Tax Sales List Question

5 Replies

I was wondering if anyone knew if the "over the counter" sales or offered in every state. I buy tax sale properties in Indiana, Indianapolis. There are always a number of properties left on the surplus tax sales list and I'm trying to see if there is a way to go back and buy them.

@Tony Jefferson   Welcome to BP!  Over the counter sales on liens or deeds are usually determined by the county (sometimes state or even city rules.  You'll need to check with all three to see what the rules/procedures are for the area.

I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to, but counties in Indiana have what's called a "Commissioner's Sale." Essentially, liens that aren't sold at the normal (fall) tax sale, are given to the county commissioners. They will reduce the price and sell them at a (spring) commissioner's sale. You can get some really affordable liens here, but they are generally the less desirable properties. 

Also, please don't forget about the notice requirements after you buy a lien. You didn't get into real estate investing to labor over title paperwork and worry about whether you complied with the statutory notice requirements. 

Texas doesn't offer over the counter until the property has been put through at least one auction. "Over the Counter" is labeled as resale or struck off, and depending on the controlling tax authority, the purchase process could take anywhere from a couple of days to several months. The rules for purchase can vary from county to county, and sometimes controlled by attorneys representing the taxing authorities.

I think it might vary by state.  My (very limited) understanding of GA tax sales is that it just goes to the sale again the next month.  However, in AL (at least in my county), if it's not sold that day, it reverts to the state.  Each year the cost of the property goes up because the state adds that year's taxes to the cost to purchase it.  Supposedly, there are properties that the cost of purchase (based on back taxes because no one owned it to pay them) is significantly higher than the value of the actual property.  In addition, a friend tried to purchase one and ended up giving up because of the headache.  For her, purchasing at tax sale was much easier.  Anyway, years of back taxes may explain why a property might be much more expensive after it didn't sell at a tax sale a long time ago.  Good luck!

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