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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I’m an interior designer with my own firm for 25 yrs now . In a text to me , My neighbor approved my text - written offer of financial compensation to me to help her stage her house , get photography done , list it on MLS2U (a flat fee FSBO Listing site ) show it , find a buyer and negotiate with the buyer or real estate agents. I made it CLEAR to all parties who looked at the house that I was / am a concerned neighbor helping an elderly neighbor sell their house (NOT a licensed agent !!) I did all that was in our Text Contract and sold her house TWICE in 10 days (first contract fell out ) Now I have sent her my business invoice .. and she has yet to acknowledge it . What are my rights to get a judgment against her and put a lien on her house before her closing on 3/14/19 , on the CASH , Full-Price contract I brought in ? I took the printed invoice over to her husband , and handed it to him on 3/5/19 . Do I need to email it , and Certified mail it to prove receipt ? I have a Time -Stamped Text Contract with her approval for services to be rendered before I started .

I’m an interior designer with my own firm for 25 yrs now . In a text to me , My neighbor approved my text - written offer of financial compensation to me to help her stage her house , get photography done , list it on MLS2U (a flat fee FSBO Listing site ) show it , find a buyer and negotiate with the buyer or real estate agents. I made it CLEAR to all parties who looked at the house that I was / am a concerned neighbor helping an elderly neighbor sell their house (NOT a licensed agent !!) I did all that was in our Text Contract and sold her house TWICE in 10 days (first contract fell out ) Now I have sent her my business invoice .. and she has yet to acknowledge it . What are my rights to get a judgment against her and put a lien on her house before her closing on 3/14/19 , on the CASH , Full-Price contract I brought in ? I took the printed invoice over to her husband , and handed it to him on 3/5/19 . Do I need to email it , and Certified mail it to prove receipt ? I have a Time -Stamped Text Contract with her approval for services to be rendered before I started .

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Mar 11, 2019
I'm sorry to hear you've had some issues collecting payment. First and foremost, it's worth noting that talking out a payment dispute will generally be much less of a headache (and much less expensive) than trying to compel payment via a lien or some other legal claim. Obviously, not every payment dispute can be resolved by a few conversations - but it's typically worth a try. Anyway, while some method of recovery may very well be available, mechanics liens are generally only available to those who perform work that permanently improves the underlying property and go unpaid for that work. When work does not permanently improve the real property, typically, mechanics lien rights will not arise. Still, regardless of the availability of a mechanics lien filing, utilizing the mere warning or threat of a lien claim can help to compel payment - and zlien discusses that in this article: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? That being said, recovery could always be made some other way - such as via suit or an action in Virginia small claims court. Of course, once a judgment has been obtained, it may be possible to obtain a judgment lien on the property. Though, that could take some time - and it might be more possible to obtain a judgment lien on some other piece of property owned by a defendant if they're about to sell their home. For more information about potential recovery options, it might be helpful to reach out to the attorneys at Avvo.com - they're available to answer questions on a wide variety of topics (beyond just construction law).
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