Tax Auction FAQ

What are Auction Sales? Can you tell me about your auctions and how they work? 

Real estate auctions offer a unique and exciting experience, especially for those who haven't participated before. At Dudley Resources, we strive to create a welcoming environment for all bidders. Whether it's a live auction or an online-only event, the basic concept remains the same and is quite simple. If you wish to bid on a property, you can raise your bidder card or use the online bidding platform to place your bids. If someone outbids you, you have the option to raise your bidder card again or click the next bid button, continuing until you reach your maximum bid. If you're the highest bidder when the bidding ends, congratulations, you've successfully won the property's high bid. 


Can Anyone Bid at the Special Commissioner Sales or at the Tax Delinquent Auction? 

To qualify as a bidder in our auctions, you typically need to meet certain criteria. This includes not owing any delinquent taxes to the local taxing jurisdiction where the auction takes place and not being a defendant in any delinquent tax matters. Additionally, you'll need a valid state-issued driver's license or ID, or a verifiable home address with a military ID. If online bidding is available, there might be additional requirements to qualify for online participation. In some cases, for exceptionally valuable properties, you may be asked to provide proof of certified funds for registration. However, there is no fee to register and participate in our auctions, as they are open to the general public as long as the registration qualifications are met. 


What is the difference between a Special Commissioner's Sale (Judicial Sale) and Non-Judicial Tax Sale? 

There are two types of sales: Special Commissioner's Sale (Judicial Sale of Real Estate) and Non-Judicial Sale of Real Estate. A Special Commissioner's Sale is conducted under the order and approval of the local Circuit Court, ensuring proper notification of all interested parties. This type of sale transfers the property free and clear of liens upon confirmation by the Court. On the other hand, a Non-Judicial Sale is conducted without court oversight and is limited to specific parcels of real estate. Terms and conditions differ between these types of sales, so reviewing the specific Terms of Sale for each auction is crucial. 


Is there a Minimum Bid for either the Judicial and Non-Judicial Tax Delinquent Auctions? 

Regarding starting or minimum bids, it's important to note that the majority of tax delinquent properties do not have minimum bids. In a Judicial Sale of Real Estate, where all sales must be presented and confirmed by the local Circuit Court, bids should generally reflect the value of the property. Unrealistically low bids in comparison to the property's value may be rejected by the Special Commissioner or the Court. The bidding process varies depending on the auction type. In a live auction, the auctioneer typically starts with bids around the assessed or appraised value and gradually decreases until a bidder raises their hand or bidder card to start the bidding. The bidding then continues until the highest bid is determined. In an online auction, a minimum bid amount may be set, and bidding progresses from there until the auction closes. 


Can you Bid Online for at all the Tax Auctions? 

Online bidding is often permitted in our auctions, but it depends on the specific jurisdiction, the preference of the Special Commissioner, and the location of the auction. Our auctions can take different forms, including live-only, online-only, or virtual live/online formats. If you're unable to participate in an online auction, we strive to accommodate your needs, so feel free to contact us to discuss alternative options. 


What if I can’t attend the Auction? 

If you cannot attend a live auction, there are alternatives available. You may submit absentee or telephone bids, provided you meet the necessary requirements. It's important to note that in a live auction, the person bidding on your behalf will need to register themselves and bid in their own name. In the case of online-only auctions, allowing someone else to bid using your sign-in credentials carries certain risks, and you are solely responsible for all actions taken under your username and password. 


Can I purchase the property before the Auction? 

It's worth mentioning that purchasing a property before it goes to auction is not possible or legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia offers a fair opportunity for everyone to purchase tax delinquent real estate through public auctions. If you'd like to stay informed about our upcoming auctions, you can sign up for email notifications to ensure you never miss an auction. We also have an App that keeps the bidding at your fingertips. 


What is the Buyer's Premium? 

A Buyer's Premium is a percentage of the high bid amount added to the total sales price to cover the costs of the sale. Typically, the Buyer's Premium is around 10% of the high bid amount. It's important to consider this additional premium when bidding on properties. 


If I am the winning Bidder, will I be responsible for paying off the back taxes, interest, and fees? 

When a property is sold at a Special Commissioner or Judicial sale, the title is transferred with a Special Warranty Deed, which means, all back taxes, penalties, interest, and fees are cleared, and the new owner assumes the responsibility for taxation from a specified date. The specific start date for taxation varies by locality and is typically announced at the auction.  


If I am the winning Bidder, will I be responsible for any past Liens or Mortgages? 

If you purchase a property with existing mortgages, judgments, past due HOA fees, IRS liens, or other encumbrances, you are generally not responsible for those debts. The delinquent tax sale process notifies all lien holders about the sale, giving them an opportunity to protect their interests. Virginia law allows properties to be transferred free and clear of any liens or encumbrances upon confirmation of the sale by the Circuit Court. 


