Can You Sell a House with Property Taxes Owed in Florida?

written by

Junk Home Buyers

posted on

June 30, 2024

Table of Contents

Ever wondered if you can sell your Florida home with taxes still due? Yes, you can. But it’s a bit more complicated.

Unpaid taxes in Florida can make selling your home tricky. You need to pay these taxes off to get a clean sale. In Florida, taxes are due twice a year.

Sellers can pay these taxes before or during the sale. But if the sale money is not enough, the seller must pay the rest at closing.

Solving tax issues before selling can make things smoother. Real estate investors are often ready to buy homes with tax problems1. They like to close deals fast and pay in cash1.

Key Takeaways

  • Selling a house in Florida with property taxes owed is feasible but involves complexities.
  • Property taxes are generally paid twice a year in Florida1.
  • Delinquent taxes must be settled to finalize the sale and grant a clear title.
  • If the sale proceeds do not cover both mortgage and back taxes, sellers must cover the shortfall at closing1.
  • Real estate investors may be viable buyers, especially when quick and cash offers are preferred1.

Understanding Property Taxes in Florida

Property taxes in Florida help pay for important public services. They are based on a property’s value. Homeowners should know how these taxes work, especially when selling their house.

How Property Taxes Are Calculated

In Florida, property taxes are figured each year on January 1st by the county. This tax applies to homeowners, businesses, rental properties, and those who inherit property. The tax amount is found by multiplying the property value by a set rate. You can use a simple formula to find your tax amount. This formula is (your property’s value / 1,000) x Millage Rate2. Do note, there are special rules, like if you live in a property as your main home, you might not have to pay tax on part of the property’s value3.

When Property Taxes Are Due

Property tax notices arrive in August. Bills usually come in October or November. You must pay these taxes by March 31 of the next year3. If you miss this deadline, your taxes become late in April or 60 days after the first notice3. It’s important to pay on time, especially if you’re selling your house. If you sell your house in the middle of a tax period, the buyer might help pay their part of the tax1. Quick payment helps make selling a home easier and avoids any problems.

What Happens When You Owe Property Taxes?

When you miss paying property taxes in Florida, a lien goes on your property. It’s important to fix late taxes right away. In Florida, taxes become late the year after they are due on April 1st. They get more expensive as they wait to be paid4. You can only pay these overdue taxes with special funds. Regular checks are not OK4.

Consequences of Not Paying Property Taxes

Not paying your property taxes means the government might take your home. They warn homeowners who are late by the end of April. This warning can come by email or be published5. It’s very serious to take action when you get these warnings. You should try hard to pay off what you owe to keep your home.

Process of Tax Lien Sale

If you still haven’t paid by March 31, tax certificates get sold. This sale can be online, starting on or before June 1. Investors buy these liens, and might help you clear them later6. The winner is the one who can pay the most back at the lowest interest rate. If not fixed and not claimed for seven years, the tax certificate is no longer valid5. This process lets the state sell the tax lien. The buyer could take your property if you don’t pay up6.

Not dealing with late property taxes in Florida is very serious. It could mean losing your house. Knowing how this works and acting fast is key to solving this issue. This can save you from bigger problems with your property taxes in Florida.

Can You Sell a House with Property Taxes Owed in Florida?

Selling a house with taxes owed in Florida is possible if you follow certain steps. Property taxes are due twice each year, in winter and summer1. Sellers must make sure all taxes are paid at closing. If the sale doesn’t match up with the tax schedule, taxes are often shared between the buyer and seller.

Selling the House to Settle Debts

If you can’t pay the back taxes right away, selling the house is a good idea to clear debts. It’s key to double-check the sale money covers the mortgage and tax debts. If property taxes are not paid on time, the city or county can put a claim on the property. To avoid trouble, it’s important to pay any debt off.

A closing attorney makes sure the debts are cleared correctly.

Paying Back Taxes Before the Sale

It’s best to clear up any back taxes before selling. This helps make the sale smoother for everyone. If paying fully upfront is hard, investors who buy homes might be interested. They are used to dealing with issues like tax liens.1 Using the sale of the house to pay off the tax debt is a good strategy.

To learn more about selling a house with back taxes in Florida, check out this guide.

Steps to Sell a House with Property Taxes Owed

To sell a house with owed property taxes, you need to plan carefully. This includes looking at all your debts. You should choose the best way forward by considering your options wisely.

Pre-Sale Planning

Getting ready before selling means making your house look good and fixing needed things. It’s also key to know the law when selling with unpaid taxes. Florida property taxes must be paid in winter and summer. So, deal with these taxes before selling your house1.

