Can a House in Texas Be Sold with a Lien on It?

When it comes to real estate transactions, the presence of a lien can complicate matters.

In Texas, as in many other states, the question often arises: Can a Texas house be sold with a lien on it?

The answer is multifaceted, and understanding the intricacies can help homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals navigate the process more effectively.

**Please be aware that we, Cash House Buyers USA, are not attorneys. This is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.**

Understanding Liens in Texas

A lien is a legal claim or a “hold” on a property, making it collateral against debt or obligations the property owner might owe.

In Texas, there are various types of liens, including:

  • Mechanic’s and Materialman’s Liens: Arise from unpaid construction or home improvement work.
  • Tax Liens: Result from unpaid property taxes.
  • Judgment Liens: Stem from court judgments.
  • Mortgage Liens: Related to the property’s mortgage.

The Implications of Selling a Property with a Lien

While it’s technically possible to sell a property with a lien in Texas, it’s not always straightforward.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Title Issues: A lien can prevent the seller from providing a clear title to the buyer. Without a clear title, most buyers and mortgage companies will be hesitant to proceed with the transaction.
  2. Reduced Property Value: Homes with liens often sell for less because buyers might perceive them as risky or want to account for the cost of settling the lien.
  3. Legal Implications: If a seller doesn’t disclose the lien to a potential buyer, they could face legal consequences.

How to Navigate the Sale of a Liened Property

If you’re considering selling a property with a lien in Texas, here are some steps to consider:

  • Disclose the Lien: Always be transparent with potential buyers. It’s not only ethical but also a legal requirement.
  • Pay off the lien: This is an option but not as common since most sellers satisfy lien requirements upon selling the home. See the Below Section about using sale proceeds to clear a lien, which is typically handled by a Title Company.
  • Negotiate with the Lienholder: In some cases, the lienholder might accept a reduced amount to release the lien. This is known as a “short pay.”
  • Use Sale Proceeds to Clear the Lien: If the property is sold, the proceeds can be used to pay off the lien before the remaining funds are disbursed to the seller.
  • Consider a “Subject-To” Sale: This is where a buyer agrees to purchase the property with the lien still attached. They might then take responsibility for clearing the lien.

The Buyer’s Perspective

For buyers considering a property with a lien, due diligence is crucial:

  • Title Search: Always conduct a title search to uncover any liens on the property.
  • Negotiate the Price: If you’re willing to take on the risk, negotiate the property price to account for the lien.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: If you’re unsure about the implications of purchasing a property with a lien, consult with a real estate attorney.


So, can a House in Texas Be Sold with a Lien on It? – In Texas, while it’s possible to sell a property with a lien on it, it comes with challenges.


Both sellers and buyers need to be well-informed and prepared to navigate the complexities of such a transaction.

With the right knowledge and approach, it’s possible to reach a resolution that benefits all parties involved.

Here at Cash House Buyers USA we deal with this situation very regularly. It is not uncommon, and it is something we can potentially help with.
Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss where you find yourself and if we can help:

Further Reading & Questions:

Selling A House In Foreclosure – Is It Possible?
Selling A House Whilst Going Through A Divorce