Virginia Real Estate Tax Sales FAQ
When and where are the tax sales advertised?
Tax sales are advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction. We also maintain an interested bidder's list to receive an electronic notification of upcoming sales. If you wish to sign up, please click here.
When and where are tax sales conducted?
Tax sales are generally conducted at the local courthouse in the jurisdiction where the property is located. The exact date, time and location of the tax sale can be determined from the Notice of Sale published in the newspaper or by clicking on the Tax Sales Property Listing above.
What if I purchase a property that is encumbered by a mortgage or other lien?
As a part of the tax sale proceeding, all parties in interest are determined and are notified of the pending proceeding to sell the property for delinquent taxes. Virginia law permits the property to pass free of such liens and encumbrances upon the confirmation of the sale by the Court.
Is payment in full required the day of the sale?
A deposit of 25% of the bid price or $1,000, whichever is more, is due by the conclusion of the auction. The remaining purchase price is due within fifteen (15) days from the confirmation of sale by the Court. Notice of the confirmation of sale will be forwarded to the successful bidder, along with a notification of the remaining amount to be paid.
What is the bidding process?
The bidding begins with the minimum bid amount, usually between what is due to redeem the property and the assessed or appraised value, and bidding increases according to the bids, in incremental amounts. All sales are made to the highest bidder.
What is the minimum bid I should expect to pay?
All sales require confirmation by the Court. The Special Commissioner of sale will report on the overall bidding of the property, the appraised or assessed value of the property, the outstanding tax amount due, and the bid amount received for the property. The bid should bear some relation to the value of the property. In the event that the bid amount is unreasonable in relation to the approximate value of the property, the Special Commissioner may recommend that the sale not be approved. Additionally, the Court may determine not to approve the sale on its own if the bid amount is out of line with the overall property value.
Does your Law Firm offer a financing program or any discounts?
What type of ownership document is issued at the sale?
A receipt of bid and deposit is issued on the day of the sale. Upon the Court's confirmation of the sale, you will be notified of the remaining amount due for your bid, if any, and that you may pick up your deed for recordation.
What happens to the properties that are not sold at the auction?
If the properties do not sell at the auction, they may be advertised again and the sale process attempted for a second time.
How do I find out the results of a tax sale auction including which properties were sold to whom and for what amount?
That information is public record and can be found in the records of the local Circuit Court. The information is contained in a Decree Confirming the Sale.
What if I purchase property at a tax sale and then the prior owner wants to redeem the property?
We cannot give you any legal advice regarding that matter, except to advise you to seek your own legal counsel if you are unsure of any redemption period applicable to the property.
If I purchase property at a tax sale and later become dissatisfied with the property may I cancel the sale and have a refund of the purchase price?
Once the sale is confirmed by the Court, you become the legal owner of the property and the funds paid are not redeemable. If prior to the confirmation of sale, you become disinterested in the property, you will not be entitled to a refund of your deposit. In such cases, the second highest bidder may be contacted and the property may be sold for the second highest bid, subject to the Court's confirmation. In such an event, you may be responsible for costs and fees incurred to sell the property for a second time.
Will I be able to get title insurance on a property I purchase at tax sale?
We cannot guarantee that title insurance will be available. Underwriting practices vary from one company to the next with regards to tax sale property. If the availability of title insurance is of paramount importance to you, we urge that you explore that matter with a title company of your choice prior to any tax sale purchase.
What type of deed do I receive following confirmation of the sale?
A Special Commissioner's Deed, a type of special warranty deed, will be available at the local Circuit Court for recordation. There may be a recordation fee.
foregoing material is strictly for informational purposes only
and does not provide legal advice or services. Use of any
of the foregoing information does not create an attorney-client
should not act on the information provided without
seeking legal counsel of your choice. The law firm of Linebarger
Goggan Blair & Sampson,
LLP represents a number of taxing jurisdictions. We
do not represent taxpayers, purchasers of judgment property, or
any other outside interests. For
further information, please contact your attorney.