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Buying a County Tax Deed Sale House!

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Right off the bat, you need to know you need cash in the bank and a lot of it.

Tax Deed Sale

A county tax deed sale happens once a year in every county in the US. I’ve bought many tax sales homes. But one crucial thing you need to know is. The county will give you a quick claim deed. This is simply like signing over the title of your car to someone. No inspections are possible, no entry into the house, no nothing but the view from the outside. So bidder beware.


Oh, you better believe it, there will be liens against 99% of these houses. However, all liens will be removed like magic once the county processes the delinquent properties. However, yes there is a however. Here’s what you need to do. You’ll need to order your title search, I suggest using a title search company. And have them pull a foil report. The foil report will show that all parties were served and that they signed for it. If they didn’t sign for the county-certified letter they can always come back and say, hey I wasn’t notified, and therefore that 200k lean could stay in effect.

Don’t just think all liens will be removed.

Clean Title?

That’s a big no. You will only get a clean title from a title company and being the way you got this property they will make you wait at least 2 years without anyone coming forth to claim your new house. This can be very important if you plan on selling it anytime soon.

A Quite Claim Deed

This is a bit complicated. It’s basically a lawsuit. You’ll need a good old seasoned real estate attorney to do this for you. It will take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to clear the title. Should cost you between $1,500 – $5,000. I was once quoted 20k. Never did buy that property.

Bidding– Going once, going twice, sold

Oh yeah, all tax sales start with bidding, either live or online. I’m starting to see a lot more online live auctions these days. And to tell you the truth, people get really silly by bidding way more than the property is worth. If you plan on living in the house and not making a quick profit right away you may be willing to bid more than someone like myself who plans on cleaning, fixing, and flipping. So always keep that in mind.

Know your limit. You will know what properties you’re interested in before you ever get there. So have your cap on each one. It’s really easy to get way over your head. Learn how to walk away.

Once the referee says sold it’s sold.

Cash Needed

Before you go, you’ll need a bank check for 10% of the purchase price. This money is due about 3 seconds after the referee says sold. Yeah, I’m not kidding. Most counties will give a few days to 30 days to come up with the balance. Always check this before going to the auction. And remember, you’ll need to have this money in your bank already. No loans will be allowed.

Tax Deed or Tax Lien

There is a big difference between the two. Let me explain a little. A tax deed you own the property. A Tax lien certificate is simply a piece of paper. These are very safe and can earn you a few bucks.

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