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Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List the Comprehensive Guide

Rachel Seidensticker
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The most fundamentally vital tool for any tax sale investor is the tax delinquent properties for sale list. That’s where the process for investors all begins. Without the tax delinquent properties for sale list, you don’t know what’s available or where to start the process of deciding what to bid on at auction. That’s true whether the investor is an individual who has never before invested in tax sales, a seasoned professional who has decades of experience, or a large hedge fund that invests vast amounts of capital all across the nation. 

But depending on which method you choose, obtaining those lists and verifying the information can be extremely complicated and cumbersome, or quick and easy. 

Since we gather and process thousands of tax delinquent properties for sale lists yearly, we will show you a few different ways to collect the lists. These processes outlined below will be for the frugal investor looking for free tax delinquent lists or the investor looking for a pain free easy process to save their valuable time. Either way, let’s get started!

Let's Get Started and Review Some of the Ins and Outs of Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale Lists

There are a variety of different sources and ways to obtain a tax delinquent properties for sale list. All tax delinquent properties for sale lists originate with the taxing authority (municipality, counties, etc) auctioning off the tax liens and tax deeds. After the taxing authority posts the tax delinquent for sale list, there are a couple of main ways to get the data. 

Tax Delinquent Property For Sale List - New Jersey

The old way may require you to contact the county treasurer, the local sheriff, or whoever may be organizing and conducting the auction – either by phone, email, fax, or in person visits.

While this process may not sound like a huge deal for one auction, the pain, hassle, and challenges get magnified when you want lists for multiple auctions across different geographic footprints. 

For example, in New Jersey there are 566 different municipalities and each of them conducts their own auctions and compile their own tax delinquent properties for sale lists. In this scenario, you may be faced with getting in touch with hundreds of tax collection authorities just to start your search.

Fortunately, we will also be covering an easier solution where all the tedious work has been completed for you! That’s why Tax Sale Resources was originally launched, as a way to simplify the search for tax delinquent property for sale lists. 

Initially, the founders of Tax Sale Resources were only trying to obtain their own tax delinquent lists, for their own purposes, so they could identify potentially profitable bidding opportunities. 

So, like most determined investors, they started tracking down where to find tax delinquent properties for sale lists and getting their hands on them. They made notes about how each taxing authority conducted their auctions, what their rules and timelines were, and how to participate in those auctions as a bidder. They then filled in the gaps in the data about tax delinquent properties with additional details they gathered through hard work and due diligence.

Soon they had accumulated a treasure trove of information and had it highly organized, completely digitized, and easily searchable. Most importantly, they kept refreshing and updating their data to keep tabs on changes in rules and regulations while also adding all the many thousands of new lists that are constantly published. After all, hundreds of thousands of property owners become delinquent on their taxes each year, in states all across America. The National Tax Lien Association estimates that there are more than $20 billion in  delinquent property taxes in the United States each year, and that annually approximately $5 billion worth of tax liens and deeds – or more – are put up for sale. Each one of those represents a new investment opportunity, but only if you know about it and have sufficient information to help you make informed investment decisions.

Luckily for investors, Tax Sale Resources now shares all of its increasingly valuable data through affordable subscriptions, while continuing to compile 8,000 comprehensive tax delinquent property lists per year. Tax Sale Resources also offers its clients vast amounts of other highly relevant hard-to-find data that is critical if you intend to perform insightful due diligence and avoid bidding on money-losing tax sale instruments while capitalizing on the lucrative ones tailor-made for your own portfolio. But before we jump in and grab the tax delinquent lists, there are a couple of things to think of first.

Identify Which Type of Tax Delinquent Properties you are Interested In

First gain a crystal clear idea of exactly what kinds of investment opportunities fit your goals. Otherwise it’s like setting out on a cross-country road trip with no destination in mind and no road map. You’ll arrive somewhere, but it may not be where you wanted to go.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing in Delinquent Properties

To narrow your parameters, choose what kind of tax delinquent property lists you should gather.