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Calculating Outstanding Debt

Figuring out exactly what you owe is crucial. Check if selling your home for $200,000 will cover all your debts. After paying off the mortgage, see if there’s enough for tax debts1. Knowing this helps deciding if you can pay debts before selling.

Also, think about the money side. If your debts are more than what you get from the sale, you face a tough time. This is common in places like Florida, where selling due to taxes needs careful steps to avoid problems7.

Pre-Sale PreparationEnhance property curb appeal and conduct necessary repairs.
Debt CalculationEvaluate outstanding property taxes and assess financial feasibility.
Plan TimelineMap out the timing of your sale to align with property tax due dates and avoid complications.

Using Home Sale Proceeds to Pay Property Taxes

Got delinquent property taxes on a Florida home? You can use the sale money to pay these off. This way, the sale’s smooth and you follow the law. Let’s look into how this works and how to use sale money right.

How it Works

To pay off all debts on a home, work out a plan for the sale money. In Florida, property taxes are due twice yearly1. If you sell a home with late taxes, you must pay those taxes first1. A closing attorney helps make the sale legal. They check that the mortgage is paid first, then the tax bills.

If you sell between tax payments, those taxes are shared correctly1. This avoids surprise costs after selling. Also, any tax liens must be cleared before selling1.

Examples of Sale Proceeds Allocation

Buyers who want a fast sale may offer cash quickly1. If the sale money doesn’t cover all the tax debt, the seller pays the remaining amount. This makes sure the buyer gets a property with clear taxes and mortgages.

StepDescriptionResponsible Party
1. Mortgage SettlementPay off the remaining mortgage balance from the sale proceeds.Closing Attorney
2. Tax Lien PaymentUse sale proceeds to pay off any existing tax liens.Closing Attorney
3. Seller’s Shortfall ContributionIf proceeds aren’t sufficient, seller contributes the shortfall.Seller
4. Finalizing CloseComplete the transaction and transfer clear title to the buyer.Both Parties

It’s critical for sellers to get the money right since mistakes can cost them later. Want to learn more about selling with tax debts? Check this blog for tips.

Obtaining a Lien Release to Facilitate the Sale

When you sell a property in Florida with a tax lien, getting a certificate of discharge is key. This certificate, from the tax authority, moves the lien from the property’s title to you. It doesn’t remove the debt, but it helps the sale move forward. After the sale, you still need to pay the owed taxes.

What is a Certificate of Discharge?

In Florida, a certificate of discharge allows the tax lien to move from the property to the seller. This is very important for sellers. It lets them sell the property even if there are tax debts. But remember, the seller must still pay the debts after the sale.

Steps to Obtain a Lien Release

First, the seller needs to ask the tax authority for a lien release. They will need to offer certain papers. And, they might need to talk a lot, especially if the sale money won’t cover the full tax debt. In this case, a part payment might work to get the lien removed8.

In a short sale, the IRS might let go of the lien after forgiving some of the mortgage debt8. But these matters can slow down the sale. So, it’s very important to plan well and get expert help to smoothly manage the lien release process.

Impact of Property Tax Liens on Home Sales

Property tax liens really affect selling homes in Florida. They must be settled before you can sell. But, they sometimes make selling hard or even stop it. If you miss home payments or don’t pay federal taxes for three years, the government can put a lien on your home9.

People looking to buy usually stay away from homes with these liens. This is unless they are investors used to handling such issues. There are mainly three types of tax liens: from the city or county, the state, and the federal government9.

By April 30, the tax collector sends a notice if you haven’t paid taxes. They send it by mail or as you’ve agreed, like by email5. Selling with a lien is hard. This is true especially if the money you’d get can’t cover what you owe on the home and the taxes9.

In Florida, you can pay what you owe on the home to get it back. This is called redemption. But you also have to pay interest and other charges5. Getting advice from a tax lawyer is smart. They can help you understand the state’s laws on tax liens9.

To clear a tax lien, you can sell the home, pay in installments, or look for other solutions like bankruptcy or a loan. Doing this helps in selling the home without problems9.

If a lien is under $250 and the home is a primary residence, the county keeps it. It’s not sold at auction5. In Florida, lien sales happen online. The buyer pays the owed taxes and the interest. They then use a low allowed interest rate for the debt5.

Dealing with tax liens needs you to be active. For federal liens, you might need to get IRS forms or a discharge certificate9. A discharge doesn’t remove the lien, just allows the sale. Smart handling of liens can make the sale go smoother10.

