Sacramento Auctions

19 Replies

Hey all,

I am in the Sacramento area and looking to find some good deals for fix and flips. I was considering checking out a Sacramento county auction and I was wondering if anyone had experience with this. I registered for the auction, but as I have no intention of buying something on the first go around, I was wondering if it was okay to just go and watch, or if a proof of funds was necessary to get in the door.

Aside from that, if anyone has any advice or suggestions with regards to auctions, I'd be happy to hear them, it is not a venue I've previously explored.

Thanks for the help!

oh. If you get around to bidding, befriend someone at a title company & have them do a title search on what your bidding on (make sure its the 1st position) & check for other liens. If u got the 2nd postion you would still have to pay the first loan (he mentions it in the note podcast)

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Thanks for the quick response. I was wondering about the title portion as well. I know there are companies that you can order a title search from, but is this the best method? It seems you would have to do this in advance for any property you were interested in, which from my understanding would cost a few hundred dollars a piece. Perhaps I'm incorrect in this? Or maybe this is why you mentioned befriending them, haha.

Also, I am unclear on the 1st and 2nd position here, can you clarify for me?

If you take that advice on befriending a title company news will travel fast, and you will be left out in the cold. Pay for a title search.

Joe Gore


Is that generally how folks prepare for auctions? Order a title search for any property they might be interested in? Or is there a better way to get this information without paying per property?

Does anyone have experience with this process?

I have limited experience with the auctions, but have enjoyed watching the players bid a couple of times. A partner of mine has been bidding for years and pays for a service that gives him a title search on the spot the at same time his partner goes to check out the property he is about to bid on. The bidding goes fast and it is easy to get caught up in it and overbid. I would say, just be sure you know what you are bidding on and max price you would pay. Most properties get postponed or cancelled and occasionally, they add opening bids the last moment, which makes it difficult for you to do your homework. But do go to the auction-they are fun to watch and meet buyers.

90% of the properties I have purchased to flip, have come from the Sacramento County Trustee Auctions held on the courthouse steps, open to anyone, bidding or not. Every weekday, except holidays, starting at 9 and run thru 2pm (different trustees, start at different times). Trustee sales are always open, to everyone. The trustee sales held at the hotels, tend to be over attended, both by observers and bidders - my experiences at these are the selling prices are much higher and tend not to work for my numbers.

Always to your homework prior to attending. I personally don't like to buy properties thru trustee sale that are occupied. I drive by multiple times, talk to neighbors, research the property online, check past MLS listings, anything you can think of to find out info about the property. Properties typically are postponed multiple times prior to finally being auctioned. And usually it is the last minute when you find out if the opening bid will be a number that will work for you.

 I have relationships with Title Companies that are willing to provide Title info, etc. and more importantly, last minute. The Title Companies know, that I also will be providing escrows for them in the future- when I sell properties, they are my Title Company. I don't abuse them, I only ask for info on those properties that I have already done my own research on and that I am ready to buy.

I have only bought first positions. If you buy seconds or thirds you would have to payoff the priors. 

There are also other possible encumbrances that you may be responsible to pay off including past due taxes, past due utilities, other encumbrances including lawsuit liens, child support liens etc.

Know your number - the maximum you can pay- AND  never, never get caught up in the bidding, stick to your number.

Happy bidding!

sorry i really meant make a friend at a title company, not make one then leave them out in the cold. Paying is an option too & probably the better one. Some loan agents also has access to the 'simple' title search. If the price is that good & the property in the right shape its worth a little $. You 'could' learn to do some research on your own too at the county. Start with say a history of your own house or a friend willing to say what you found is accurate or not. But still some risk


Thank you for all the advice! You mentioned auctions being held at the courthouse, are there listings for these? Hard to do my homework if I don't know what is coming. I looked a bit, and it seemed some folks recommended checking the local papers, but that was the best lead I could find.


The paper search is very timely. You can also go to the County Recorders office - if you have time.