  • Do you want to purchase tax delinquent liens, deeds, hybrids that offer characteristics of both, or some combination of the three types of investment instruments? 
  • Do you have a small or large amount of capital to invest? 
  • How long are you willing to tie up that capital while the investment process plays out?
  • Do you want to invest short-term for profits that may be smaller but offer a chance to get your investment principle back to reinvest it in another tax sale? 
  • Are you comfortable with leaving your money in the investment for a longer period of time, in exchange for the potential to reap larger profits down the road?

Three Different Kinds of Tax Delinquent Property Investments

Here are some key characteristics of each investment type to help you know which kinds of tax delinquent property for sale list you need.

  • Tax Lien Properties - Most investors are attracted to these because they can earn interest and other revenue that is owed to the taxing authorities, and that interest paid can be much, much higher than what typical investments pay. They could also subsequently end up with a chance to own the underlying property. But if ownership is your primary goal, investing in deed properties is a more direct and predictable path for you to take.
  • Deed Properties - In these kinds of auctions, you are bidding for an ownership interest in the property. If you win the auction, you become the new owner, which is why these investments often require much more capital when compared with tax lien sales. That’s because the payoff – you might wind up owning a perfectly good high-value piece of real estate for pennies on the dollar.
  • Redeemable Deed Properties - Redeemable deed properties offer a mix of investment opportunities, so they are a hybrid between tax lien and tax deed property investments. That’s why these auctions are also called hybrid tax delinquency sales. You are bidding on the deed to take ownership. But the deed may be “redeemed” by the delinquent taxpayer – which means they pay back everything they owe in taxes and fees before the redemption deadline. By doing so, they get to keep the property – but you get to earn interest for your efforts.

Solidify which Tax Delinquent Type Fits Your Desired Investment Business Model

To figure out which is your cup of tea, you’ll need to decide whether it’s important to have a chance to wind up actually owning a property by investing in tax deeds or whether you are instead mainly interested in earning interest on your investment – by investing in tax liens. 

Maybe you want to earn interest while also having a chance at taking possession of the underlying property – in which case a hybrid redeemable deed is ideal since it may offer both opportunities. 

Defining your objectives or your investment business model is of utmost importance. Otherwise you’re just randomly putting up money without really targeting a particular financial asset or outcome. 

When searching, you will generally find much longer tax delinquent property lists for tax lien auctions – because those delinquency rates are generally much higher. 

Tax delinquent property lists for deed auctions are normally considerably shorter because fewer properties get that far along in the delinquency process and timeline. Less of them come up for auction, particularly properties that are of higher quality and potential market value – since taxpayers are more apt to repay or redeem those delinquencies in order to hold onto their properties and the equity they’ve put into them. While a large county may have a list of thousands of tax lien properties for sale, the same county may only have a handful of tax deed properties listed.

Are You Able to Attend the Tax Delinquent Property Auction in Person?

Another aspect of investing to pay attention to is the method by which an auction is conducted. Some are done only in person. Others are online auctions. In some jurisdictions, they use both of these methods. What experts have discovered is that online auctions may enable investors to gain access to significantly more property data than can be expected from a traditional offline auction. So that can also be a determining factor when you consider your business model and what kinds of lists you want.

Proper Due Diligence on Tax Delinquent Properties Makes All the Difference

Knowledge is power and especially when it comes to delinquent tax investing. You may know exactly what you’re looking for, but a competing bidder may be looking for the same thing but have much more detailed information about the property than you do. That puts you at a disadvantage, making it harder to figure out how much you’re willing to bid and how much you may need to invest after the sale if you end up owning the property.

The competition is fierce. So you must specialize in a niche that suits your investment priorities and goals.

Good Data Separates Winners from Losers in Tax Delinquent Property Investing

Even specialists will lose out if they don’t have sufficient data to support their decisions – or if harvesting that data is so time intensive, laborious, and expensive that it undermines their profit margins. That is why so many investors use Tax Sale Resources as their go-to source for up-to-date and highly detailed tax sales data. 

