Tax Lien Sales/Auctions.. Anyone tapping this?

I’m planning to attend our county’s tax-lien property auction next month and was wondering if anyone here has purchased property through them before. I know I’ll need to pay cash, but the savings are pretty significant from what I see on the public rosters. I plan on visiting the homes ahead of time and have a real estate friend who can check for clear title.

What has anyone’s experience here been with this… any tips or hints I should be aware of?

I haven’t done any type of actual real estate investing yet. I’ve read a lot of information in regards to the different types of real estate invstments to get an idea of where I’d like to take my real estate business I’m currently building. For now I’m in the building phase setting the business up as a jobber (a.k.a. bird dog)… but once I get started I plan to invest in tax liens as part of my investment strategy.

Back in October of last year I attended a tax lien auction with my cousin to observe how the process works. I learned a lot of the experience and now have a better idea about how it all coordinates. You will definately have to pay with certified funds… either a cashiers check or money order and usually have within the first 24 hours to pay… if not on the actual day of the sale pending on the county. You are wise to check out the properties you’re interested ahead of time and also do a title search. Different states & counties have different bidding process’s. Some bid up on the price of the property while others bid down on the interest to be collected during the redemption period. Know also that you are required to contact all vested parties who hold an interest in the property of your acquisition of the tax lien (mortgage lender, second position note holders & any other parties who hold a lien against the property). Doing your due diligence ahead of time will save you a lot of head aches if it comes down to actually acquiring the property at the end of the redemption period through the court process. One of the nice things about tax liens is that they become the first position against all other liens with the exception of federal liens.

As I’ve said… I haven’t done any type of real estate investing as of yet but this fall I intend to participate in the bidding process of my counties tax lien auction. For now I continue to educate myself as much as possible on the subject so that when I am ready I will be well prepared in advance.

Best wishes on your business venture… I hope I was of some help to you.


Hey Guys, You do not get the property at the tax auction. you get the tax lien at 18% or lower return.

No they are right. For the state of FL anyway. You start with a tax certificate where you bid down starting at 18. After 2 years you can file for tax deed. Which is a public auction of the property starting at the value of the certificate.

I looked into the certificates. If you had say a million in the bank and were looking to invest it. It would be a great return.

I too intend to attend the local auction this month. In hopes of picking up some property for less than 50% of market value.

EASY FLIP. Just cash out of pocket.

In FL it is imperative to do thorough title search and get a commitment to insure before you buy. You can get stuck holding the bag real easy. But anything you buy must have a quiet title suit filed against it before ANY title agent will issue insurance.

If it’s a property auction make sure you get a list in advance of the sale and actually take a look at the houses. You want to make sure you know what you’re really bidding on. Also see if the city/county records have have information on property condition if it’s vacant. We buy tax lien properties and license/inspection reports have helped us make up our mind not to pursue particular investments.

Plus don’t get hypnotized with the bidding process. Keep in line with you you originally planned to pay. It’s great though, you can get houses way below market value.

Good luck!

I got two e-mail responses from our county’s treasurer/assessor’s office. In California you actually OWN the property free and clear simply by paying off the minimum bid and are the max winning bid for the property at the auction. Making sure there is a clear title is your job, but if you’ve done that and only bid on clear-title property… it’s yours so long as you make payment within 48 hours. (preferably, right after the auction)

However… the original owner still has 1 year to sue the County for false auction. If he wins, you get your money back and lose out on any improvements to the property. If you’ve sold it, you have to recompense and it gets really complicated. Though it rarely happens, the official word from the County is to sit on the property for the one year.

I’ll probably view these as a good way to stash away some money for later improvement and sale.

I was talking about New Jersey.
Each state is different, Just look at the auction.
If it’s a Tax Deed sale then you can get the deed.
If it’s a Tax Lien Sale, then you only get the lien which you can foreclose on in a year or two.

Likely depends on if its a deed or mortgage state. The redemption period will vary, as will the amount of intrest you will receive if the owner ends up taking the propery back from state to state. Your county or state website should have this information online. If not then just find the right people and give them a call to find out

It depends on the state. Michigan you get the property.

Is there a list of which states operate in what manner? I’m specifically curious about PA NY and OH.