Buyers search far and wide for their dream home; a buyer can take months or even years to put their first offer on a house. When a buyer finally does find the home they’ve been searching for, they’re usually ready to buy it immediately. Unfortunately, for those buyers, their dream home can become a nightmare to buy. If you aren’t already dealing with a frustrating bank through a short sale or REO property, you could still run into some problems. We’ve talked about issues with lenders, appraisals and inspections, but did you know that the home itself could have problems? We’re not talking about minor repairs or even a new roof or A/C, we mean major legal issues that can completely stop you in your buying tracks.

Here are just a few ways your home’s baggage can kill your sale:

Claim or Lien – A lien on your house can cause all kinds of title issues, and we’ve seen them more since the economy has taken a dive. Sometimes homeowners will come up sort on a renovation cost, or addition to their home and the contractor can then place a “mechanic’s lien” on the home. The lien protects the contractor from completing work without payment, and can be added to the home in the event of non-payment, missed payments or even a bankruptcy. Sometimes your seller may not even know they have a lien on the home to begin with!

Home Boundaries – This can vary from state to state, so It’s important to ask your real estate agent about encumbrance laws in your area. Sometimes, buyers find that the Denver real estate for sale they think they are buying is actually on the neighbors’ land. It happens more often than you’d realize, and neighbors don’t often refer to their survey every time a renovation occurs. Basically, it means that carport, shed, fence, or other addition may not belong to the seller, and they will need to correct the issue before selling. In most cases, the neighbor will sell that portion of the land to your seller, but if there has been bad blood or issues in the neighborhood, this could easily kill your deal altogether.

Unfortunatley, most of these issues arise only after the title search, which is why it’s important to buy title insurance. The title insurance should protect you from any neighbors wanting to re-claim land, or any contractors coming out of the woodwork years later, claiming they haven’t been paid.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit