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Navigating Tax Deed Sales: Georgia Edition

Rachel Seidensticker
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Introduction to Tax Deed Sales in Georgia

Delving into the realm of tax deed sales in Georgia requires a deep understanding of Georgia’s unique procedures. 

This article explores the pros and cons of investing in the Peach State, from outbidding the competition during the in-person auctions in one of the state’s 159 counties to the complexities of redemption and ownership.

Because of the profit potential and procedural pitfalls, a well-informed, thorough approach will serve investors best, regardless of your investment approach. 

Fortunately, Tax Sale Resources has years of experience and tax sale records to draw from for insight. In addition, we’ve shaped our financing program to serve investors in redeemable deed states, making scalability possible for individual investors. 

Read on to discover the keys to maximize returns and learn how to navigate a typical auction at one of Georgia’s county courthouses.

Understanding the Georgia Tax Deed Sales Process

Because every state and county has its own tax sales procedures, it’s crucial to become well-versed wherever you decide to invest. 

Georgia is a tax deed state and holds most of its auctions on the first Tuesday of the month.

Most auctions are live, though a few counties (such as Fulton) have switched to online auctions. So, if you participate in an online auction, your process won’t involve traveling to the county. 

However, for most Georgia counties, investors must travel to participate in the auction, which usually takes place on the steps of the local courthouse.

In-person tax deed sales in Georgia are old-school, with an auctioneer rattling off properties for sale and investors raising their hands to bid. After the auction, every winner must pay their bid by the end of the day, typically with a cashier’s check. 

Failure to do so results in in forfeiture of the property and a possible ban from future auctions. Therefore, it’s essential to have your financing lined up before bidding at an auction.

If you are the lucky winner at a Georgia tax deed sale, you’ll hold the deed for a redemption period of one year and one day. If the property redeems during the first year, you’ll receive a 20% interest payment. You’ll receive an additional 10% if the property redeems on the last day in the redemption window. However, because redemptions require full payment upfront from the interested party, tax deeds in Georgia redeem less frequently than in other states. So, it’s recommended to prepare yourself for ownership if you invest in tax deeds in Georgia.

Once the redemption period expires, you can initiate the barment process. During this phase, you’ll notify all interested parties that you’re taking ownership of the property. Barment is not the same as the quiet title process

Instead, you must complete a separate quiet title process once you finish the barment. When you complete both steps, you’ll acquire the insurable title and become the new owner. 

So, from purchasing a tax deed at auction to becoming the new owner, about 18 months will elapse on average.

Pros of Investing in Georgia Tax Deed Sales

Tax Deed Sales Georgia
Tax Deed Sales Georgia

Georgia is a popular tax deed state for numerous reasons. First, because most of Georgia’s counties practice in-person, live auctions, there is less competition than online auctions. 

Furthermore, Georgia has 159 counties to choose from, allowing investors to spread out and find their niche without running into high-powered corporate investors.

In addition, because redemption is expensive in Georgia, investors are more likely to become the property owner after purchasing a deed. This perk fits investment models predicated upon owning real estate. Plus, if the property redeems, you’ll earn a hefty 20% on your investment and another 10% if it redeems on the final day.

While in-person auctions create natural limitations on how many you can attend, another advantage is that auctions occur every month. This feature gives you multiple opportunities to attend and bid on properties, as opposed to researching hundreds of properties to prepare for a single annual auction. Likewise, the monthly pacing gives you time to scale and reinvest throughout the year.

Cons of Investing in Georgia Tax Deed Sales

On the flip side, Georgia tax deeds also have some drawbacks

For example, the in-person auction format limits scaling because most auctions happen on the first Tuesday of each month. The typical investor can attend three or four auctions at most. So, investors looking to scale by snapping up dozens of properties at a time through online auctions won’t find a profitable fit for their investment models.

Secondly, the high cost of property redemption in Georgia means fewer redemptions. As a result, tax deed sales in Georgia aren’t as suitable for investors prioritizing interest over ownership. Investors looking to own also face their own challenges, as becoming the new other through a deed purchase typically takes about 18 months from the day you win the bid. 

This timeline could create months of inactivity with your money tied up in deeds waiting for the redemption period to finish. 

Plus, the barment process costs thousands of dollars and is a mandatory step to begin the quiet title process.

The Best Way to Research Georgia Tax Deed Sales Online

Knowledge is the lifeblood of profitable investments. 

For Georgia tax deed investors who want to take their game to the next level, Tax Sale Resources offers a Research platform that allows you to find the sales and properties that make the most sense for you. 

No matter your investment model, our research tool allows you to filter swaths of data and find suitable investments based on property type, location, opening, bid amount, and more.

This way, you can find which county has the most properties that fit your investment approach and attend that auction. You’ll free up more time to put into managing your current investments and perform thorough due diligence for the available properties, reducing the risks. 

Furthermore, you won’t depend on the state or individual county for tax sale information. Because Georgia doesn’t release their lists promptly for each month, you’ll have a leg up on the competition and won’t be rushed during your research. 

What to Expect While Attending a Tax Deed Auction in Georgia

Between researching properties, fine-tuning your investment approach, and deciding which county to travel to, you can forget a crucial step: planning out the actual auction day.

Remember, most counties in Georgia have in-person auctions. So, you’ll be standing in front of the courthouse steps in the county of your choice while the auctioneer offers up deeds at a rapid-fire pace. To win a bid, you’ll need to throw yourself into the action and get your hand up for the properties you want.

Although the in-person feature helps dilute the competition, you can count on other investors being present and trying to outbid you on your target properties. 

This reality is why it’s critical to understand your niche and know each property for sale like the back of your hand. Doing so will keep you from overbidding on properties and focusing on opportunities others may miss. 

