Tax liens can be a giant stop sign for property owners who are ready to sell. Especially for those faced with a tax lien placed on their property so high that selling their home is the only option available to repay the debt, which will be due at closing. Working with the government, be it local, state, or the IRS, towards settling a tax lien is a long process, so don’t wait until your house sells to contact the tax authorities and begin to work with them towards a solution. 

In these situations, a property owner must take action immediately to tackle the tax lien head-on. The more swiftly you deal with the problem, the more money you will save because high penalties and interest will increase the debt day by day, depleting any equity remaining in the property.

While you should always consult a professional tax adviser to discuss your specific circumstances, our team has gathered the following information about how to sell a North Carolina house when you owe back taxes.


Many local taxing authorities can create a repayment plan or forgive back taxes for a NC house, should the owner prove significant hardship or meet specific income guidelines. Houses in Raleigh, Durham, and other areas around the Triangle area have local laws governing tax sales, so be sure to check these based off of where your house is located.

Satisfy the Delinquent Tax

Paying off the lien before selling your [market_city] house when you owe back taxes is the easiest way to avoid any problems with the closing. An NC tax attorney may also be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf to satisfy your debt. Protect yourself by verifying the recording of the lien release.


If you’ve settled the debt or the lien for back taxes is due to an error in identity, it is well worth hiring an attorney with experience in disputing tax liens to help you sell the property.

Certificate of Discharge

You can approach the IRS for a certificate of discharge, which will remove the lien from your property. However, while you can still sell a [market_city] house when you owe back taxes, you will still owe the debt. 

Pay at Closing

It is common for the debt to be settled at the closing on a Raleigh-Durham house when you owe back taxes. After you’ve verified the exact amount with the title agent handling the closing, ensure you have requested your certificate of release. A state representative will attend the closing, collect the tax debt from the title company’s closing agent, and issue a loan release. 


Though this is an infrequent occurrence, to say the least, lower tax bills owed to the IRS may be allowed to expire after the ten-year statute of limitations on tax debts, meaning you may not have to sell a Raleigh-Durham, house when you owe back taxes. Hoping that your debt will expire isn’t adviseable as your plan of action.


If you are unable to pay the debt, claiming bankruptcy may just be your best option to sell a Raleigh-Durham, house when you owe back taxes. If you want to maintain ownership, however, you will still owe the debt. Be sure to check NC state laws for bankruptcy.

Green Street home Buyers

We will buy your house for cash in Durham – and work directly with the title company and attorneys, making it an easy process to sell when you owe back taxes. We have years of experience helping homeowners just like you.

With simple contracts and a straightforward process, you won’t even have to worry about making repairs. Most importantly we will buy your home as-is. Closing is fast and guaranteed, typically in a matter of days, or if you need a little more time, just let us know the best day for you.

Have some questions you want to ask us? Call us today at (919) 926-1791

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