Buying Tax Deed Properties: How To Get Your First Tax Deed Property

Buying tax deed properties can lead to significant profits. Achieve financial independence via this little-known, alternative real estate investment

Buying tax deed properties is an enticing investment opportunity. All across the United States, counties sell tax deeds to real estate for pennies on the dollar. So let’s talk about the auction process and how to prepare for your first tax deed auction.

Attending multiple auctions before making your first purchase is highly recommended, as it allows you to gain valuable experience and insight into the bidding process. With careful planning, patience, and by following the tips mentioned in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to start on your investment journey buying tax deed properties.

Key Takeaways

  • Familiarize yourself with auction rules and attend multiple auctions before bidding on a property.
  • Thoroughly research and inspect each property before attending an auction to make informed decisions.
  • When buying tax deed properties, always consider the market potential and ensure the property can be sold at a profit.

What Are Tax Delinquent Properties?

When a property owner doesn’t pay property taxes, the local government will ultimately seize the tax defaulted real estate and hold a public auction where they will either sell a tax lien certificate or a tax deed.

buying tax deed properties at county auctions

Tax Lien Certificates

In tax lien states, when you pay someone else’s property taxes, the county will issue a tax lien certificate that could pay you an interest rate of 16%, 18%, 24% or 36% depending on the state. You don’t receive the property; you receive all of your money back plus the interest if the tax delinquent property owner redeems the property be paying the taxes. If the property owner doesn’t pay, then you get the property.

Tax Deeds

In tax deed states, the county sells the property outright. If you’re the winning bidder, you become the new owner of the property. The bidding opens near the amount of the unpaid taxes, enabling you to purchase real estate at a fraction of its assessed value, and get the property without a mortgage.

A Newcomer’s Guide to Buying Tax Deed Properties

Buying tax deed properties can be highly lucrative if you know the rules and do your homework. Here are some things you need to know.

Locating Tax Deed Auctions and Property Lists

To find tax deed auctions, you can contact the county treasurer or go to the county’s website for auction dates and lists of available tax delinquent properties for sale. The larger the population of the county, the more properties will likely be up for auction.

finding tax deed properties

County Auction Rules

Auction rules differ from county to county and are determined by state legislatures. Familiarize yourself with the regulations set by the specific county where you plan to bid on properties.

Selecting a Tax Defaulted Property

Before bidding on a property, determine how much money you have to invest. Focus on properties within your price range and avoid wasting time on those you can’t afford. The types of properties up for sale could be single family homes, small apartment buildings, small office buildings, farms, or parcels of vacant land.

Getting Ready for Tax Deed Auctions

It’s crucial to research potential properties before attending a tax deed sale. Go to the public records and check the title for liens, encumbrances or other potential issues. Also, try narrowing the list of properties you’re interested in to at least 10 or 20, as some properties may receive bids from other investors.

do your research before buying tax deed properties

Verifying Property Condition

Before buying tax deed properties, ensure that you have physically examined the property. Check for any damages from natural disasters or other factors that could impact its value. Additionally, vet the property’s location and neighborhood to ensure its profitability.

Observing the Tax Sale Auction Process

For first-timers, it’s a good idea to attend a tax-delinquent property auction as an observer before actively bidding. This will give you a better understanding of the entire process, helping you feel more confident when it’s time to bid on your desired property.

Offline and Online Tax Sales

Tax deeds can be sold in both offline and online auctions. Some counties or municipalities may offer online bidding as a convenient alternative to a physical auction.


Buying tax deed properties successfully requires thoroughly researching each property, understanding auction rules, and selecting appropriate properties within your budget. Observing the auction process can also provide valuable insights for first-time investors.


When it comes to buying tax deed properties, attending auctions is a great way to learn before you start investing. Before raising your hand to bid, be sure you’ve thoroughly examined the property and its location.

When attending auctions, remember these key points:

  1. Focus on properties within your budget: Avoid wasting time and energy on properties you cannot afford. Determine your budget before going to an auction and focus on properties that fall within that range.
  2. Inspect the property: Never bid on a property sight unseen. Take the time to visit the property, check for potential issues such as natural disasters or structural problems, and research the neighborhood. Make sure the property is salable.
  3. Have a backup plan: Competing with other bidders is part of the process, so make sure you have a list of alternative properties in case someone else wins the bid on your preferred property.


By following these guidelines and actively participating in auctions both online and offline, you will increase your chances of securing great real estate when buying tax deed properties. Always remember that the auction process is open to the public, so be prepared to encounter competition. The key to success in buying tax deed properties lies in diligent research, patience, and persistence.

If you’d like to know more about tax lien certificates and tax deed investing, Ted Thomas provides full support and complete training with home study courses, Q&A webinars, live tutorials, workshops, web classes, personal coaching with certified coaches, and an interactive map and auction calendar research tool that allows you to visit each county online to find the details about upcoming auctions.

Want to earn massive income from bargain real estate investing? Would you like to buy mortgage-free properties for pennies on the dollar? Or earn double-digit interest rates secured by real estate? Then get started today with this Free Gift.

Ted Thomas

Ted Thomas is America’s Leading Authority on Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deed Auctions, as well as a publisher and author of more than 30 books. His guidebooks on Real Estate have sold in four corners of the world. He has been teaching people just like you for over 30 years how to buy houses in good neighborhoods for pennies on the dollar. He teaches how to create wealth with minimum risk and easy-to-learn methods.

The Ted Thomas Difference:

  • Ted is recognized as America’s Tax Lien Certificate & Tax Deed Authority and has been helping people with investing in tax defaulted properties for over 30 years.
  • Ted has built a team of certified coaches that have 70 combined years of auction experience and are available to his students by phone to guide and mentor you to avoid getting overwhelmed or worse, losing money
  • Ted has ironclad PROOF that what he is teaching you does work. With hundreds of successful students providing testimonials and a 4.9 Google rating which is unheard of in this industry.
  • Ted and his staff don’t hide behind a website; they can be reached during office hours at 321-449-9940.

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