Challenges in Selling a House with Property Taxes Owed

Selling a house with overdue property taxes can be tricky. It needs lots of thinking and planning. A big challenge is finding people to buy these kinds of houses. Many regular buyers don’t want to deal with houses that have tax issues. Because of this, the number of people interested in buying your home may drop. One good way to get around this problem is to look for investors. They know how to deal with tax problems quickly. Investors often have money ready to go and like to make fast purchases, which can help you sell your home sooner1.

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Finding the Right Buyer

One key is to find the right person to buy your home, tax issues and all. Real estate investors are often your best bet. They are ready to handle the extra work that comes with these homes. This can help you pay off your debts faster. Investors like to buy homes with tax issues because they can close deals quickly. This is often much faster than the usual way of selling a home1.

Dealing with Potential Complications

There are other issues to think about when selling a home with overdue taxes. One big thing is that you have to pay off any tax debts before the sale is complete1. The money from the sale might be used to pay off these debts, so you can give the buyer a clean title. But, if there’s not enough money from the sale to cover the debts and your mortgage, you might have to put in extra money. This can help you meet all your financial needs when selling the home1.

Another issue is getting a ‘certificate of discharge.’ This paper can help the sale go through, even if there are tax debts. It makes sure the taxes are paid after the sale. Because selling a home with tax problems can get complicated, sellers should be ready to be patient and work hard. You might need help from real estate experts. They can help you understand and follow the laws about these kinds of home sales in Florida.

Exploring Alternatives: Real Estate Investors

If you own a home and need to pay property taxes, selling to real estate investors might be a good choice. These buyers can help with tough tax issues when selling your home.

Advantages of Selling to Investors

Selling to investors saves you from the stress of tax problems. They have the money to pay off your unpaid taxes. They often buy quickly for cash, which can help you get money fast. You also don’t have to fix up your home before selling it to them.

How Investors Handle Tax Liens

Investors know how to deal with tax liens on homes. If your home has tax debts and a lien, they might use the sale money to pay these off. And if the sale money is not enough, they ensure all debts are paid at the sale1. This makes things much easier for you.

They can even get rid of the lien, which helps sell your home even with tax debt there. Doing this may take a bit longer to close the sale. But it makes selling your home possible despite owing taxes1. Investors really help speed things up, making it smoother for you to sell your house.

Want to learn more about selling your home with tax issues? Check out this blog article. Selling to real estate investors is a smart move if you have overdue property taxes.

Navigating Florida Property Tax Laws

It’s key for property owners in Florida to know the tax laws well. They help avoid problems and money loss. Tax laws here help agencies get tax money, even if owners don’t pay. This is done through selling tax liens and deeds. Now, let’s learn about these sales11.

Understanding Tax Lien Sales

Every year in Florida, about June 1st, the tax collector sells the right to collect unpaid property taxes with interest. The starting bid rate is 5%. But sometimes it’s different. Tax certificate holders make a good interest until the property is sold or the debt is paid off11. Remember, property taxes turn late on April 1st. If not paid, a tax certificate is given out1112. You must pay these late taxes with certified money. No checks are okay11. Before joining the auction, make sure the properties you’re eyeing are worth it11.

Tax Deed Sales Explained

If a property owner doesn’t pay the late taxes within two years, the property might be sold in a tax deed sale1112. This lets the holder of the tax cert get the property. Certificates go invalid after seven years, unless things like bankruptcy happen11. If there are mistakes, the sale can also be canceled. The buyer then gets their interest back, or the paid amount, lower one11. These sales let tax agencies collect unpaid taxes at the last moment. This way, they don’t lose money due to late property tax payments.

Knowing about these sales and when they happen is very important for property owners. It helps them deal with Florida’s taxing rules. Knowing this protects their property and prevents financial and legal problems from delayed taxes.

How to Handle Property Taxes When Selling a House

Selling a house with unpaid taxes is tough. It’s important to know how to deal with taxes well. First, figure out how much you owe for taxes. Property inspectors in Florida check home values on January 1 each year3. Then, you get a tax bill from the county in October or November. You must pay these taxes by March 313.

Best Practices for Sellers

It’s key for sellers to handle tax matters early. In Florida, use the homestead exemption if your home is your main residence. It cuts up to $50,000 off your home’s taxable value. After a year, your home’s taxable value can only go up 3% a year3. Knowing this can make selling your home smoother. Check your county’s website for tax info. This can help you spot any mistakes or unpaid taxes3.

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Working with Real Estate Professionals

Getting help from real estate pros is smart. They are experts in the market and tax laws. They can guide you on tax issues, like IRS liens for unpaid federal taxes over three years9. They’ll also talk to assessors for you. This is to update for new ownership or to claim more exemptions. Their support is critical if you need a payment plan or tax relief.