What is this “Confirmation of Sale” that I am waiting for? 

"Confirmation of Sale" refers to a hearing that takes place after a Judicial Sale of Real Estate, usually 3-6 weeks following the auction. At this hearing, the results of the auction are presented to the Circuit Court Judge, who confirms or denies the sale of each property. Attending the Confirmation of Sale Hearing is not required for the high bidder, but the Special Commissioner will inform you of the results. 

In the rare instance that a property doesn't sell at the auction or the sale isn't approved by the Court, it may be offered again at the next scheduled auction. Private sales of these properties are not permitted, as the localities are not the owners. All sales must go through the Court Appointed Special Commissioner and the auction process. 


What If Property I am the high bidder on is not confirmed or not approved by the Circuit Court? 

If the Court doesn't approve the sale of a property on which you were the high bidder, the Special Commissioner will refund your deposit in full. 


What is the total amount owed on the Property? 

The exact amount of back taxes on a property is not known to us, as it is not pertinent to the auction sale process. The Special Commissioner handles all the tax-related information, and as an auction company, we don't require that information. Properties can have varying levels of tax arrears, ranging from several years to even more. The amount owed on a property usually doesn't directly impact its auction price. While some localities may consider the amount owed, most are primarily concerned with obtaining a fair price and ensuring the property is in the hands of a new owner who will fulfill their tax obligations. 


Can I get into the property before the Tax Delinquent Auction Sale? 

Unfortunately, Virginia law does not permit the inspection of improved properties being sold for tax delinquency. We cannot grant permission to inspect such properties, and it's important for bidders to proceed with caution and account for potential renovation and system replacement costs when considering bids. 


What if I buy a property, the property is confirmed through the Circuit Court and there are occupants? 

As the new owner of an improved property, it becomes your responsibility to evict any occupants and remove any remaining personal possessions after the deed has been recorded. We recommend consulting with an attorney to understand your rights and obligations in the eviction process. 


What if the current occupants damage the property before final settlement? 

In the event that occupants cause damage to an improved property before final settlement, you are still obligated to complete the purchase as the contract owner. However, you may have an "insurable interest" in the property and should consult your insurance agent immediately to insure your interest in the property. 


The property I am interested in purchasing has a Mobile Home on it, will that be conveying with the purchase? 

Mobile homes (house trailers) are not considered part of the real estate sale unless they are fixed to the property with a permanent foundation and listed as an improvement in the tax records. Mobile homes and other titled items are classified as personal property and are not included in the sale of real estate. There are legal processes for gaining ownership of abandoned personal property on your land, and consulting an attorney is recommended for assistance. 


Is the property surveyed or perked? 

Determining if a property perks or has a current septic permit requires your own due diligence before bidding. You can check with the locality's Health Department or conduct other inspections to uncover any septic permit records. It's important to note that these costs for testing, surveying, and title searches are solely your responsibility and will not be reimbursed. 


Why does this property not have an actual address? 

Finding physical addresses for properties being sold can be challenging as unimproved properties may not have assigned addresses in public records. However, many localities offer online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) where you can look up real estate properties. We typically provide a copy of the GIS map on our website, along with other relevant property information. If available, we may also mention the nearest property with a physical address as a reference. However, please be aware that the GIS is not an official survey and may not accurately represent the property's location, size, or shape. Conducting your own due diligence research prior to bidding is recommended. 


What deposit will I be required to pay?  

Deposit Requirements can vary from Auction to Auction but typically, the credit card that you used to register your bidding account will be charged the initial deposit of $2500.00 , which is a part of the 10% buyers premium. For all parcels less than the value will be charged a flat fee. Please review the Auction Specific “Terms and Conditions” for each sale. 


What are the payment requirements for this Auction Sale? 

Payment requirements for our auctions vary depending on the type of sale. In Judicial Sales of Real Estate, payment in full on the day of the auction is generally not required. Instead, a partial down payment is collected, and the balance is due within a specified period after court confirmation. Non-Judicial Sales typically require full payment on the day of the auction. The specific payment terms for each auction, including down payment percentages and acceptable forms of payment, can be found in the Terms of Sale. I.e Personal checks, certified fund checks, credit card and cash. It's advisable to review the Terms of Sale for each auction and contact us if you have any questions or need clarification. 


Do you offer any sort of financing options for the Special Commissioner Sale or Non-Judicial Sale? 

We do not offer financing programs for our real estate auction sales. It's the responsibility of the purchaser to secure their own funding to complete the purchase. If you require financing, arranging it before bidding on any properties is important. Our sales are not contingent on obtaining financing or any other matters. All sales are final and sold As-Is, Where-Is, and If- Is.


We hope this provides you with a comprehensive understanding of real estate auctions and how they work. If you have any further questions or need additional information, feel free to contact us. 


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