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FAQ's for Counties

Online County Tax Sale Auctions with Bid4Assets:

Getting Started:

Tax Sale Settlement and Payment Process:

Online County Tax Sale Auctions with Bid4Assets:

What is Bid4Assets?

Bid4Assets is the leading provider of online auction services to County government for the sale of tax-defaulted, foreclosed and surplus property. Bid4Assets pioneered the full-service Internet tax sale in September 2000 and works with more than 50 counties across the country. In addition to County clients, Bid4Assets also conducts auctions for numerous government entities including the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. departments of Energy and Treasury, and the State of New Jersey.

Why should I consider conducting our County’s next tax sale online with Bid4Assets?

Bid4Assets has a keen understanding of the marketplace and a proven track record in the industry. County tax collectors nationwide choose Bid4Assets as a trusted and effective online tax sale service provider. The company prides itself on the high level of service it provides its County government clients.
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How long has Bid4Assets been conducting online tax sales for County government?

Pioneer of the Internet-based tax sale in 2000, Bid4Assets specializes in the sale of tax-defaulted real estate and tax lien certificates. Bid4Assets, the premier online tax sale provider for counties nationwide, hosted the first-ever full service online tax sale in September 2000 when it assisted Kern County, California in its sale of hundreds of parcels over the Internet. Bid4Assets now services counties in California, Idaho, Michigan, Florida, Missouri and Nevada.

What is Bid4Assets’ success rate with online tax sales?

Bid4Assets has an unparalleled successful sale rate for County auctions. Ninety-two percent of all delinquent properties listed for auction are successfully sold and returned to the tax rolls. The few parcels that may not sell initially can be re-listed in a subsequent online tax sale.

Will my current County tax sale process be affected by auctioning online?

Bid4Assets simplifies the auction process by implementing tax sales from concept to completion. By moving your County’s tax auctions online with Bid4Assets, the only thing that will change is the venue. As the County client, you maintain complete control of the sale. More than fifty counties nationwide have found that Bid4Assets makes their tax auctions easier and more efficient.

Does the Internet qualify as a "public auction" venue?

Yes. Online auctions fulfill the statutory requirement of conducting a "public auction." Internet-based tax sales are simply a newer, more efficient and proven method. In fact, the Internet reaches a much broader audience than the traditional auction method.

Do our County’s Terms of Sale still apply to an online auction?

Absolutely. Bid4Assets is simply the venue through which a County can advertise and auction its delinquent properties. No different from a traditional auction, bidders are required to abide by the County’s terms of sale prior to submitting a bid.

What if my local buyers don't have Internet access?

Potential bidders without Internet access can participate in online auctions in the following ways:

  • Bid using public access computer terminals at a public library.
  • Bid via an Offline Bid Form obtained at the County treasurer's office. An Offline Bid Form is faxed to Bid4Assets to declare a bidder’s proxy bid amount (i.e., maximum amount they are willing to bid) for a parcel(s). Bid4Assets system bids on their behalf as needed to maintain the bidder’s winning position, in increments up to and including their proxy bid.

What is included in an Offline Bid Packet?

An Offline Bid Packet includes the following:

  • Offline Bid Form with instructions
  • A list of all parcels offered for sale by the County
  • The County's Terms of Sale
  • The County's tax rate areas, if applicable
  • Bid4Assets Terms of Service

Getting Started:

How do we get started?

It’s easy. Contact Bid4Assets a minimum of 60 days in advance of your auction date and we will assess your County’s needs based on the number and types of parcels you have to offer for sale at online auction.

Is there any back-end IT integration required to work with Bid4Assets?

No. Bid4Assets does not require any hardware or software interface with a County’s database. The auctions are hosted on Bid4Assets' proprietary technology platform. Bid4Assets can include a link on the County’s auction storefront to the County’s Web site.

What is the process for setting up the auction?

  • A dedicated Bid4Assets account manager works with County personnel to develop a timeline for the sale and outline the auction process approximately 45-60 days prior to the auction date.
  • Bid4Assets collects parcel information via a preformatted Excel template. The parcel information contained in the spreadsheet is used to create individual online listing pages and can include plat maps, parcel photos and tax-rate area information in each of its parcel listings. The County tax assessor's Web address, contact information and Terms of Service can be displayed prominently on each individual parcel listing.
  • A custom-designed, County-branded storefront, complete with its own unique Web address, is created to house individual asset listings. The storefront is approved by the County prior to posting for public viewing and is then opened for preview by the public approximately 30 days prior to the auction open date. Bid4Assets marketing efforts commence after the start of the preview period.

Can Bid4Assets post our County's terms of sale online?

Yes. Bid4Assets encourages counties to the include their terms of sale in their online tax sale information. When provided, the County’s terms of sale are included in the due diligence information for each parcel listing.

Are the parcel listings approved prior to being posted for auction on Bid4Assets?

Yes. Each parcel listing is proofed internally at Bid4Assets and forwarded to the County for review. Bid4Assets does not post assets on a County’s auction page until approval is received from the designated County point of contact.

