What after winning TX tax deed auction

TX Non-homestead house. You win the tax deed auction.


  1. How do you find out if there are people living or not in the house??

  2. If there are - what are your options with them??

  3. If there aren’t - what do you do?(You get a locksmith and you go change the lock)?? That’s how you take possession.

Another question:
What is a good strategy to make use of the house till redemption period is over?
If the owner exercise redemption right, how long do you have to evacuate??

Thanks for help

Howdy JamesB:

Very good questions!
The first is easy most of the time. Go to house to see if occupied. If it looks vacant check the meter box to see if power is on. It can still be occupied without power. Ask neighbors etc to see if they have noticed any activity. If you are sure it is not occupied you can have the locks changed and get possession.

If you know it is occupied it would be a good idea to discuss what you may want to rent to them or sell it to them in 6 months or if they plan on moving or what.

You are the owner once you get the deed from the county. You hace all the rights except the redemption right. If they do redeem it you should give them possession right away or they can file eviction against you. If you need time to move you may be able to work that out with them and pay rent. Keep in mind that they need to pay you all the back taxes plus 25%. They will not have to pay what you spend to paint and carpet etc. There are a few exceptions to that in case of emergency repairs to protect from damage like a hole in the roof.

Keep in mind too that they can sell their right to redeem to another investor or whoever and they can redeem the property from you.

If the house is in pretty good shape you may want to rent it for 6 months or even month to month. It would be a good idea to let the tenants know how you bought it and about the redemption rights the previous owner has. This may make it a little harder to locate a good tenant.

All this is based on what I have read and I have not actually done one of these. I hope we can get some expert advice from some other members that have actually had first hand involvement

Thanks a million, Ted, for sharing your knowledge.

Would you know if the deed you get from the county would articulate how long is the redemption period for a particular property??
In other words, does the county articulate on the deed if it is homestead or not??


I am only familar with Travis County and you are told before you bid if it is 6 month or 2 year deal. I have not seen a deed from them. It would not be too hard to get a copy at the courthouse of a tax sale deed.

If there is a bank with a mortgage that owns the deed of trust, how do they figure into the tax sale? Can’t they legitimately require the winning bidder to pay the rest of the mortgage?


A tax lien is superior to the purchase money. However, the lender still may foreclose and gain the right of redemption. In all likelyhood the lender was notified of the sale and would have cured the taxes if their were interested.

On gaining possession I have found it cheaper to break in than call a locksmith. A pane of glass or repairing a door jamb after using a pry bar is easier. I would take a copy of the recorded sheriff’s deed in case the police came by.