Tax Auction Strategy

5 Replies

I've come across a strategy where you obtain the list of properties that are going to be sold that month. Then you track down the owner and offer to pay the taxes and and an extra couple thousands dollars. The owner would then pay the back taxes and then sign the house to you using a "quick claim deed"? Anybody doing this strategy?

I don't know Virginia laws on tax actions, but your idea only works if there are no other liens against the property. Getting a quit claim deep does not protect you against lien on the property. The quit claim deed is only saying they have no interest in the property, other people or lenders could. You would have to do a title search before to make sure there are no other recorded liens against the property. That in it self does not protect against unrecorded liens.

The best way is if you could buy the tax lien from the county or state who ever holds it and then do a foreclosure sale as I assume the tax lien in Virginia is in front of everyone. Not sure if Virginia has redemption rights in a foreclosure, but if the tax lien price is cheap enough you can wait out the redemption period.

Yes and no.

John Miller nailed it. A quit claim deed may not do you much good.

First the term is "quit" claim not "quick" claim. A quit claim deed is the weakest form of deed and should be avoided. The are much better for clearing up title than transferring title. A quit claim deed does not guarantee free and clear property. If fact it may not transfer any rights at all! If someone is teaching you to use a quit claim deed (or worst a Quick claim deed) they don't know what they are talking about.

Now besides the quit claim deed part that is a legitimate strategy. Buying houses from tax delinquent owners, especially those in tax sale or ready to go into tax sale, can be a great way to find deals.

I started doing it here 2 years ago, but never got any for a couple of thousand over taxes. Most have mortgages, code violations, etc, etc. I stopped recently when I started being the 10th person coming to their doors. Some of the prices being offered by others are approaching retail. It may not be as competitive there.

Kevin H.

1. If you use this strategy, you better have a title search as many tax sale properties have other liens, mortgages, judgments against they, which you will be assuming with this deed method. Several properties that I looked at had multi-million dollar Federal Tax Liens also against them and even at the tax sale in that state NONE of the liens are wiped out by the sale, so even if you wait to buy at the sale, you still are buying the all the liens.

2. You need to know the exact rules in the state you are planning on buying as the rules are vastly different in different states. (See # 1 above.)

3. I strongly recommend that you actually physically see the property before buying either pre-sale or at the sale.

4. And last but certainly not least, the Quit Claim Deed is the last way that I would buy a property. If you are buying directly from the owner, there is no reason not to get even a Special Warranty Deed. The use of a Quit Claim Deed is overused and oversold by so called gurus.

Thanks for the info and I apologize for the "quit-quick" error. The gentleman that I spoke with is a fast talker with an accent.

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