What criteria are used to set auction dates?

Typically counties have predetermined tax sale dates that apply each year. In these cases, Bid4Assets requires all tax sale information be provided a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the auction date to ensure adequate time to create the online listings, implement a comprehensive marketing campaign, and allow potential bidders to conduct research on the listings they are interested in purchasing. Bid4Assets recommends that all parcels be posted for public preview for a period of four weeks in advance of the auction. During the preview period, interested participants can review each auction and conduct any research necessary. There is no bidding activity during the preview period. At the end of the four week preview period, Bid4Assets recommends opening the auctions for bidding for a minimum of two days.

If a County does not have a preset tax sale date, Bid4Assets will work with the County to determine specific dates.

How does Bid4Assets advertise the auction?

Bid4Assets' marketing team develops customized marketing and communications campaigns for each County to attract buyers, stimulate competition, and maximize revenue. The marketing team designs high-impact print advertisements announcing the details of the auction and places them in newspapers in the local market.

In addition to print advertising, Bid4Assets notifies its established real estate buyer base and subscribers of our partner real estate and online government portals via email. Other online marketing efforts include premium banner advertisements on our Web site, as well as advertisements on reputable real estate Web sites.

In many instances a press release is developed in conjunction with the County and submitted to the media for maximum exposure.

Who handles the prospective bidder questions regarding the auction?

Bid4Assets' experienced Customer Service Team answers email and phone questions from prospective bidders. All questions are responded to within a 48 hour time period. If bidders have parcel-specific questions that Bid4Assets cannot answer, we refer the bidder to a predetermined County point of contact.

Is it possible to pre-qualify bidders with a mandatory pre-bid deposit?

Yes. Bid4Assets can pre-qualify bidders by requiring interested bidders to place a Bid Deposit prior to placing any bids. The Bid Deposit provides an extra level of security and ensures that bidders have a financial incentive to perform.

What are the accepted methods of payment for the Bid Deposit?

The County can choose to accept the following methods of payment for the Bid Deposit:

  • ACH Transfer
  • Wire Transfer
  • Certified Check
  • Money Order
  • Business/Personal Check

Can we withdraw properties once they are listed on the Web site for sale?

Yes. The County can withdraw redeemed properties up until 5:00 p.m. EST on the last business day prior to the day the auction is scheduled to open for bidding. However the County reserves the right to withdraw any property during the auction in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Notification to withdraw properties must be submitted in writing via email or fax to the County’s designated account manager at Bid4Assets.

How can we view the high bids on our listings during the auction?

Bid4Assets provides counties two ways to view all auction activity:

  1. Bid4Assets maintains an auction "storefront" and special Web address for each County (e.g., www.bid4assets.com/yourCountyname). This storefront is accessible via the County’s special Web address or www.bid4assets.com/taxsale. The storefront displays all the parcel listings and the current bid for each.
  2. Bid4Assets provides each County with a password-protected BidMonitor accessible only to authorized County staff. The BidMonitor summarizes and displays the following auction data on one reference screen: each parcel’s high-bid amount; the percent over minimum bid; and the total number of bidders. The BidMonitor automatically updates every fifteen minutes to reflect bidding activity.

Tax Sale Settlement and Payment Process:

How does Bid4Assets simplify the post-auction process for the County? What is the DeedWizard™?

DeedWizardTM is Bid4Assets’ proprietary tool for streamlining the process of collecting titling information from winning bidders. DeedWizardTM automatically generates an electronic report for the County of all the data needed to transfer the title as well as contact information for future tax correspondence. When winning bidders enter the titling information into DeedWizardTM, they also receive a statement of the total payment due to the County, including all high bid amounts plus any state transfer tax, along with payment instructions.

What are the settlement and payment terms for bidders in online tax sales?

Settlement and payment terms vary from County to County. Bid4Assets clearly displays the County’s settlement terms on each parcel listing. Typically, the winning bidder has up to 72 hours after the close of the auction to submit payment and complete the transaction. Bid4Assets notifies the high bidder that he/she is the winning bidder via email within two hours of the close of the final auction.

How is payment collection handled at the close of the auction?

There are two ways to collect payment at the end of the auction. (1) The County can opt to collect the payments directly; or (2) Bid4Assets can manage the collection process. Winning bidders are sent instructions on how to submit payment through Bid4Assets, and all funds collected are sent to the County.

What happens if a winning bidder does not complete the sales transaction?

A non-performing bidder forfeits their Bid Deposit to the County and is not permitted to participate in any future auctions conducted by Bid4Assets. The County can also elect to ban the non-performing bidder from all of its future tax sales. If the law permits, the County may request Bid4Assets to contact the second highest bidder of the auction to complete the sales transaction.

What happens if a parcel doesn't sell during an auction?

Bid4Assets sells more than 91% of all properties offered for sale by counties. The few parcels that do not sell initially can be re-listed in a future online auction.