Seminole County Tax Deed Sales: Acquire Homes at a Discount

Seminole County’s tax deed sale is an auction managed by the county to recover unpaid property taxes. For investors however, tax deed sales represent a prime opportunity to purchase properties at significantly reduced prices. This comprehensive guide explores the process, advantages, and strategies for engaging in tax deed auctions. It equips investors like you with the necessary insights to obtain properties well below their market value, highlighting a pathway to potentially significant returns on investment.

Table of Contents

Seminole County Courthouse with tax deed sale sign and diverse group of investors lined up, symbolizing financial opportunity in tax deed investing.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tax deed sales occur when the local government auctions off foreclosed properties to recover unpaid property taxes. These auctions allow investors like you to acquire properties for 20 to 50 cents on the dollar without a mortgage.
  2. The process involves the county notifying the homeowner, acquiring the tax deed, auctioning the property, and finalizing the sale. Seminole County Courthouse holds auctions monthly.
  3. The advantage of tax deed investing in Seminole County, FL, lies in acquiring properties at significant discounts and with no mortgage, as these are extinguished post-sale.
  4. Visit the county website for the auction schedule, location, and registration requirements.

What is a Tax Deed?

If property taxes go unpaid, the county may foreclose the property and transfer ownership to a new owner via a tax deed. This process hands over property rights to a buyer, usually through a public auction organized by the local government to recover owed taxes. This public auction is also known as a tax deed sale.

Investors can acquire tax-defaulted properties through Seminole County’s tax deed sales, often at a fraction of their market value and free of mortgages.

How do Tax Deed Sales Work in Seminole County, FL?

Seminole County conducts public auctions known as tax deed sales to sell homes due to unpaid property taxes to the highest bidder. Here is a simplified guide to the typical process of these transactions:

  1. Notification of Sale: Seminole County announces a public auction for selling tax-delinquent homes.
  2. Attaining the Tax Deed: Before auctioning, the county must obtain a tax deed as legal proof of the right to sell the property.
  3. Bidding at Auction: Interested parties submit bids starting at a minimum amount set by the county, which includes unpaid property taxes and any additional costs incurred.
  4. Winning the Auction: The highest bidder becomes the property’s new owner upon payment.
  5. Post-Sale Process: Should the winning bid exceed the owed property taxes, the previous homeowner may claim the surplus funds.

Remember, investing in tax deeds is distinctly different from purchasing tax liens, with the vital contrast that buying a deed involves taking ownership of the property.

If you are considering participating in a tax deed sale in Seminole County, here is a link to Florida Statute 197.542. Since this statute outlines the rules for tax deed sales, it is advisable to review it before participating.

To give you a head start, here are some important bits from the statue:

  • The Clerk of the Circuit Court in Seminole County manages the public auctions where properties are sold.
  • The highest bidder at the specified time and location, as published within the auction notice, receives the property and finalizes the sale.

When and Where Tax Deed Sales Occur in Seminole County, FL

Seminole County typically holds tax deed sales monthly. However, the exact dates and times can vary, so it is essential to check the Seminole County Clerk’s website for the most up-to-date information.

As for location, the county only does in-person auctions. As such, tax deed sales are conducted at the Seminole County Florida Civil Courthouse located at 301 N. Park Ave. Sanford, FL 32771.

Guidelines for Participating in the Local Tax Deed Auction

Registration Requirements

  • A valid government-issued ID
  • Proof of funds (Only cash & cashier’s check are accepted)
  • Completed registration form

Registration Process

According to Seminole County’s website, you only need to bring a valid photo ID to the auction. There is no need to pre-register unless you are bidding on behalf of a corporation. At that point, you’ll need proof that you can represent the company in the auction. As of writing, there is no registration fee to participate in Seminole County tax deed sales. However, this is subject to change, so always verify with the county website beforehand.

Initial Pricing for Bids

For your convenience, here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the usual costs that may be included in the starting bid at a tax deed sale in Seminole County:
  1. Initial tax lien amount
  2. Accrued interest from tax lien
  3. Additional costs, including: 
  • Administrative fees
  • Service charges
  • Marketing expenses related to the sale
You are not allowed to leave the courtroom to get your payment so make sure you have enough funds to cover the deposit. The deposit is 5% percent of the winning bid, or $200, whichever is greater. Properties that do not sell at auctions are listed as “lands available for taxes.” You can find them on the county’s website’s Public Notices and Sale section. Seminole County offers these to any interested party, including government entities, at the initial bid price without additional notices or advertising.

Advantages of Investing in Tax Deeds in Seminole County, FL

Acquiring Property at Pennies on the Dollar

Through Seminole County, FL, tax deed sales, investors can obtain properties significantly below market value. As outlined in the Initial Pricing for Bids section, the starting bid for most homes includes only the unpaid property tax, interest, and specific fees. As such, the starting bid will likely be only a fraction of the property’s market value.

Liens on the Property are Wiped Out after the Sale

One of the most enticing aspects of tax deed investing is the opportunity to clear various types of liens on the property after the sale. County tax liens take precedence over most other property liens, ensuring a clear title for the new owner. Tax deed sales can effectively eliminate a wide range of encumbrances, including:

  • Mortgages
  • Deed of Trust
  • Mechanics Liens 
  • And much more

However, it’s important to note that certain liens, including municipal and code enforcement liens, may survive tax deed sales in Florida.

Seminole County Tax Deed Sale FAQs

Yes, but only before the sale. Once the property has been sold, the previous owner cannot get it back.

Yes, you can stop a tax deed sale on your property in Florida by paying the delinquent taxes, interest, costs, and fees before the auction.

As discussed in the blog, certain liens, such as municipal and code enforcement liens, may survive a tax deed sale.

The money from the sale first covers the delinquent taxes, fees, and costs. The surplus will then pay for other liens in the property based on priority. Finally, the leftover funds, if any, goes to the homeowner.

Conclusion

Investing in Seminole County, Florida’s tax deed sales offer investors a lucrative opportunity to acquire properties at bargain prices. By understanding the intricacies of the process, adhering to the guidelines, and strategically participating in auctions, investors can significantly enhance their real estate portfolios while minimizing risks. With the potential to secure homes at below-market values and the advantage of clearing various liens, tax deed sales in Seminole County stand out as an attractive investment avenue worth exploring.

If you’d like to know more about tax-defaulted real estate investing, Ted Thomas provides full support and complete training with home study coursesQ&A webinarslive tutorialsworkshops, web classespersonal 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.

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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