The best way to see the difference of using Tax Sale Resources - Research is to see how investors did their research in the days before they discover the new and improved way, and then compare and contrast the two methods. 

The Old-Fashioned Way to Find Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List

The Old-Fashioned Way to Find Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale Lists

The old-fashioned way to look for a tax delinquent properties for sale list is to contact the local tax assessor in the jurisdiction where you want to invest. That could require hundreds of phone calls, just to explore your options in your own geographical area.

To make these old-fashioned methods a little easier, investors can utilize our free state and county directories for basic county and delinquent tax sale information.

Tax Delinquent List State Directory

Start the Hunt for your Tax Delinquent Property For Sale List

If the lists aren’t available on the county website, contact the tax authority by phone, email, or in person, and tell them you want the tax delinquent properties for sale list, and they’ll tell you how to obtain it.

Here are examples of counties where the tax assessor’s office has a website to reference for this data.

While searching each individual county's website may seem like a hassle, some counties go much further in making it difficult for a potential investor.

Other Places you May Find the Tax Delinquent Property For Sale List 

There are also counties that publish their tax delinquent properties for sale lists in the local newspaper, and to get those lists you may have to view a digital edition of the newspaper or purchase a printed copy. 

That may be done by contacting the newspaper office, or you may have to find someone living in that area who can buy or photocopy the paper and send it to you.

Examples of counties still using newspapers for tax delinquent property for sale list distribution:

Not only does this slow down the process of finding the initial tax delinquent property list, it also increases the chance of due diligence errors due to the amount of hand writing and transferring of data between the multiple formats.

Tax Delinquent Property Investing Challenges for Investors Using the Old-Fashioned Method

For investors using these old fashioned methods at scale requires them to build their own teams of researchers whose job it is to obtain the lists, collect relevant information regarding the auctions, and conduct due diligence on the properties. That means making phone calls, manually typing information, transferring data to spreadsheets, and oftentimes traveling long distances to visit those counties. Worse yet, if you can’t afford your own team, you would have to do all of that work yourself, or be unable to properly scale your tax delinquent property investing.

Another major hurdle is that because there are so many different jurisdictions, each with their own particular rules and ways of doing things, and there’s no consistent standardization of data using the old-fashioned way of researching tax delinquent properties. 

For example, how you get the lists may change from county to county and state to state. Once you have the list, the information it contains can vary wildly and range from the bare minimum to more detailed.

What to Expect Gathering Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List Using the Old-Fashioned Method

The original list from the taxing authority, referred to sometimes as the raw list, will usually – but not always – include the parcel number, the name of the delinquent taxpayer, and how much they owe. 

Then again, it may not show the taxpayer’s name and may only give a partial parcel number. Even with the full parcel number, lists don’t necessarily tell you anything about the features of the property. It may or may not tell you the address so you can drive by and see it for yourself. It could be a vacant lot, a hilltop mansion, a sprawling ranch, or just a mailbox somewhere. The auction vendor might include assessed information like estimated market values and how many bedrooms and bathrooms a home has, but not necessarily. 

You’re left with lots of questions and few answers.

Things to Avoid as You Search for a Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List

While searching for tax delinquent properties, you’ll want to create your own “short list” based on your specific investor preferences. Track those that you deem worthy of consideration for bidding on at a tax lien or deed sale. But just because a property is on a list, that doesn’t necessarily mean it holds value for you, as an investor. 

There are often properties that show up on tax delinquent properties for sale lists, but upon further investigation you learn that there are problems. Maybe the property is nothing more than just a sidewalk or a mailbox.

Perhaps after the list was drawn up, the house on the property that you were interested in burned to the ground. There could be hazardous material on the property that will be prohibitively expensive for you to safely remove. 

