How to Find Tax Lien Properties Free: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you interested in investing in real estate properties at incredibly low prices? In this article, we will explore the world of tax lien properties and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to find these properties for free. With proper research and knowledge, you can purchase properties for pennies on the dollar and potentially earn significant profits when you resell them.

The Abundance of Tax Delinquent Properties

County governments have an abundance of tax delinquent properties that are sold at tax defaulted auctions. These properties are often available for a fraction of their actual worth. By tapping into these auctions, you can potentially find lucrative investment opportunities. The best part is that you can conduct this business entirely online, from the comfort of your own home or office.

Understanding Tax Lien Certificates

Before delving further into the process, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between tax lien certificates and property ownership. When a county sells a tax lien certificate, it does not transfer ownership of the property. Instead, the buyer of the certificate gains the right to earn money when the property owner pays their taxes and redeems the property.

The Role of Legislation and County Governments

In all 50 states, property owners are required to pay taxes according to legislation created by the state legislatures. These laws are then compiled into statutes, which govern how taxes are enforced at the county level. County governments, such as boards of supervisors or county commissioners, are responsible for enforcing these rules.

The Tax Lien Process

When a property owner fails to pay their taxes, the county treasurer places a lien on the property. The treasurer then sends multiple default notices to the property owner, following due process of law. If the property owner continues to neglect their tax payments, the county will proceed to levy against the property, confiscate it, and eventually auction it off.

Auctions and Surplus Lands

Tax defaulted properties are typically sold at auctions, starting at a minimum bid for both tax liens and defaulted properties. Properties go to the highest bidder, while tax liens often go to the lowest bidder. In cases where properties do not sell at the auction, the county may attempt to sell them again or list them as surplus lands or forfeited lands. These unsold properties are usually available for purchase over the counter.

Buying Properties from the County

When buying properties from the county, it’s important to note that they are sold as-is, meaning the county does not guarantee their condition or the title. It is the buyer’s responsibility to conduct due diligence and address any potential issues with the property. Purchasing these properties requires knowledge and experience, as it is a business that comes with inherent risks.

Researching County Records and Legal Notices

To minimize risks and make informed investment decisions, it is essential to thoroughly research county records and legal notices. County websites often provide information about properties, but it is crucial to remember that this information is provided on a buyer beware basis. Buyers should consult legal professionals and conduct their own assessments before participating in tax defaulted auctions.

Understanding Quit Claim Deeds

In many cases, the deeds for tax defaulted properties are quit claim deeds, indicating that the county is not providing any warranty or guarantee regarding the condition or title of the property. Buyers must take on the responsibility of verifying the property’s condition and resolving any title issues. Seeking advice from attorneys and professionals in this field is highly recommended.

The Importance of Margin

The key to success in this business is the margin between the purchase price and the potential resale price. By purchasing properties at significantly reduced prices, investors can create substantial profit margins. However, it is crucial to consider the additional costs associated with property maintenance, repairs, and addressing title issues. These expenses can significantly impact the final profit margin.

Tips and Precautions

  • Only invest in tax defaulted properties that have the potential for a quick resale without major repairs.
  • Avoid properties that are deemed worthless or in poor condition.
  • Understand that the county may remove the deed or mortgage, but other liens may still exist.
  • Always thoroughly research and verify the condition and title of a property before making a purchase.
  • Seek professional advice from attorneys and experts to ensure a smooth and successful investment experience.
  • Recognize that investing in tax defaulted properties is a long-term strategy, as there will always be a fresh crop of properties available each year.


Investing in tax lien properties can be a lucrative venture if done correctly. By following the steps outlined in this guide and conducting thorough research, you can potentially find properties worth thousands of dollars for just a fraction of their value. Remember to exercise caution, seek professional advice, and properly assess the potential risks and rewards of each investment opportunity. With dedication and knowledge, you can navigate the world of tax defaulted properties and achieve success in this business.

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