Very Few Properties Make it to Auction

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I'm new. My wife and i have looked into Tax Sales (properties going for Auction in Local counties) due to failure to pay Property Taxes.. We ran around to many of these properties and researched many by spending hours at the County Recorders office (they told us they have no Online option) only to find that nearly all of the 70+ originally posted properties for Auction were saved in the last week to two weeks before the Auction. Ex. One property owner I spoke to had 107k in property back taxes (which was the corresponding "Starting Bid" for the house and her home had an estimated market value of  approx 190k...BUT it did not make it to Auction. We didn't want to bid on it anyway...because we felt the margin was too thin...but so many similar scenarios existed with houses with enormous Judgements and Liens, yet never made it to Auction....Perhaps other investors were offering solutions to these owners that allowed them to save their properties through a loan or other arrangement?? Any insight on what is needed to effectively work this market I would greatly appreciate.

I've noticed the same thing. I've targeted several tax deed sale properties in the past only to have them disappear off of the sale list the day before. I have wondered if these homeowners are approached before the auction by investors offering to purchase their properties. Does anyone know if this happens? Are there other things that investors offer or other ways that investors get to these homeowners before their houses go to auction? 

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