Georgia Tax Deed Sales Information
Property Tax Sales
Tax Sales are held on the first Tuesday of each month, between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm on the steps of The County Courthouse (except when the first Tuesday of the month falls on a legal holiday in which case the sale is held the next business day). A courtesy listing of properties up for sale is available in the office and may be viewed or downloaded from this website or found in the Friday edition of the daily newspaper, for a four-week period prior to the Tuesday Sale date.
You do not need to pre-register to bid at the tax sale; you must be present at the Sale to bid. Bids by mail, phone, or fax are not accepted. The opening bid for a particular property is the amount of tax due, plus penalties, interest, Fi.fa. costs, levy costs, administrative levy fee, certified mail cost, advertising costs, and tax deed preparation and recording fee. The property is sold to the highest bidder. Payment is required in full upon conclusion of the tax sale. Payment must be in the form of cash, cashier’s check, or money order. If there are any excess funds after paying taxes, accrued costs, and all expenses of a tax sale, the Tax Commissioner files an Interpleader Action with Superior Court which determines how the excess funds are to be distributed.
The tax sale purchaser receives a tax deed to the property. However, they cannot take immediate possession of the property, make any improvements to the property, evict any tenants, or move onto the property. Georgia law allows the property owner, or anyone with any right, title or interest in the property to repurchase (redeem) the property. Until the right of redemption has been foreclosed or the title has ripened by prescription, a tax deed has the same force and effect as a lien.
The County Tax Commissioner receives many inquiries concerning real estate tax sales. Both Non-Judicial Ex-Officio Tax Sales and Judicial In Rem Tax Foreclosure Sales are conducted each month. This brief publication is designed to answer questions and provide an insight into the legal framework that gives the authority for conducting a real estate tax sale in the state of Georgia.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or assistance. Prospective purchasers are encouraged to consult an attorney. Keep foremost in mind that it is up to the purchasers at a tax sale to assure themselves of the soundness of the sale and the deed acquired at the sale. No warranties are given or implied and clear title is not contemplated. Our primary concern is the payment of delinquent taxes. The conveying of property, or rights to property, is coincidental.
Applicable references to the Official Code of Georgia are given both as a source of authority and to add to a clear understanding of real estate tax sales in the state of Georgia.
ATTENTION Prospective Non-Judicial Purchasers:
You are encouraged to read the following information which will answer most of your questions regarding tax sales. As tax sale purchasers, you are responsible for knowing the law regarding tax sale purchases and should familiarize yourself with all the applicable statues. You should research each property, perform a site visit and know the property prior to bidding at tax sale.
You are reminded that a tax deed only conveys “defeasible” title to property. To acquire fee simple title to property, a tax deed purchaser must foreclose the right to redeem pursuant to state law.
The legal axiom of caveat emptor “buyer beware” applies to tax sales (O.C.G.A.§ 9-13-167). Therefore, you are charged with knowledge of the titles of the properties sold and any defects in these titles. The County Tax Commissioner does not warrant the titles and any title search done for the Tax Commissioner should not be considered an opinion of title to rely on by tax sale purchasers.
The County Tax Commissioner reserves the right to void any tax sale that is later determined to have conditions which may invalidate a sale. The Tax Commissioner cannot and does not guarantee any expected gain on investment.
Several actions are required by law in preparation for auctioning property. Information folders are kept on these parcels including our title search, tax maps and /or plat, various correspondences, and our Ex-Officio Sheriff’s Notice of Service. Our title searches are for our purposes only, and would not serve the needs of the buying public. Keep in mind that it is the purchasers’ responsibility to assure themselves of the soundness of the titles of all properties sold at a tax sale.
Questions may arise that are outside of the scope of the duties and responsibilities of the Tax Commissioner. For example, concerns regarding building code requirements, sewer lines, easements, etc. are not handled by the Tax Commissioner. In these cases, the person interested in the property must seek answers in other county and city offices.
An important point that must not be overlooked by the purchaser at a tax sale is that other taxes might be unpaid. If the parcel of land is located in a city that collects their own taxes, the city taxes could be unpaid as well. It is also possible that additional county taxes have become delinquent since proceedings first began on the parcel you are considering.
Can you lose money? Maybe! One can obtain a bad deed or title at a sale, whether from an individual or from a tax sale. It is recommended that those contemplating purchasing property at a tax sale consult an attorney, assure that the title is good, verify the information gathered, read those sections of Georgia law pertaining to tax sales, and attend sales to become familiar with the proceedings.
The buyer at a tax auction is responsible for proper processing of documents concerning the foreclosure of the owner’s right to redeem and those documents concerning the right of redemption. The Tax Commissioner’s Office prepares and records the Tax Deed and the Real Estate Transfer Tax form after the sale.
Georgia Tax Deed Property Summary
Georgia tax deed sales
Held on the first Tuesday of any month, contact county treasurer for more information.
Georgia also conducts tax deed sales, rules and times vary based on county
All tax deed sales are by competitive bid