County Tax Sales – A New and BETTER Way
The usual method of getting property from county tax sales is to participate in a tax deed auction or a tax lien auction.
Here’s how to get tax sale properties instantly as a result of the county tax sale without waiting or bidding.
First, determine if your area is a tax deed state or a tax lien state. In most tax deed states, properties are sold outright at the tax sale. In most tax lien states, the property itself is not sold, but rather a first-priority lien against the property is sold at the county tax sale.
After waiting a certain amount of time, called the redemption period, this lien can be foreclosed to get title to the property if it’s not paid off by the owner.
Just call the local office that holds the county tax sale in your county, and ask whether they hold a tax deed or tax lien sale. If it’s a tax deed sale, confirm that the property is being sold outright with no redemption period. If it’s a tax lien sale, or redeemable deed sale, ask how long the redemption period is.
If the county tax sales in your state are in a tax deed format, where immediate title to the property is auctioned, simply obtain the next tax deed sale list as soon as it comes out. If your local county isn’t having a tax deed sale soon, inquire at other counties throughout the state to find an upcoming sale.
Then, just contact the owners who are about to lose their property to the tax deed sale. You’ll find that many of them are just “letting the property go” and that you can pick it up for no more than a token payment and quickly flip it.
For tax lien states, you’ll take the redemption period (say 2 years), and look up the results of the county tax lien sale held a little less than 2 years ago. You’ll see which liens were sold, and which liens have since paid off. You’ll take the unpaid liens, knowing that these owners’ redemption period is just about over, and approach the owners the same way.
County tax sales that offer tax liens are arguably the best to work this method because they take a little bit of research – you may have to actually build your own list – and you’re almost assured of having little or no competition. Even with tax deed lists that are published everywhere, you’ll usually have minimal to no competition.
Once you contact an owner and strike up a deal, you can move forward in a couple different ways. If the owner is just walking away, I like to simply offer a small amount of cash for their time to sign over the deed. They’re letting the property go anyway, so don’t try to assign a big value to the property – it may indeed be worth little to nothing.
Just pay $50 or so for them to sign over the deed and see what you get.
If the seller wants a lot more cash than this, or you’re really uncertain whether the property has value, just sign a contract with the seller and assign the contract to another investor for a small profit. If you’re unable to assign the contract, you’re not out any money.
To use the assignment technique, it’s important to have a buyer list already established ahead of time. A great way to start building this list is to include bidders from past county tax sales. You can usually get these lists of bidders because most county tax sales require all bidders to register and these records are kept indefinitely.
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