Delinquent Tax Sale: Your Questions Answered
Here are some of the answers you need.
Do I need to be there in person?
Like many other concepts, this can be different from place to place. Most counties that put on a delinquent tax sale will either want you to be there in person or have someone representing you physically present at the auction. There are some counties that will put properties up for sale online, where of course the rules regarding physical presence will be much different. As a rule of thumb, however, you will need to arrange for yourself or a representative to attend the auction.
What do the auctions entail?
Again, this will be different from place to place, but most counties hold their delinquent tax sale just like any other auction you've seen or participated in. The properties will come up for bidding with a minimum, base price tag associated with it. The county will not accept an offer less than this price, as this covers the back taxes, the interest, and any administrative costs they have incurred through handling the whole affair. Once the property hits the auction, the bidding may begin at that base price and go up (often in increments of $10-$100).
Can I get a list beforehand?
Yes, and you should. No one should show up to a delinquent tax sale ready to bid on properties they have no prior knowledge of. In fact, simply having prior knowledge really isn't enough. Most investors and real estate experts strongly advise people to visit the properties themselves and have them professionally inspected if possible. The county isn't going to give you much information to go on. You may get a picture (if you're lucky), but that isn't going to give you the kind of information you need before parting with a large sum of money.
How long will I have to pay?
If you are the successful bidder on a property, you can count on the county requiring your payment right away. There will be no time to go secure a loan after you have won the auction. Make sure you have the funds before you place a bid.
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