Remember, you will likely end up as the property owner of at least some of the deeds you win. So, bidding $100,000 over the initial price for a demolished house or vacant lot without a plan to create value is a surefire way to tank your investment.

An Easy Path to Accelerate Your Investing in Georgia Tax Deed Sales

Rapid growth is the key to creating a substantial tax sale business. Unfortunately, the typical individual investor doesn’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to scale as fast as they’d like. 

So, Tax Sale Resources built a financing program that fits redeemable deed states like Georgia. The product allows you to access equity once you win a property at auction.

Here’s how it works: say you spend $100,000 on a tax deed at the latest auction. 

With the traditional lone wolf model, you would be tying up your funds for at least 18 months while you wait for the redemption period to expire and obtain an insurable title

However, Tax Sale Resources can return your capital to you after purchasing a tax deed. This way, you’ll get your $100,000 back and can continue investing at the next auction. As a result, this tool condenses years of investing into months.

Tax Sale Resources financing is accessible for investors of all stripes; there are no title insurance, personal guarantee, or credit score requirements. 

In addition, applications generally take a couple of weeks to fund, putting money back in your account in time for the next auction. So, if you’ve got an investment model that works, you can exponentially boost your potential.   

Future Trends in Georgia Tax Deed Sales 

Georgia hasn’t experienced significant procedural or legislative changes to its tax deed sales in the last several years. 

For example, while a few counties have shifted to online auctions, most remain live and aren’t likely to change soon. Overall, the state continues a reliable pattern in its tax deed sales.

On a broader scale, the Tyler v. Hennepin County case will affect every state, although the implications are still unfolding. 

At this point, the Supreme Court ruling obligates states to return excess proceeds to previous owners, a practice that Georgia has in place. 

As a result, tax deed sales in the state look the same as before the court ruling.

A Deep Dive into Georgia Quitclaim Deeds and Other Legal Considerations

What is a quitclaim deed in Georgia?

A quitclaim deed (also called a non-warranty deed) is one way to transfer property ownership between two parties. 

This deed is common for family members to use when transferring property rights. Because a quitclaim deed doesn't guarantee that the title is clear or that the property is free of outstanding liens, it's crucial to use a title company to verify the title is cloud-free.

What are the Georgia quitclaim deed requirements?

In Georgia, a valid quitclaim deed requires the grantor and grantee's full legal names and addresses, a precise property description, and notarization of both parties' signatures. You'll file the deed with the county clerk's office and may need to bring a witness, as many counties require one. It's advisable to seek legal guidance to ensure compliance with local rules and to understand the implications of the transfer, as quitclaim deeds provide no guarantees about property title.

What is the Georgia quitclaim deed process?

To execute a quitclaim deed in Georgia, draft the deed with complete grantor and grantee details, and notarize the signatures. After signing, deliver the deed to the grantee to complete the transfer. 

Finally, file the deed at the county clerk's office where the property is located, paying any necessary fees. Remember, consulting a legal professional is advised to ensure compliance and understand potential consequences.

How to file a quitclaim deed in Georgia?

You can file a quitclaim deed in Georgia by taking the signed and notarized document to the county clerk’s office in the county of the property being transferred. A fee may be due upon filing.

How much does it cost to file a quitclaim deed in Georgia?

The cost to file a quitclaim deed in Georgia can vary depending on the county in which you file. Each county may set its own fee schedule for recording real estate documents, including quitclaim deeds. Filing fees generally ranged from $10 to $25 in most Georgia counties. However, it's essential to check with the county clerk's office in the specific county where you plan to file the quitclaim deed for the most current and accurate fee information.

Tax Deed Sales: Georgia - Frequently Asked Questions

Is Georgia a tax deed state? Or is Georgia a tax lien state?

Georgia is a redeemable tax deed state. State law allows a year and a day for the deed to redeem.

How do tax liens work in Georgia?

While some states use tax liens when property owners fall behind on taxes, Georgia issues tax deeds for delinquent property taxes. Investors can buy these deeds and earn a 20% interest rate for their investment.

How to find tax lien properties in Georgia?

You can find tax lien properties in Georgia in one of two ways: asking counties for upcoming tax sale information, or conducting independent research. The Tax Sale Resources research tool provides thorough Georgia tax deed information with a few clicks, saving time and helping you find the opportunities that fit your investment model.

How to buy tax lien properties in Georgia?

You can buy tax lien properties in Georgia by attending a county tax deed sale. These auctions are live in most of Georgia and usually occur on the steps of the county courthouse.

What happens if I pay someone else’s property taxes in Georgia?

Paying someone else's property taxes in Georgia is a financial transaction that helps the property owner satisfy their tax obligation to the local government. It does not confer ownership of the property. If you're interested in ownership, you can purchase the tax deed for the property at the county's next tax sale.

How to find a lien on property in Georgia?

You can find properties with liens and deeds in any state, including Georgia, using the Tax Sale Resources Research database.


In Georgia, tax deed sales occur primarily through in-person, live auctions on the first Tuesday of the month in most counties, although some counties have transitioned to online auctions. F

After you win a bid, there's a one-year redemption period before property ownership is transferred. Despite pros like lower competition, monthly auctions, and ownership potential, cons like limited scalability and a lengthy redemption process can hinder investments. As a result, the research tools and financing options from Tax Sale resources can aid investors in this market.

Author - Rachel Seidensticker
Rachel Seidensticker
Chief Operations Officer
In the Tax Sale Industry Since 2010
Rachel is responsible for managing and overseeing the daily operations of Tax Sale Resources, which produces data for approximately 8,000 nationwide tax sales yearly. She started in the tax sale industry originally as an investor but decided to change course and team up with her brother (Brian Seidensticker) to build Tax Sale Resources quickly thereafter.

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