“When a property changes ownership in Florida, the property appraiser reassesses the property to equal its just value and removes any exemptions3.”

Real estate pros can make sure your tax handling follows the law and is good for the current market. They can analyze your finances. Then, they can advise you on the best way to handle tax debts. Working with them helps in selling your property the right way, ensuring a good outcome. Stick with their advice. It leads to dealing with taxes correctly and to selling your home well

Florida Property Tax Implications for Sellers

If you’re selling a property in Florida with unpaid taxes, you face big financial risks. It’s crucial to deal with property tax liens. If you don’t, it could mess up your sale. Tax liens can hurt your credit for seven years if not fixed quickly. This makes getting loans hard.

Financial Implications of Tax Liens

The impact of property tax liens in Florida is serious. Back taxes gather interest and penalties after May 1st13. If someone pays your taxes for you, you still have to pay them back with maybe more interest13. This makes it hard to deal with these debts.

Realize property taxes support things like schools and roads14. So, clearing tax liens helps the community. It also makes selling your property easier.

Impact on Credit Scores

Property tax liens can badly hit your credit. Missed payments from these liens lower your score. This makes it hard to get credit in the future. Settling these debts quickly is key to avoid damage.

Florida’s Homestead Exemption keeps tax increases low, at 3%14. But, ignoring tax debts might lead to foreclosure, hurting your credit more13.

Taking steps early to resolve tax liens can protect your finances. It ensures an easier sale. This is good for your immediate and long-term financial health.

Role of Cash Buyers Like Junk Home Buyers

Dealing with cash buyers, like Junk Home Buyers in Florida, can help a lot. They are good for homeowners with tax debts. A big win is how fast they can buy your home. The National Association of Realtors says it takes about 33 days to sell a home. But with cash, you can finish in 1 or 2 weeks15.

Benefits of Selling to Cash Buyers

Selling to cash buyers has many good points. In January, 29 percent of home sales were cash deals. This shows more people prefer quick and simple sales15. Selling for cash means less hassle when closing the deal. It also means less chance of the sale not going through. Plus, cash buyers, like Junk Home Buyers in Florida, buy homes without needing repairs first.

How Junk Home Buyers Can Help

Junk Home Buyers are great for buying run-down homes. They are perfect for people with big property tax debts. Companies like HomeVestors are very quick and trustworthy. They work across 48 states and have done over 71,400 deals since 201616. If you are in Florida and need to sell fast, they offer a fair price no matter your home’s condition. This can help solve your property tax problems quickly16.

Tips for a Smooth Sale Process

Getting ready for a home sale is key. It’s important to follow Florida’s tax laws, too. This helps avoid problems later on and makes selling your home easier.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

To make your home look good to buyers, do some simple fixes. Fix up the yard, paint the house, and clean up inside. Also, getting a pro to look at your home can find big problems early.

Picking the right price is very important. The average Florida home sold for $404,100 in July 202317. So, aim to price it right to catch buyer’s eyes fast. Real estate agents can offer great help with this.

Ensuring Compliance with Tax Regulations

Following Florida’s tax laws well is crucial for a smooth sale. The state’s property taxes can be tricky. It’s important to know the rules, especially about the stamp tax for selling homes17.

There are tax breaks and delay programs in Florida for some groups and certain properties18. These can cut down your taxes a lot. For example, the SOH cap can keep your home’s tax value from going up a lot each year.18

Getting help from a tax expert or a real estate lawyer is smart. They make sure you’re dealing with taxes correctly. This helps keep the sale moving without problems.

Being careful and following Florida’s tax laws can make your home sale go well. Experts and pros in real estate and taxes can guide you. They help show off your property and handle the legal sides of selling with ease.


Selling your house in Florida with unpaid property taxes is doable. You just need to know the steps and handle your duties well.

Property taxes not paid can turn into tax liens. These might need quick action to avoid losing your home. If you don’t pay, the amount you owe gets bigger with fees and interest. So, it’s important to deal with this debt soon19. Any buyer should know about these tax liens before they buy. Being open about this helps make the sale go smoothly.

In Florida, property taxes are due on April 1. If not paid, your taxes may be sold by June 120. This shows why it’s helpful to have experts on your side. They can guide you. With Florida’s low tax rate of 0.91%, tax management is crucial for a good sale21.

Think about selling to cash buyers like Junk Home Buyers. They’re good at dealing with tax liens and can close the deal fast. This can help you pay your taxes and have a simple sale. Use these tips and sell your Florida home, even with tax problems.


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