You have a right to see all the documents required in your transacton. If you have been in contract with the seller on this the preliminary title report is already done. You should get a copy of it as soon as it comes in. It is an important document for you to read. It will tell you just what liens are on the property. Many times an owner will have personal liens on his property that must be satisfied prior to closing with you. I am finding that more and more banks are just not willing to pay these liens, like back child support, judgements, ect. As John said it is not unusual for a seller to say to you that you need to pay off something for them if you want to close. It is always a good idea for you to read your title report. If there are any personal liens you think the bank may object to, then you need to find out if the seller is planning to pay them. And don't let them tell you the price can be adjusted to accomodate them, it most likely cannot! This I believe is one of the greatest reasons short sales don't work. The buyer is asked to come up with money they were not expecting, if they want to close. Ask for the report Monday morning! Also, someone may ask you to pay for a 3rd party fee to negotiate with the bank. That is not your fee either! I have heard of buyers being asked to pay as much as $15000 for a fee if they want to close. Find out up front what is expected of you, and what the liens are.
Best of luck to you,
Prudential Ca Realty