Most Trustee companies have websites ( you have to register, but are free) with the upcoming auctions, and they have phone numbers you can call to get the latest info.

Since it has been a big part of my business, I use a service I pay for, ForeclosureRadar - which has made it so much easier to monitor and keep organized the properties I am looking for. And I can  find info on properties in every County of CA. I cannot say it is 100%, but it is very close.

Thanks Kelli,

I've heard about this service and am actually going to a presentation tonight given by the CEO through NorCalREIA.

Thanks to everyone else that posted for all the help as well!

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@Account Closed Hi Kelli ( what an awesome name you have!). Good contribution. My mother was a well known Trustee for large companies & residential properties in the Bay Area (may she rest in peace). She wouldn't take calls on properties just because it's time consuming (but her Realtor would). I have been to the auctions myself, buyer beware and do your due diligence. If you come across any multi family properties in Sacramento feel free to PM me. I'm looking right now. I always enjoy the B-Peepers out there.     

how long does it take to do a title report? say if you order online?

Second, does foreclosure radar offer title reports?

are there fake sites for title reports?

Are title reports guaranteed?

[email protected]

anyone have experience with live auction at

Hey Kellii! And great spelling along with a great name. Checking in on the multi family homes you may be interested in- duplex? Four plex? Or bigger? Specific areas? Are you doing any developments ? Will be in touch


I am not aware of "online Title Reports." Are they coming from a reliable Title Company?

I would recommend a relationship with a Title Company, I have been down at the court house steps, not expecting a property to have an opening bid I low enough for me to bid on and been surprised and was able to get on the phone with my Title contact and I received the info I needed within minutes. I wont recommend nor abuse this option, all my other investigation of the property had already been completed. 

Not sure of "fake sites" for Title reports - but see above.

No, the information I receive from the Title Companies for the Trustee Sales in NOT guaranteed. I am not receiving full Title Reports but information from the Title Company on what they find on the property and owner of the property. You will be asked to sign a understanding and release to the fact the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

Live - yes been to many. More or less, they are the same as the everyday courthouse step auctions. They take a ridiculous amount of time, you have to "sign in" ( they claim it it is for transparency) and be vetted ( show you have the funds with you), but then none of the 6-7 employees sitting around, follow the auction and the vetting goes out the window, their auctioneers TRY to control the bidding instead of just letting the bidders bid. I haven't researched the actual numbers, but it seems like many of their auctions start at a ridiculous low starting bid and there is a much higher and ridiculous "reserve" price. I am sure it is a sale strategy to get more people actually excited they may be able to buy a property for pennies on the dollar. 

Hope I covered what you wanted. Good luck and make lots of money!

Hi @Taye N.

If you order a preliminary title report typical turn around is a couple of days. There are online services, and some offer rush services, though usually not less than 24 hours.

PropertyRadar (formerly ForeclosureRadar), includes a basic title history on every property, but it should not be relied on to make a purchase. In certain circumstances, for very experienced buyers who understand all the ins and outs of title, and who are willing to take a degree of risk, it is enough for some things, like purchase money firsts, but we seriously don't recommend it. The main thing PropertyRadar is missing is "involuntary" liens - judgements, tax liens, etc.

Not sure what you mean by "fake sites". Whenever doing business online it is usually good to check that companies reputation though. A simple google search of company name and "fraud" usually gives you a good idea.

No, title reports are never guaranteed. You only get a guarantee by purchasing title insurance. Note that does offer, at least in some cases, title insurance for their trustee sale purchases, for an additional fee. When buying from make sure you familiarize yourself with the particular auction you are attending, their rules for trustee sales, are different then for REO's and other types of properties.

Finally, if you are going to be a regular buyer with some volume, I can put you in touch with a title company that will provide free, verbal, non-guaranteed, title searches in exchange for your business. These aren't insured so you still have some risk, but it is what most of the pros who buy at the auctions do. Feel free to PM me for their contact info.

Best Regards,