Get the tax sale list.
In most states this is the easiest of the 7 steps. Now that you have established what state you are going to invest in, you need to research and choose which County or Counties to go to. Some states like Connecticut have as little as 3 Counties while others have well over a hundred. The state of Texas alone has 254 Counties. In some states the most populated county (which is usually where the biggest cities are) will have more competition, so you may want to look at some of the smaller counties. I’m not saying that there are not good tax deed properties or profitable tax liens where the big cities are, just keep in mind you will most likely run into more competition. The smaller counties will have less competition, so you will most likely be able to acquire properties for less, or be able to purchase tax liens that will pay you back a higher interest rate. It shouldn’t matter where the property is, as long as you can acquire the deed for 10-20-30 cents on the dollar, or purchase tax liens with a high yielding annual return on investment.
Now you need to find out where and when the tax sale is going to be held, and then obtain a list of properties that will be available at the sale. The tax sale can be held at any physical location pre-determined by the county, or sometimes through an internet sale run by a company like Bid4Assets. There are approximately 400 internet sales that will take place in 2010, and this number is growing each year. If the sale is held online then that means that anybody in any state can participate.
Now you need to obtain a list of the properties that will be available at the tax sale. There could be several different ways to obtain the tax sale list depending on the County. In some Counties you can call the County Treasurer and ask for a list. They may have it available to send to you in written form or sometimes on a computer disc. Some Counties have their lists posted on the County website where you can view it for free. Many counties will publish the tax sale lists in some form of newspaper to be circulated several weeks before the sale.