Tax Deed Sale at Clayton County, GA

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Taking the inspiration from the post " How to buy a tax deed at the Fulton County Tax Sale, Atlanta, GA" by Dan M.  This is my contribution to the great BP community after attending the Clayton county sales in the past few months.

Dan's post has an in-depth details on the GA tax sale. This post is to share the info of another county and some of my experiences. 

Please excuse grammar and vocabulary errors, English is my second language.  

Day/Time - Location

10:00 AM on 1st Tue of the month accept Jan. and Dec. However, this year they skip Jul. because of the 4th -  So, upcoming sales would be 6/6, 8/1

On the Steps of the Harold R. Banke Justice Center (courthouse) @ 9151 Tara Blvd, Jonesboro 30236.

Payment for winning bid would be collected at "Clayton County Administration Annex" 121 S. McDonough St - The old courthouse.

The List

the tax commissioner page or simply Google " Clayton county tax sale" - The county lists the properties very early in advance (up to 3 months) and updates the page frequently. On the day before the sale, the page is updated HOURLY. 

However, the properties make their way to the sale is FRACTION of the original lists. It's wise to pull the list on the weekends or the Mondays BEFORE the sale to minimal time and effort wasted of researching. 

The Gathering 

It's quite confused for first timers. There are many activities going on at 10 am in front of the courthouse :, sheriff sales, foreclose notices, tax sales, etc... 

On my first attend back in Sept. 2016, there were TWO tax sales going at the same time. Here is the "lesson learned" : on the county listing, under "PARCEL#/NAME" is "Foster & Foster Tax Sale" (the primary law firm handles the sales) - scroll down the list,  if there is an addition firm listed (last time was AMS), there will be 2nd sale group. 

The Audience

There is no registration. Anyone with a pulse can show up and be a bidder. 

The tax sales draws about 50-70 peoples which can be broken into 3 groups:

* The spectator: they are there to watch (or to learn ?) - this is the largest group.  They can be easily identified b/c they would ask a lot of basic questions: how does it work? When can I move in ? Is this property .... ? Yes, I were asked these questions !!! 

** The newbies: they have some preparations: notes in hands, some with professional printed listing (paid service somewhere?) they would enter bid ( and hope to win at  around minimum price). The frustration and/or shocking in facial expression clearly displayed when they are outbid by the third group.

*** The real deal: there are handful of serious bidders - They are the regular here, and mostly the winners of the sales. Although, the bid is $100 increment after the open. This group raises the price by $1000s or even $10,000.

The Auction

After the attorney reads the legal notice and open bid by asking "Do we have a minimum bid ?", the game begins. The bidding goes extremely fast. Many times it concludes within 15 sec. Correct!  that is SECOND. 

 Bidders should be LOUD and PROUD. I once got a "going twice", so i looked down to note the amount (for payment). Didn't realize there was a raise again mine, by the time the "going twice" called again, I froze - to come up with a new number-  and lost the bid.     

The Bid Winner & Payment

After each property sold, they will ask the winner to step up to fill out the info card: name to be on the deed, address, phone number, etc... while the auction is still GOING.

Bring a buddy for this task if desire to continues bidding. 

Bid winner to have till 3 pm to post payment. They only accept certified fund (cashier check) or cash.

The Properties & Winning Amount

* Mobile Homes: haven't seen ANY bids for these.

** Unimproved: not many bidders go for land lots either, even they are built-able and accessible . Lots can be scooped up at the minimum open bid.  Is land still very cheap in GA ?

I got a 7 acre lots with a 2 acre private pond for $7200  awhile back . 

*** Improved: 

(a) vacant / rundown / board up: sold for 25-35% of the county appraise value. 

(b) Occupied: up to 80%.

The Tax Sale Deed

After filling in the court, the deed  will be mailed to the address listed in the info card in 4-6 weeks. 

Clayton county does not make sale over the counter. Any unsold property will be put back in the future sales.

I have the sales date of  the past couple months. I will post them in a separated posts for those who want to analyze . 

Thanks for the info @Kiet N. I was wondering about the process down there in ClayCo. Glad you don't have to pay to register either.  I'd love to scoop up some land about the size that you got, and with a pond. That would be the life.

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