How to approach the owner before TAX DEED sale

Ok. I have done all my research and am ready to approach some people. I would like some help in how I should handle this. I think that this is a one shot only kind of thing. I plan on doing it on Wednesday the week before the auction. That way, I can record my deed and pay off the back taxes in time.

Of course, I would like to tread carefully here. What would the best way to do this? I am still not sure if it is best for me to take a grant deed or warranty deed. I will be taking a notary with me. Should I call before going over, or just show up? How much should I offer them to move?

And yes, I will be consulting with an attorney as well…Thank you!

Showing up a week before the auction? For a first time visit?

Are you going to run a title search before you go to each property? You don’t want to get stuck with tax liens and all of the other garbage that could be out there.

Also, how are you going to get the reinstatement amount from the lender or the lawyer with only a week to go? It could take days for that to get processed. And do you have the cash on hand to reinstate these loans?

I think you need to be in front of these people long before there are only seven days to go before the auction.

I am trying to get a couple of deals closed before March 6 here (a week to go), and I am scrambling like a crazy person–and that’s having made my first contact with these people over a week ago.

I am talking about a tax deed sale, not a foreclosure sale. I have changed the title of the thread for clarity.

Okay, thanks for the clarification.

However, and please understand, I do not know an awful lot about tax sales…

Why are you approaching the homeowners? Can’t you get the best deal from the tax sale, if it goes that route?

And if for some reason there is an advantage to buying pre-sale as you’re describing, aren’t you still going to run into the challenges that I mentioned before?

I mean, you’re not going to pay someone’s back taxes and just quasi-assume or pay off the debt without getting a title search, are you?

Also, if they are behind on taxes, they may very well be behind on the loan payments, too, assuming they have a loan. This could be another can of worms, couldn’t it?

I am sorry if I end up asking more questions than answering!

I have not been very clear here, I apologize. Let’s see if I can do better…LOL!

  • I am still going to the auction and will bid on the properties that still have mortgages there

  • the properties I am talking about now are owned free and clear, with no mortgages

  • they own nothing but the back taxes, no other liens

  • I have done title searches myself at the recorder’s office and all but one are free of IRS tax liens (or any other liens that would not survive the sale)

  • Whether I have them sign the property over to me or they lose it at the sale, they are going to lose the property if they don’t pay the taxes before the cutoff date. That is why I am waiting until Wednesday. They have until the end of business Friday to pay it off. Either they have it or they don’t. The auction is Monday. If I won the property, I still have to pay the back taxes off before close of business Friday. I am going with documents and money in hand to the person’s house. I wanted to see if anyone here has done what I am planning to do. I know that someone has done that on another board that has done it and that is where I got the idea from.

I just would like to know the best way to approach them. Some people have suggested calling.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


To me, this is no different than any other form of pre-foreclosure marketing. This means that you should take the route that is most personal, to the extent that it’s possible.

If you’re talking about a handful of properties (perhaps in order of your preference), going to the door would be the best bet. If you don’t have time to visit each one, then the phone would be the next best option.

I think either way you want to send some mail to these people just to come at them from all angles. My guess, though, is that a lot of that mail will be undelivered.

Are you really finding decent houses with no mortgages that are going to tax sale? It just seems odd that a living person would knowingly lose a house to tax sale when there is no debt on the house (meaning a loan would be relatively easy to secure for such a small amount).

I’d love to see an example.

I have been through this with my own family, I know that it can and does happen. I just wanted to do this the best way possible for all concerned. Thanks for the answers!

the fact is any overage from the tax sale goes to owner (just like any other foreclosure). I know people who have intentional let properties go to sale to get rid of them and get a few bucks out of the deal (its basically a “free” auction service).

I have not heard that, aak, but thank you. I will be calling tomorrow to find that out. So does anyone have an outline to this? Time is a-tickin’…Thanks again!