Is it a great house, but in a flood zone, landlocked, or subject to other conditions that make it difficult or impossible to insure

What if the land a home is one has no access to electricity or water? 

Has it been involved in a tax sale auction before, and was the lien or deed redeemed? 

There are myriad reasons why a property may be worth less than you can see at face value by just looking at for sale lists.

But it happens all the time, where the tax authority doesn't underwrite the property or go look at it before the lists are published. You’re buying as-is, and the old adage “let the buyer beware” is applicable. It’s up to you, not the taxing authorities, to do the research before you commit more time, effort, and money toward a tax investment.

Keep in mind that if you’re manually typing and retyping data, copying and pasting information from tax lists, and recording such things as those all-important parcel numbers, mistakes can happen. That’s why the old way of doing all of this is so obsolete and unnecessary. Today you have an alternative that will eliminate all of those pitfalls for you while also saving you untold hours and headaches.

The New Way to Find a Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List to Save Your Time and Sanity

The New Way to Find Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale Lists

To make your job easier, for example, Tax Sale Resources offers a Nationwide Research Tool, which is the Future Forward Method of collecting and analyzing your tax sale data.

Tax Sale Resources has revolutionized the delinquent tax investing industry by aggregating data, sorting it, and providing it in a standardized digital format. This change eliminated the need for manually typing information and photocopying it or working the phones all day just to find out how to get a tax delinquent properties list.

With a few clicks you can access up to 110 fields of information on any tax delinquent property nationwide. Furthermore, you can set your preferences for what particular type of tax delinquent property meet your investment criteria, and it can be automatically sent to your email inbox whenever new properties are up for auction.

Now to simplify your tax sale investing life just follow the simple steps below.

Step 1) Sign up for a Tax Sale Resources - Research Account

To get started we have a limited trial offer, so you can test out the platform before committing to it on a monthly basis. After following the link you will have to create an account, confirm your email, login to the system, enter your card on file, and then you will be off and to the races.

Sign up for Tax Sale Resources Research to quickly find your tax delinquent property for sale list

Step 2) Search and Filter for the Auction you want

After the initial login and set-up you will land on the auctions tab where we have all the upcoming auction listed for you to search, filter, review, and download.

Filter to the tax delinquent property for sale list Georgia

Step 3a) Download Raw Auction Data

Data option number one is to just download the raw tax delinquent property list. This is the same file we receive from the county and doesn't include all of our enhanced data sets.

Download the tax delinquent property for sale list Florida

Step 3b) Click the Auction Link 

To access the more advanced data sets, click on the auction hyperlink to view further auction details.

View more data on tax delinquent property for sale list Arkansas

Step 4) Click Access Data

This screen will simply show you the auction details and some basic county information to make your research fast and easy. To proceed into the tax delinquent properties, click the "Access Data" button in blue.

Access the enhanced data for the tax delinquent property for sale list Arkansas

Step 5) Search, Filter, and Tag Delinquent Properties

Now you can see all the delinquent properties going to auction, so now the fun begins. You can filter the list, zoom in on the map, click each individual property for more details, and tag the properties you want to keep to make compiling your bid list fast and easy!

Detailed investment due diligence for tax delinquent property for sale list Arkansas

Step 6) Export Data and Prepare Your Bid

Finished reviewing the data? Now you can filter to the parcels you want to keep and export that list to Excel. This will give you a chance to see all the data in one spot before finalizing your bid, and keep you from the dreaded copy and pasting of parcel numbers!

Prepare your tax delinquent property for sale list bid file

If you would like to see the process of finding your tax delinquent properties for sale list using the Research platform check out the following video:

Using the new and improved method to find a tax delinquent properties for sale list you don't have to personally do the work to collect the tax delinquent list, harvest the data that’s missing, and figure out how you're going to filter it. 

You just login to Tax Sale Resources, set your search criteria, and get virtually instantaneous answers you can depend upon to make your investment decisions. That’s true whether you’re looking for a retail store, an apartment building, an office, a house in the country, a hotel, or vacant land.

