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Can I Sell My House with Past Due Utility Bills?

Life often throws us curveballs we don’t expect, such as financial difficulties. You may find yourself in a situation where you’re preparing to sell your home, but you don’t have the funds to pay the past-due utility bills that are piling up. You’re not alone in this, more now than ever with rising interest rates and living costs. 

But do these bills affect your ability to sell? 

You may know that some forms of debt impact the sale of your home, but are one of these overdue utility bills? Read on as we explain everything you need to sell your home and how to deal with those bills. 

Can I sell my house with past due utility bills?

Any utility bill (that’s a bill for your home’s electricity, gas, water, or trash collection) that’s not paid by its due date becomes ‘past due’ or ‘overdue’. In most cases, a fee or penalty is added as time goes on for the lack of payment, though this can differ from provider to provider. In worst-case scenarios, where the bills have gone unpaid for a long period of time, it can even lead to a lien on your property. 

Regardless of whether you simply have an unpaid bill or two or a lien, you are still able to sell your property. If there is a lien, it can complicate the sale, but you are still able to sell the home. You will simply need to pay off what you owe when the sale closes. 

What are the legal implications of selling when you have past-due utility bills? 

The legal process of selling a home with unpaid utility bills can vary based on local regulations and the specifics of your situation. In almost all cases, you will need to settle these bills before the home’s title can be transferred to the new owner. This means that the debts must be paid off with the proceeds from the sale during the closing process to ensure the buyer gets a clear title. 

What is a lien?

A lien is a legal claim or a ‘hold’ on a property, making it collateral for a debt. You’ll know if a lien has been placed on the property for unpaid bills – it is not something that typically happens quickly, and you’ll have plenty of notice before such an action is taken. The lien means that, legally, the company or organization can get its money from the proceeds of the sale when the property is sold. 

What options do I have for selling with past-due utility bills? 

You have a few options for what you can do when selling a home with overdue utility bills: 

  • Talk to your utility company about a payment plan: If you haven’t already, consider talking to your utility company about a payment plan so you can pay most of the debt off while you wait for your house to sell. 
  • Use the proceeds to pay off the bills: If you want to sell quickly or you don’t have the money to pay off your utility bills, you can pay them off with the proceeds from the sale. This is a good option for most, but be aware that any liens can slow the process down, as you may need to tell potential buyers about the lien. For some, a potential roadblock like this can put them off buying your home. 

How a Professional Cash Home Buyer Can Help 

Professional home buyers are companies or individuals who specialize in buying homes for cash (in other words, they don’t need a mortgage to buy the home), and buy homes in “as-is” condition. That means they will not ask you to have any clauses in your contract requiring you to make repairs or improvements before they purchase your home. 

They also help you avoid the hassle and fees associated with listing your home on the open market, such as preparing for viewings, photos, and paying your realtor. They can help you sell discreetly, and complete quickly. For example, we can typically close in 1-2 weeks, rather than the months it often takes for a traditional sale. 

Selling Can Be Straightforward 

Selling a house with past-due utility bills may seem overwhelming at first, but once you understand your rights, options, and how you want to move forward, you can let go of some of the stress. Of course, selling your home is often an incredibly stressful experience, especially if funds are tight. 

As a professional home buyer, we’ve worked with many families looking for a quick and hassle-free sale to improve their financial situation and emotional health. If you’re feeling the stress and strain and want to move on to greener pastures as soon as possible, we’re here to help. We can offer you a cash offer for your home in Massachusetts (and nearby areas) and if you accept, can close in just a few weeks. We’re happy to work with you on your schedule, so if you need a little more time before you move, we can take things a little slower. 

Contact us today for a no-obligation cash offer for your home. We’re also happy to chat to you about your options to ensure you make a decision that feels right for you and your family. To find out more or to get an offer for your home, click here. 

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