Tax Lien Certificate Auctions
Realauction.com has developed a complete internet application designed to replace the traditional delinquent tax certificate auction held on location at the county.
With Realauction software, tax sale auctions that used to require several weeks to hold can now be completed in just a few hours! Governments can also reduce the cost and staffing resources required to host a traditional certificate auction, while making the tax sale easier and more secure for the county and the bidders.
In addition to the hosting the auction, Realauction removes the burden of a traditional sale by assuming all auction responsibilities from the Tax Collector including advertising, collections and customer service.
How the Sale Works
In the months preceding the opening of the auction, a custom website site is created according to county specifications.
Two months before bidding begins, a welcome package is mailed to all previous and prospective bidders explaining the new sale procedures and providing the dates of scheduled training classes to be held at the county. This mailing is provided at no charge to the county.
A demonstration site or “trial” auction is also opened for the bidders to test the system before the actual auction starts.
Bidders may visit the site at any time to register to participate in the sale.
Advertising (bidding opens)
On the same day the first advertiser file is published by the county in the local newspaper, the list is published on the website. Bidders may enter their bids anytime during this period until the auction ends. All research is available on the site at this time.
In order to be eligible to win certificates (not bid) participants must meet the county’s deposit requirements. Generally the county requires 10% of the anticipated winnings be held on deposit before a bid is considered, although such rules may be defined by the county in advance and may differ.
For example, if a bidder places a deposit of $1,000, the bidder cannot win more the $10,000 of certificates. This provides a natural budget for the bidder.
Bidders are encouraged to use the Automated Clearing House (ACH) wizard on the website. Deposits can also be made using cash, wire transfers, or counter checks. There are no ACH fees for the county! The cost of the ACH transfers are included in the $5 fee.
In order to make the sale easier to manage for bidders, certificates are combined in groups called batches. The county decides the size of the batches; however generally they are blocks of 500 or 1000 certificates each, and can be arranged by subdivision etc.
The county chooses the day when the auction officially ends. At a specific time on that day the first batch officially closes and winners are determined.
Results are posted within 5 minutes of a batch closing. The advantage of the batch format is that a bidder can see the auction results and quickly determine if their bids need adjusting for future batches. Additional deposits can also be made at anytime during the sale.
Pay for Certificates
After all batches have closed, the bidder can pay for his/her certificates through the ACH wizard on the site.
The “unofficial” results are posted on the site along with various statistics regarding bidding patterns etc.