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How do I bid on an Auction property at a public sale?

You or your agent will need to be present to bid at a public auction. The sale usually takes place at the county courthouse or some other public location in the county where the property is located. RealtyTrac usually provides the date, location and opening bid on the Property Details page for subscribers.

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If some of the auction information is not listed (date, time, location), you can call the trustee listed on RealtyTrac or use the History of Notices link. Subscribers can view the Foreclosure History section on any pre-foreclosure, auction or bank-owned Property Details page to view a list of data records RealtyTrac has for that property. Other data records may have more details about the property that were not on the original Property Details page. Subscribers can use this tool to check if previous foreclosure notices have been filed and if more than one lender is foreclosing on the property.

At the auction, look for the representative of the trustee to enter your bid. The majority of trustee sales require you to have certified funds in the form of cashier's checks. The property will be sold to the highest bidder at the auction and typically the trustee will prepare a trustee's deed that transfers the title to the purchaser at the trustee sale. Often you will be required to have the full amount you want to bid at the auction, but that varies so check with a local real estate attorney to confirm for your area. 

Contact an Agent to find a local real estate agent in the RealtyTrac Agent Network who can help you buy a property.

Read an Overview of the foreclosure process, which includes links to state laws and other resources.

Foreclosure is a legal process that allows a lender/bank to sell or take possession of a property due to non-payment of a loan that is secured by that property. RealtyTrac posts properties that have already been foreclosed (Bank Owned) and properties that are in the foreclosure process (Pre-Foreclosure, Auction). Buyers have three opportunities to purchase property during foreclosure.

1. Buying Pre-Foreclosure (NOD, LIS)

2. Buying at Auction (NTS, NFS)

3. Buying Bank Owned (REO)

Browse our Real Estate Guides for more resources on buying foreclosures. 

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