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Suggestions for Participating in the Online Tax Sale

Auctions on utilize Proxy Bidding in a Closed Auction format.

  • Proxy Bidding: A form of competitive sale in which bidders enter the minimum interest rates that they are willing to accept for each certificate. The auction system acts as an electronic agent, submitting bids on behalf of each bidder. The result of the proxy system is that the electronic agent keeps lowering the bid by one percent increments until you are either the only bidder left, (in which case you get the certificate at one percent lower than the previous bid) or until you reach the floor you have set.
  • Closed Auction: Prior to the close of a Batch, a bidder can only see his or her own bids. Bidders cannot see the bids submitted by other bidders until bidding ends.

Use the sale format to your advantage.

If you set your Budget appropriately and submit the minimum rates you would be willing to accept on any liens, you can be assured that:

  • You won't be awarded liens valued at more than you were willing to spend in the sale.
  • If you submitted the best bid you will be awarded at or above the minimum rate you were willing to accept.
  • If you aren't awarded an item, it will be because it would have caused you to spend more than you planned, or because it would have been at a lower interest rate than you were willing to accept, or because there was a tie at the winning rate and it was awarded to one of the other bidders who submitted the same rate.

Grant Street Group suggests the following best practices for participating in this sale:

1. Establish the following before the auction:

  • The maximum dollar amount you want to invest in the sale overall
  • The minimum rates you are willing to accept for any items in the sale

2. Set your Budget to the maximum dollar amount you want to invest. You will not be awarded any item that would cause your to exceed your Budget, no matter how many bids you submit. Items are awarded in the order advertised.

3. Research the available liens and establish your Minimum Acceptable Rates on any items in the sale.

  • You can use the tools on the Search and Reports pages on to assist with your research.
  • The Property Details page (available by clicking the Account Number for an item on any page) includes links to the county's tax record, assessor data, and map systems.

4. Submit your Minimum Acceptable Rates as your bids.

  • You can submit bids starting on the date items are listed on (at least two weeks before the sale).
  • Submitting bids earlier in the process reduces the risk of mistakes as it gives you the opportunity to review and confirm your submissions in advance of Batches closing, and you can withdraw or modify your bids anytime before the Batch closes.
  • Because the auction web site utilizes Proxy Bidding, if you have the lowest qualifying bid at the time bidding ends, you will be awarded the lien at or above your Minimum Acceptable Rate. Note: bids at zero percent (0.00%) do NOT qualify for Proxy Bidding. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

There are several tools available to help with bid submission:

  • If you are bidding on a small number of items you can submit bids one by one on the Bid page.
  • If you create a list of items using the Search tool or by adding items to your My Certificates list, you can submit bids in bulk using the Autofill and Submit All features on the Bid page. If you are using the Autofill or Submit All feature, please ensure you have the Certificate List is set correctly and you enter or submit bids for only the intended items.
  • If you have a large number of bids to submit or you are compiling your bid list outside of, you can upload those to the web site using a CSV template on the Upload page.

5. As Batches close on the date(s) of the sale, review the sale results on the Results page. If you wish to adjust your bids in response to sale results, you have the opportunity to do so for items in Batches that haven't closed yet.

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