Virginia law specifically governs the judicial sale process (Article 4 of Chapter 39, Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia, Code Sections 58.-3965 et. seq.). Tax parcels are eligible for judicial sale in most cases when any taxes on [such] real estate are delinquent on December 31 following the second anniversary of the date on which such taxes become due.
Current Virginia law provides no process by which a buyer can obtain any "tax certificate", "tax deed" or other title to real estate by paying off the delinquent taxes owed on a property.
Under Virginia law, the Circuit Court is required to insure that the property is sold for a fair and reasonable price. Accordingly, the law requires the Court to determine the fair market value of the property as to "shock the conscience of the Court". The Treasurer reserves the right to reject any bid that does not cover all taxes due and costs of the sale.
The law requires an initial advertisement before judicial sale proceedings are commenced. This ad is not intended to list or advertise the properties as being for sale. Rather, this Notice is intended to provide a notice to the owners of the listed properties of the Treasurer's intention to commence judicial sale proceedings and to encourage these owners to redeem the properties. In reality, most properties listed in these initial newspaper advetisements are never sold due to the owner or lien holder (e.g. a bank or mortgage company) redeeming the property prior to sale. Typically, attorneys will list another advertisement in the newspaper announcing the sale by public auction. This ad is entitled "COMMISSIONERS SALE OF VALUABLE REAL ESTATE".
No. Anyone intending to bid on property must attend the auction or have a representative attend on their behalf.
Typically, auctions are held in front of the Circuit Court of the City, County or Town where the taxes are due. You may contact the office to inquire about the location of any auction.
Yes. Priority notice of all auctions conducted by James W. Elliott is available by subscribing to the mailing list. You can choose to receive notifications by U. S. Mail or e-mail. A subscription form is avilable from the "Mailing List Subscription" page of this website.
For real estate tax auctions, the purchaser obtains only what is being taxed. As a result, the purchaser is bidding on the land and building only. Contents of the buildings, personal property and automobiles on the land are not included in the sale.
Your bid is considered a legal and binding contract enforceable by Court proceedings. You will not be released from your bid without approval from the Circuit Court.
In some cases, a deed can be issued in about two weeks. In more complex cases, it may take thirty to forty-five days before a deed can be issued.
The cost to record a Special Commissioner's Deed starts around $70.00 and increases based on the sale price or assessment, whichever is greater.
You have the following choices:
1. As tenants in common
- Each individual owns an equal share of the property without the benefit of the right of survivorship.
- Commonly used by unrelated persons.
2. As joint tenants
- Each individual owns an equal share with the right of survivorship.
- Commonly used by family members (father and son) (brother and sister).
3. As tenants by the entirety
- For property purchased by married couples only.
- Includes the right of survivorship.
4. As a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership.
Real estate tax auctions require a deposit of 25% of the bid price with the balance due in ten days to this office. You may choose to pay by cash, cashier's check, certified check, personal check, or money order. This office does not accept any credit cards or debit cards at delinquent real estate tax auctions.