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  • Writer's pictureChris Marshall

Notice of Intent to Sale: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Professionals

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Understanding the Notice of Intent to Sale in Real Estate Transactions

The importance of a Notice of Intent to Sale when flipping a house.
A house with a sold sign in the front yard.

The Importance of a Notice of Intent to Sale

Are you a real estate agent guiding clients through the intricate process of flipping houses? Or perhaps you're an investor eyeing that perfect fixer-upper to renovate and sell for a profit? In either case, it's crucial to stay informed about the legal steps involved, especially if there have been changes in the law since your last flip or rehab project.

One critical yet often overlooked legal requirement is the filing of a notice of intent to sale. Neglecting this step can lead to significant complications during the property's closing phase.

My First Flip And The Hard Lessons Learned By Not Filing a Notice of Intent to Sale.

Before I dive into what exactly a Notice of Intent to Sale is, I want to share a quick story about how I found out what they are, why they are so terribly important.

I had just spent the last 4 months on my first flip, I had hired a couple sub contractors that I thought would be useful in helping me finish the property quickly but all they did was leave me with bigger headaches. After 2 months I had to fire them, they were so far behind schedule and the work they had been doing was so lazy. I went into the property and finished the work myself.

After completing the flip and getting my newly completed, beautiful flip listed on the market I got an over the asking price offer within a week of it being on the market. We signed the sale agreement and sent it over to the title company. three weeks before closing the title company called to inquire about the sellers disclosures and how I informed them that the property was not owner occupied, ever and that I had just done a bunch of remodeling on the property.

They told me I needed to wait 6 months before I could sale the property since i never filed the notice of intent to sale. The title company wanted to make sure that none of the contractors were going to file any liens on the recently completed flip.

I ensured them that they wouldn't and I asked if they were sure that there wasn't anything else we could do, the property was set to close in just a couple weeks and I really did not want the extra 6 months of holding costs.

They finally informed me that if I could provide every single receipt for material and labor on the project and that if I got every contractor to sign a lien release that they could approve the sale. I had 4 Sub Contractors that I used on the job and 3 of them were really easy to track down and get them to sign the agreement. And while going back through and finding every receipt and organizing them wasn't necessarily hard, it was incredibly time intensive and was a ton of wasted time. The 4th contractor though, the one I had to fire, he was not so easy to pin down to get to sign the agreement. Finally after days of trying to get him to meet with me, I had a mutual acquaintance help me by proposing we work on another investment together and while I had no intention of doing that, I took the meeting and got the sub to sign the lien release.

That job taught me the lesson and the value of knowing what I needed to do and when i needed to do it. Its kind of like untying a knot, if you pull one of the strings too early you end up with a more difficult situation to unravel.

What Exactly is a Notice of Intent to Sale?

A notice of intent to sale is a preemptive legal document, particularly vital for agents representing clients who flip non-owner-occupied properties. It serves as a formal declaration of the owner's plan to sell the renovated property, setting clear expectations for all parties involved, including contractors.

This notice should be recorded no later than 45 days before the anticipated sale date. It must detail the intended closing date and be filed with the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the property is located.

The Impact of a Notice of Intent to Sale on the Closing Process

Streamlining the Closing Process

The strategic recording of a notice of intent to sale can significantly streamline the closing process due to two main benefits:

  1. Limiting Mechanics Liens: It restricts the timeframe for contractors to file a mechanics lien to a 45-day window before closing, as opposed to the standard six months from the last date of work. This minimizes the risk of unexpected liens emerging later on.

  2. Easing the Collection of Lien Waivers and Paid Receipts: Clearing a title encumbered by liens can be a cumbersome process, requiring paid receipts and lien waivers for work costing over $2,500. A notice of intent to sale simplifies this process, offering better protection against mechanics liens that could hinder a clear closing.

The Role of Title Companies in Managing Notices of Intent to Sale

How Title Companies Facilitate Smooth Transactions

Title companies like Nations Title Agency play a pivotal role in ensuring that the closing transaction and title transfer proceed without hitches. They provide expertise in navigating the complexities of notices of intent to sale, ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order for a seamless closing.

Areii's Comprehensive Support in House Flipping

Areii: Your Partner in Real Estate Investment

While the notice of intent to sale is a crucial document in the real estate flipping process, it's just one part of a complex journey., a comprehensive real estate investment platform, stands ready to assist users through every phase of a house flip. This includes guidance on when and how to file a notice of intent to sale, ensuring that investors and real estate professionals have a reliable partner every step of the way.

By leveraging Areii's platform, users gain access to a wealth of resources and tools designed to make the real estate investment process as efficient and profitable as possible. Whether you're new to the game or a seasoned investor, Areii provides the ecosystem you need to thrive in the U.S. real estate market.

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