All you need is the home address to start a search and download a free property report. If the lien is found (green indicator on the report), that means the home has lien on the title.
You can also find out mortgage record, tax status, ownership history, delinquent taxes even child support liens and foreclosure information by purchase a property report. It is around $30 if I remember correctly.
While you are checking the title report for leans, I would also check to see how many people are on title since anyone on title will need to sign off on the transfer of property. If this is a townhome or condo you will want to check for overdue HOA dues. In a short sale many times the buyer will be asked to pay some if not all the overdue HOA fees.
What are you doing? If you are buying properties on the courthouse steps be very careful. It is easy to "miss" a lien and your "great deal" turns into a mess. I have friends in the business that get "caught" every once in a while.
I recommend purchasing title insurance. That way the title company reviews, clears and insured that there aren't any surprises.