use.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
In Colorado, the seller is responsible for the taxes up until the day of closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 28, 2011
In my area it would be customary for sellers to be responsible for the taxes pro-rated to the day you close on the home at which time, you are responsible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
To my knowledge the 1st thing I would do is seek consultation fro an attorney. Did your aunt leave a will. and perhaps since you both lived on the property it ma b wise to pay what is owed to kep the property and get legal advice.
devine Debbie own in 2011
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
Sellers are responsible for the taxes period, until the property RECORDS and then it will become the buyers. Taxes are paid in arrears. Please talk with your Title company and they can do a better job explaining it than a short message I can leave here.

Best of luck.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
The norm is when you take over the home you pay taxes from the time you move in to end of the year, but since it was in an estate it varies. Your best bet is to talk to a real estate attorney. If you need help with this I can refer you to one if need be. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions or concerns. Have a great day.
Web Reference: http://www.kgcm.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
Hi, there.
The insurance is paid by the Seller up to the day the closing takes place. It's unfortunate that these delays happen, but that is how it's pro-rated on every closing. Because of your situation, I would highly recommend legal advice from a Real Estate Attorney
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/sboon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
Your situation is quite unique. In a typical purchase the seller pays taxes until the day of sale. In your case you have been living rent and utility free. If you did not sign any sort of agreement about this the estate would typically be responsible for those taxes until the point of sale.

If the state wants to make that a condition of the sale they have every right to do so unless otherwise stated. Your best bet is to consult with a Realtor or a Real Estate Attorney.

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 11, 2011
Unless I'm missing something why would you be responsible? But, of course it is not normal for people to be allowed to live in a home without rent or utilities either and that sounds like something else. There are arrangements in some states where people who are not owners are responsible to maintain the taxes, like in a life tenancy. What do the estate documents say about maintaining the property? What does the sales contract say? Have you consulted with an attorney about it? You should.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
In Indiana we pay taxes a year behind so in 2010, we are actually paying taxes for 2009. In my state, it is the seller or owners responsibility to pay taxes up to the day of closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
All is governed by the terms of any document between you and the family. Review what was signed.

However whoever owns the property NO MATTER what is responsible to the city/ county that the taxes are paid . They legally own the property till the title is transferred to another person.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
In Colorado our property taxes are paid in arrears ( i.e. 2010 taxes will be paid in 2011) therefore there is a credit given the buyer (by the seller) at time of closing for the taxes owed for the time the seller was in the property. That is then escrowed and paid when due the following year. However, you can negotiate what you want with the estate and put it in writing- perhaps as was suggested, prorating the taxes for the time you were in the home vs when the seller was there. Seems everyone below has a good suggestion as well. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Unless you had previously agreed to pay the taxes the legal owner of record is normally responsible for paying the property taxes. Even so, you may consider paying the taxs since you have been living in the property rent free and promote good will and advance your purchase of the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Since you have no contract in writing ( I assume)??? then the obligation for taxes would be the estates. My suggestion would be to prorate them in a manner that would be acceptable to both parties - in order to not ruffle someone's feathers... However- you should seek legal advice - especially if you are unsure about the contract you are signing. In any case be sure to close at a title company to ensure the property is free and clear. Everyone already gave great advice..

Best of luck to you

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Unless your purchase contract, or another written agreement, with the estate says you are liable for paying the taxes from your first day of occupancy through the end of 2010 or until the home purchase closes, the estate is responsible for paying them. Although the estate has been very generous in letting you live in the home rent-free, as well as paying your utilities, if no written agreement between you and the estate addressed who would pay the taxes, the seller is obligated to pay them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the owner of the property is responsible for paying the taxes of a property. If you have been living there free of charge for the last six months, with no contract, it might enable you to maintain your friendship if you picked up these fees, even though you probably have no legal obligation. If you had been paying rent, it would have been a whole lot more most likely. In additon, if you have not negotiated your buying price, a tif over this might have an effect that could result in a cancelation of the sale. Check with your lawyer and decide how bad you want the house and friendship..
Web Reference: http://www.krmrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
The responsibility for tax payment remains with the seller until the property has sold and all tax liens removed.

Good luck!

Bill P
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
There isn't much more that can be added. Hopefully, you had a written agreement that spelled out the terms. If not, an attorney will probably be necessary.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
I would contact the title company and talk to the escrow officer. They should be able to tell you who, according to your sales contract, is responsible for paying the taxes.

Unless there is something in the contract spelling it out otherwise, the Owner of Record is responsible for the taxes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011

My name is Jeff Riley. I have a property tax consulting firm as well as a RE/MAX franchise. I would be happy to discuss any property tax concerns with you, as well as see if this property may qualify for a 25.25 (C) or (D) correction for the 2010 tax year. If the property went into the Estate in 2010 and the owner was alive as of 1/1/2010, there are some exemptions that should be verified as well as common clerical errors that are made on part of the appraisal district. I would be happy to review the tax account status as well as a review of your current contract versus market value to determine what your tax liability is.

Jeff Riley
Managing Partner
RE/MAX CityView
Web Reference: http://www.hcad.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Typically the owner of the home pays the taxes for the year. If the estate owns the home, they would be responsible for the taxes. If you have closed during the year, you would pay the taxes, but the taxes would have been prorated at closing and the seller would have paid their portion of the year's worth of taxes at closing. Taxes are due at the end of the year and the owner of the home pays at that time. If your staying there, but have not closed...you might be considered a tenant renting the property from the estate. Again, the "owner" of the home typically pays the taxes when due.

Without seeing your contract and how things were agreed to (who pays what), who knows? As other agents have mentioned, you might want to seek legal counsel on this questions.

Good luck!
Mark McNitt
Bernstein Reatly, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Taxes are prorated through the closing date.
Seller pays up to closing date and buyer will pick up after that.
There can be debits and credits depending on when the taxes are paid and by whom.
This will be calculated and resolved by the title company.

This holds true unless there is some other agreement in your contract.

You, your realtor, or your attorney, will need to look back to the contract to see what was agreed to by both parties.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
no--unless you have a contract stating so jay houston
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
The best thing to be sure is get legal counseling.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
The only people you should seek advice from are legal counselors/ real state attorney. I have a referal if you wish to contract me at claudiajprice@kw.com.
Web Reference: http://claudiajprice.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
It depends on the terms and conditions of your contract. The title company that will be handling the closing of your home should be able to answer that question. I would think the part of the year you have been living in the house will be prorated to you but best to contact the title company.
Web Reference: http://www.connieinmon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
This is a question for legal counsel, as it depends how the and what was said in the estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
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