Have your real estate property taxes been paid?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Have your real estate property taxes been paid?It’s a pretty straight-forward question if you own your home free and clear. You get a property tax bill and you pay it just like any other bill that is dues.

But many homeowners have a mortgage on their houses that collect monthly amounts for taxes that are held in an escrow account to pay the taxes when they are due.

But just because the monthly escrow payments were made to the mortgage company does NOT mean that the taxes have indeed been paid.

All homeowners should independently verify that the mortgage servicer that collected the escrow monies has actually paid the taxes when they were due.

Mistakes do happen, and the property owner is ultimately responsible for making sure that all taxes are paid to the proper municipality.

 

And a simple follow-up now can save a lot of headaches down the road!

Comments (23)

Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree it is a good idea to check with the tax office. It can happen especially when they have a new servicing company.

Nov 25, 2013 07:40 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Richard,

Ours are online and pretty easy for any homeowner to check. I suspect that most don't though.

Rich

Nov 25, 2013 07:50 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

This is a great suggestion and something I think a lot of homeowers forget about once they have escrows for their insurance and taxes. So good a suggestion as our taxes come due by January 4th, I'm going to reblog!

Nov 25, 2013 08:32 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Very timely advice.  Here in Florida mortgage companies pay the tax bill in November which entitles owners to a 4% discount. They should check. Thanks for the idea for a new post here in my area!

Nov 25, 2013 09:56 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Richard, because it is automatically taken care of many homeowners don't check. Thanks for the reminder.

Nov 25, 2013 09:56 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If you get behind keep that third year's paid up to stop the big bad wolf howling, knocking at your door. Making your hairs on your chinny chin chin twitch nervously as the line matures, you get the title hanked. And now you debate staw, wood, brick for the next shackety shack don't talk back.

Nov 25, 2013 09:59 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Hella...

Loans are bought and sold and tax payments can be overlooked. THX.

Margaret...

Most homeowners just assume they are paid because it is built-in to their payment. But it never hurts to double check! TYVM

Teral...

Thanks so much for your real life example that mistakes can be made!!!

Gita...

Which can occur frequently these days. Thanks.

Rich...

We can check them here too! It's easy. Thanks so much.

Nina...

Thanks for the comment and the reblog!!!

Nov 25, 2013 10:01 PM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407
Richard, owning a home is all about accepting responsibility-- following-up on such an important bill is a must.
Nov 25, 2013 10:03 PM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Gary...

Ours are due in December and I just noticed on my statement that the servicer paid the taxes. But I went to the county website to make sure that they were paid to the correct entity! THX.

Michael...

My guess is that very few double check. Thanks so much!

Andy...

You make me laugh ... how do you come up with those words? Thanks my friend.

Nov 25, 2013 10:05 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Oklahoma is a full disclosure state even to the extent of the counties that have assessor websites show whether taxes have been paid. I agree that verify and confirm is important because perfection is not an option.

Nov 25, 2013 10:19 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to this post and I pay in person when it is due. BTW, they wont take cash...CASH!

Nov 25, 2013 10:52 PM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I get a notice in the mail, even though they're handled through my escrow account. You can never be too sure.

Nov 25, 2013 11:07 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Richard, here the Washington Post has a list of the properties that are in arrears, and I caught one for a neighbor who was posted half way around the world.  Her property manager had forgotten to pay her tax bill.  Oops!

Nov 25, 2013 11:43 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Richard, this is a great question. My mortgage company has failed to pay my property taxes more than once. I should check it out on my own, but I've found out when a late bill arrived at my home. 

Nov 26, 2013 12:18 AM
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Good point.  With loans being bought and sold, this issue comes up more than I like.

Nov 26, 2013 06:50 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

One reason I never had the impound account was I could control and confirm that the taxes were paid. 

Nov 26, 2013 07:37 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Richard, mistakes do happen - and when that happened with me, I was really concerned. (Fortunately, the lender did pay the interest etc - but that was scary for me!)

Nov 26, 2013 02:51 PM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836
Good post! I pay online - county treasurer website. This could be quite an unpleasant surprise when counting on a third party to pay them. Important for those homeowners to double check.
Nov 26, 2013 04:06 PM
Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro
Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors - Frisco, TX
Your Success is My Focus!

Great post to inspire another reason to reach out to my clients (past and present) and remind to verify. Of course framing it in the right message would be critical, Happy Holidays and remember to verify your tax payment seems close to an oxymoron. Thanks for the reminder. 

Nov 26, 2013 08:40 PM
Randy Shamburger
Movement Mortgage - Greenville, SC
FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert

This is good stuff, thanks!

Nov 27, 2013 01:58 AM