How to Clear Title Issues in Washington State

You’re getting ready to sell your home, only to learn from your real estate agent or a title company that there’s an old lien still showing on title. Maybe you know you’ve paid it off; maybe you dispute that you owe the money; or maybe you have no idea of what the lien is for. Below are a few common title issues that we have seen in our office:

The most commonly title issue we see is when someone passed away whether it’s someone’s spouse or parent and they are on title to the home and the home is going to be sold. We work with the title company to figure out how the surviving spouse can avoid probate and prepare paperwork to resolve that title issue to allow the surviving spouse to sell the home. If it is not a surviving spouse but instead maybe a child or sibling wanting to sell the home, often times in this case, probate might be the only option resolve this. 

Another title issue that is coming into our office more frequently recently is dealing with transactions where the homeowner bought the home quite a while ago, such as 40 or 50 years ago, using a seller financing transaction. During that time, it was more common to see seller financing. When the current homeowners had paid off the loan, the seller was supposed to file a reconveyance with the county showing them that loan had been paid off. 

The issue we are seeing is that reconveyance was never recorded with the county to release the lien that the seller had against the home. Since this transaction could be 40 or 50 years ago, we often don’t know where the seller is or if the seller is still living but we have to clear this issue from title before moving forward. How we clear this issue is filing a court action called a Quiet Title Action where we show the court that the current homeowner has met their obligations and obtain an order from the court to allow the seller to sell the home. Keep in mind that a Quiet Title Action can take up to three months to complete so most likely you will need to the extend closing date. 

If you have questions or need assistance regarding clearing title, give us a call or text today. You can reach us at (206) 408-8158 or visit us online for more information at www.dallawfirm.com

Contact us:

19803 1st Avenue S.
Suite 200
Normandy Park, WA 98148

T (206) 408-8158
F (206) 374-2810

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