County rakes in $1.3M in tax deed auction

KINGMAN ­ The annual State Tax Deed Real Estate Public Auction brought in $1.3 million in bids Tuesday.

"We put up 102 properties for bid with a net result of more than $1.3 million in bids," Mohave County Clerk of the Board Barbara Bracken said. "One property had no bids, and that parcel will automatically go to the sealed bid list.

"There are two other parcels that went to bid and the top bidders have attempted to back out after the sale," she said. "All bidders are informed that they should do all their homework prior to an auction and that all sales are final. When someone wins top bid and then later reneges, it isn't fair for those other bidders who wanted a property. When that happens, the parcel goes to the sealed bid list and, unfortunately, is usually sold for a lot less because there just isn't as much action involved in sealed bid."

Property placed on the sealed bid list will go up on the county Web site on Monday, Bracken said. The list will go before the Board of Supervisors at a future meeting where the chairman will open the items for public bidding at that time.

While Bracken said that her department is looking for possible technologies to enable the bidding options to be available online, Tuesday's auction was live. The Tax Deed Real Estate Public Auction involves properties that have been delinquent on their property taxes for at least seven years.

The Treasurer's Lien Sale, held last month, differs by only having properties delinquent for three years. In that type of sale, a bidder tries to offer the lowest interest rate, giving them control of the lien on the property. The owner must then pay the lien off in order to keep the parcel.

A tax deed sale, on the other hand, involves bidders vying for property that has already gone through the foreclosure process and given owners a last chance to pay before losing their property, Bracken said. Once the top bidder pays what they bid, the deed will become theirs.

Legal advertisements warn bidders to do their homework, stating specifically that there are no guarantees with any of the properties. It read, "The parcels will be sold on an 'AS IS, WHERE IS," basis; that no warranties nor representations are made as to property conditions, including, but not limited to, availability of water, utilities, irrigation, sewer, access, ingress, street or road maintenance, zoning, suitability for building, flood plain status, or any other physical characteristics related to the property."

The proceeds, Bracken said, will go to all taxing entities. Money is split between the various entities with schools being the big winner in the sale.

"We had people from New York, Florida and all over bidding on properties," she said. "One property sold for $145,000. There are some real gems available during these auctions. I just have to always stress to bidders that they are responsible to do their own homework in researching the parcels prior to bidding."