Next Steps After Finding the Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale List

Let’s say you’ve got the tax delinquent properties for sale list and have done some research based on your criteria. Okay, so what’s next?

You want to participate in an auction, and here are a few things to know to help you proceed.

Do Your Homework

  • Make sure you don’t inherit the previous owner’s liability like IRS debts or the presence of toxic environmental waste
  • Use the right tools for the job (i.e. - Tax Sale Resources - Research)
  • Invest in familiarizing yourself with the tax sale investing industry and utilize the learning resources available for free on the Tax Sale Resources website. Another great resource covering tax sale investing more in depth can be found in our Beginners Guide to Investing in Tax Liens and Tax Deeds

Your Friendly Reminder - Don't Forget The Sherman Act!

One thing to be wary of is that you don’t want to strategize or cooperate with other competing bidders about how much you’re going to bid, what to bid on, and those kinds of details. Federal law makes it illegal to do this kind of collaboration or price fixing. To learn more about this and the related Sherman Antitrust Act it is covered in detail in our Tax Sales Rules, Regulations, and Federal Antitrust Law blog post.

Frequently Asked Questions by Investors Searching for Tax Delinquent Properties For Sale Lists

You’ll have many questions, and many will be answered if you utilize the free resources on the Tax Sale Resources blog, or if you have found these resources helpful you can sign-up for our newsletter to make sure you never miss a golden nugget of investment knowledge.

Here are a few common frequently asked questions from investor:

  • How Do I Bid on Tax Delinquent Properties? Each jurisdiction or county has their rules regarding bidding and paying for winning bids. You may have to bid on the courthouse steps or maybe you can do it online. Just call the county and ask them how it works where they are, before you plan to participate. You may be required to pre-register beforehand, so ask about that. Otherwise you may risk showing up and being told you can’t bid. Then calculate your budget, review your criteria, study your lists, do your due diligence, and place your bids.
  • How Do I Find the Best Deals? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. But the best way is to clearly define your goals and business model. Then focus on taking advantage of investment opportunities that satisfy those specific criteria.
  • How Do I Know Which States Offer Tax Sales? You can use the Tax Sale Resources nationwide search tool to find that information.
  • What Are the Rules in the County I Where I Want to Bid? The answer may be on the Tax Sale Resources website, or you can contact the county’s tax assessor by phone or through their website.
  • How do I get a list of tax lien properties? Whether you are looking at investing in tax liens, tax deeds, or redeemable deeds both the old-fashioned method and the new and improved methods outlined in this article will work.
  • How to find information on tax delinquent properties? Detailed information on tax delinquent properties can be manually gathered from a variety of sources and compiled into one master file, or investors can sign up for the Research platform to access already compiled data on the properties.
  • How do I get a free list of tax lien properties? You can get a free list by contacting the county taxing authority directly. The main downside of this is you will have to do significant research to append the list with your needed information to complete a thorough property due diligence.
  • So I have a tax delinquent properties for sale list but owners pay balance. What happens now? Some tax delinquent properties may redeem from the time you get the tax delinquent for sale list to when the auction actually takes place. You can reach out to the taxing authority directly prior to the sale to ensure you know what to expect come auction day.


The tax sale industry has become increasingly competitive in recent years as more investors discover lucrative investing opportunities in tax lien, tax deed, and redeemable deed sales.

In the past, the effort required to obtain the tax delinquent properties for sale list was enough to dissuade the retail investor from entering the market - especially when looking outside their immediate geographic footprint. 

This is no longer the case, with advances in technology and innovative tools and services like those offered by Tax Sale Resources, the process of investing anywhere tax sales occur is efficient, convenient, and affordable for any investor at any level.

Save yourself some sanity as collecting a delinquent tax for sale list doesn’t have to be a painful process. We look forward to having you on the Research platform. To try it out for 7 days at only $1.99 click here to get started!

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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