In Focus: Residential Real Estate Tax Sales

When a homeowner fails to pay property taxes in Georgia, the home may be auctioned off through a tax sale. While losing a home can be an overwhelming emotional and financial burden, a tax sale also presents opportunities to prospective real estate buyers. Regardless of which side of a tax sale you may be on, it takes a highly skilled real estate attorney to protect your interests.

How to Get Your Home Back Following a Tax Sale

After a tax sale, you have an opportunity to redeem or buy back your home within a certain time period, which is referred to as a redemption period. Generally, after the home is sold, you are allowed 12 months to reimburse the purchaser and reclaim your home. In order to reacquire ownership of your home, the party that purchased the property in the tax sale must wait until the latter part of the redemption period and provide you with written notice that your right to redeem will expire on a specific date. If the purchaser fails to provide such notice, then your right to redeem will not expire.

Associated costs

There are a number of costs associated with a home redemption following a tax sale. To redeem your home, you must pay

  • The tax sale purchase price
  • Any property taxes paid by the purchaser following the tax sale
  • Any special assessments
  • A premium of 20% for the period elapsed between the date of the tax sale and the date of redemption

How To Avoid Losing Your Home in a Tax Sale

There are a number of way to avoid falling behind on your property taxes, including pursuing a property tax abatement and requesting a change in assessment. By being proactive and avoiding a tax sale, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache. An experienced real estate can provide further guidance on avoiding losing your home through a tax sale.

How to Buy a Home Through a Tax Sale

While tax sales are an excellent way to invest in real estate, there are a number of legal steps to take to make sure your tax sale property has a clean title. In particular, a tax sale buyer must foreclose on the right of redemption. Under the Georgia Code, interested parties to the property must be notified that the right to redeem is being foreclosed upon — and failing to do so will result in unmarketable title. However, foreclosing on the right redemption alone will not give you marketable title because property acquired in a tax sale must also go through a Petition to Quiet Title. This petition should be handled immediately, and it is highly recommended that you have proper legal representation.

Georgia Real Estate Attorneys

If you have fallen behind on your property tax payments, you should immediately contact an experienced Georgia real estate attorney for assistance, as the failure to be proactive may result in the loss of your home. Similarly, if you acquiring property through a tax sale, the right attorney can help make sure you have clean title to the property once the tax sale is closed.

At Klosinski Overstreet, LLP, our experienced Georgia real estate attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience, much of which has been gained by serving our friends and neighbors in Central Savannah River Area. To put it simply: we know Georgia law, and we know Georgia real estate. Call our office today to speak with one of our attorneys.

Posted in: Real Estate