What is the first step in Tax Lien Sales?


I am brand new and trying to find out what would be step one for purchasing property by only paying the tax lien??? someone please answer I am curious to know what the first step is. Hope my question makes sense.
I have been reading some of the blogs and researching online but haven’t seen a clear break down of what step one is.


Well, it always helps if yuur local jurisdiction is having a tax lien or tax deed sale.

If you google tax lien sales you will get literally hundreds of web sites that propose to tell you how to do it.

What I did when I started it long ags was I went to the local courthouse law library and asked the librarian for the statutes on tax liens in my sstate.

She very nicely led me to the proper law journal and assisted me.

I then went home, found them on line and copied them. I read them at least THREE times to get past the legalese and If you go this route I suggest you do the same.

DO NOT BUY TAX LIENS as a way to get property…95 to 98 perent will be redeemed and most of what is left is worth just that…the taxes.

This is not to say there are not bargains occasionally…HOWEVER…they are few and far between. Over the course of the last 20 plus years I have gotten two or three houses and I gave them back to the original owner for the taxes plus a small profit.

If you get a house and go to court for the Quiet Title action the judge will normally look to the original owner and give it back and you will probably be out court costs and attorney fees. The courts do not look favorably toward taking someone’s property for the simple mistake of not paying the taxes.

Google Jones vs Flowers and you will find the SCOTUS case showing exactly that. Took seven years and made it all the way to the SCOTUS and then went back to the owner.

Buy tax liens for the interest and penalties that you get…beats the 1.02 of most lenders on CD’s.

Tax lien investment is NOT without risk…it is like any other real estate investment. There will be some who say…BEST investment strategy in the world! BS.

You can get burnt our crack houses, drainage ditches, left over right of way…lots of things are sold for the taxes.

In my county there were 12,992 parcels sold last year.

In tax lien investment…you get NO OWNERSHIP interest whatso ever.you ar loaning the taxing jurisdictiion the tax dollars by payin someone’ s taxes.

Hope I have not bored or confused you and wish you well in your investment in tax liens.

TAX DEEDS are a whole another deal.

Good Luck

If you purchase a tax lien certificate, Then you can purchase a property otherwise you can pay the taxes on the property. The first step is to register with the Tax Commissioner’s office prior to the start of the tax sale.


You DO NOT have the right to purchase the property.

You are merely loaning the money to the delinquent owner for the interest and possible penalties.

The only way you gain any ownership rights is if the deleinquent owner fails to redeem and the property matures to you.

Then you must go through a Quiet Title Action Court Case which can be EXPENSIVE in order to clear the title,

And;if the owner shows up and uses the most common plea, “But, You Honor, I was NOT properly notified.” The judge will most likely give it back to the owner.

The courts do not like to take property for the simplle mistake of not paying taxes.

Google and read Jones vs Flowers and you will find a case where SEVEN years later the S C O T U S gave the property went back to the owner.

Buy tax liens for the interest and penalties only…NOT…as a way to get cheap property.

If it were as simple and lucrative as some of the late night gurus make it seem. TJhey would be doing it and not telling you how it is done.

Better yet, buy the property before it goes to auction and you don’t need to buy the tax lien to control it. One way I do it, it is to find owners in default of their property taxes (1+years), who do not want their property, and tie it up under an option agreement (usually $1) and flip it like any wholesale deal. Now with the end buyer’s funds you can pay off any tax liability and keep the profit.
As the previous posts stated, there are many risks in buying tax liens, including been lowered or bid down on the generous interest rate “promised” by most states (via bidding process.)

Finding delinquent owners is a problem when there are 12,992 parcels going up for sale in just one half of the county.

Delinquent list is published TWO weeks before the sale, making it almost impossible.

You must be in Florida as that is one of the bid down states.

I quit there years ago when they went online and bundled things.

Flipping an option in two weeks would take lots of doing in a hurry!

First of all, tax deed and tax lien investing is a way to earn a very high rate of interest. If you buy enough properties, eventually somebody won’t redeem, so this increases your return slightly. But you can’t just go in and pick up a piece of property for free.

In a high interest state, say 18 or 24 percent, you can buy tax liens or deeds without a lot of due diligence, and people do so. In other words, they will simply buy every lien over a set amount, say $100, only doing due diligence on the very large liens. This works well in a round-robin system.

You need to do your homework and fully understand the process. I cannot tell you how many expensive mistakes I’ve made; fortunately, because of the high interest rate I’ve made enough to overcome them. But as the rate goes down, the need for care and caution go up.


Tax lien is loaning the money for interest returns, tax deed sale is the actual property title as high bidder that day!


Please, Please, Please understand this, and avoid disaster.
Tax lien laws are state-specific.
That means that they are different for each state.
Whatever you are being told by someone is probably true - Somewhere!
Even within the state, each taxing authority will probably operate differently.
I totally stopped going to the local tax sales when buyers from out of the area started bidding, buying worthless property, and in some cases, property that did not even exist.
I knew that it didn’t exist because I owned the local Title Company and had done the search for myself.
This is a very profitable area to operate in if you know what you are doing, and it is a train wreck if you don’t.
Be careful.

Here is a step by step guide:-

  1. Select Your Investment Strategy
  2. Select Your State
  3. Define Your Investment Zone
  4. Finding Tax Sale Listings
  5. Bid on your Investment


A tax lien is a charge taken against property proprietors who neglect to pay their property tax.

Here are a few tips to remember while putting resources into Tax Liens:-

1.Understand tax liens and talk with the district impose office how your zone records liens available to be purchased?

2.Understand the laws of the area, you need to put resources into.

3.Get a list of liens for procurement.

4.The next step is to buy the lien.