Tax Sale

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​Tax Sale FAQs

The list of properties to be offered for sale at public auction is available each year in November or early December, for the February sale, and April for the May or June sale.  If you are interested in obtaining the list of properties, check this website during those time periods. If you would like to be notified when the next list will be available, please e-Subscribe for property tax sale notifications. For the most current instructions for purchasing property at the Sacramento County tax sale, please read the Auction Information ​Packet

Not all properties on the tax sale list will be offered at the public auction. Many properties will be redeemed, postponed, or removed for technical reasons prior to the auction date. 

You may view the following lists online: Auction List and a list of properties being offered together.  A list of removed properties is updated on a regular basis. Please check the Removed Items on a regular basis, or e-Subscribe for property tax sale notifications.  After the public auction,  a list of items that were offered will be available​

To view the parcels offered for tax sale, you may use the County Assessor's Parcel Viewer.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the tax sale list, it is available from the Tax Collector's Office for $8.00 at the counter,  If you would like to be notified when the next list will be available  e-Subscribe for property tax sale notifications.

Properties may be redeemed, removed, or removed for technical reasons prior to the auction date. A list of removed properties is updated on a regular basis between the time the list is approved and the public auction date. Please check the Removed Items and Post Poned Items on a regular basis during this period of time.  If you would like to be notified when the next list will be available, e-Subscribe for property tax sale notifications.

The Sacramento County Tax Collector's main tax-defaulted land public auction is normally held the last Monday in February of each year, with a follow-up sale in May or June.  Please read the Auction Information ​Packet. for further information regarding Sacramento County's tax sale.

For additional information regarding the public auction, you may contact our Tax-Defaulted Land Unit between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at (916) 874-6621.

Sacramento County public auction tax sales are held the last Monday in February each year, with a follow-up sale in May or June. Properties not sold or postponed from the February public auction are normally offered at public auction the second Monday in May. Please read the Auction Information Packet for further information regarding Sacramento County's tax sale.

All prospective bidders must register in order to bid at tax-defaulted land sales. online registration is required - please complete the registration form. 

As part of the online registration you must determine how the deed will be recorded (vested) if you are a successful bidder.  Additional documentation may be required and all documentation must be complete before you will be allowed to bid.  Complete instructions are found on the registration page.  Bidders must check-in on auction​ day, and we require a valid picture identification at the time of check-in (i.e., valid driver's license, valid California ID card, valid military ID card, passport). To determine how much money to bring, please refer to "How to Pay for Properties Purchased at the Tax Sale" in the Auction Information ​Packet.​ 

​​A bidder number will be issued at check-in and is required to participate at the public auction. If you require special accommodations at the public auction site, please contact the Tax-Defaulted Land Unit at (916) 874-6621 a minimum of two weeks prior to the public auction date.​

Payment in full is required at time of sale, in the form of certified check, money order, or cashier’s check, made payable to Sacramento County Tax Collector.  Cash, personal checks, and credit cards will not be accepted.  If the successful bidder leaves without paying for the purchase, the sale will be void, any rights to the property forfeited, and the property will be re-offered before the end of the Public Auction. 

In addition to the final bid amount the payment must include the documentary transfer tax on the bid amount.  The documentary transfer tax is based on the rate of $.55 of each $500 or fraction part of each $500 when such bid exceeds $100.  Please read the Auction Information ​Packet.​

No. Sealed Bid Sales are not open to the general public. Sealed Bid properties are only offered to owners of properties that are adjoining the Sealed Bid property, or owners of easements on the Sealed Bid property.

Sacramento County does not sell tax lien certificates.

No. The public auction requires the presence of you or your representative, to verbally bid on the properties.​​

No. Legal title to tax-defaulted property subject to the tax collector's power to sell can only be obtained by being the successful bidder at the tax sale.

Most of the properties on the sale list have a street address, though the County does not warrant that the address is correct.  The approximate geographic location can be determined through the use of the Parcel Number and the County Assessor Parcel Viewer.  Parcel maps are also available from the County Assessor's Office at 3636 American River Drive, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95864, telephone: (916) 875-0700. Exact boundary lines of a property can be determined only by a survey of the property initiated at the purchaser's expense. Properties with structures usually (but not always) have a street address.

Properties may be removed for various reasons, including payment of the delinquent taxes, bankruptcy filings, and problems with the notification to parties of interest.  Removed properties may be offered at the next tax sale.

The right of redemption ceases at the close of business on the last business day prior to the tax sale.

Consult the zoning department of the city within which a property lies or the zoning section of the County Community Development Department for a parcel in an unincorporated area (not within a city boundary).

Research the County Recorder's records for any recorded easements on a property. You can also order a title search report from a local title insurance company.

Liens and other recorded documents may be researched at the Sacramento County Clerk Recorders' Record Search page. The Downtown office is located at 600 8th Street, Sacramento; and at the East Area Service Center at 5229-B Hazel Avenue, Fair Oaks (corner of Hazel and Madison Avenue).  

Lien information is not available over the telephone and must be researched in their office. You may choose to consult a title company regarding liens. Additional information on liens can be obtained in the Auction Information ​Packet​.

Tax deeds convey title to the purchaser free of all prior encumbrances (mortgage liens, judgment creditors, etc.) of any kind ​except liens specified by Revenue and Taxation Code Section 3712, Lis Pendens actions and any Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) liens that are not discharged by the sale, even though the Tax Collector has provided proper notice to the Internal Revenue Service before that date. (IRS liens will be announced at the time of the tax sale.) 

You will need to research liens on the properties to determine if the properties are encumbered with foreclosed or unforeclosed street debt, irrigation assessments, income tax liens, etc. Payment of the bid amount at a tax-defaulted public auction may or may not discharge these types of obligations. For additional information, please refer to the Auction Information Packet​.

You must wait until you receive the recorded deed before taking possession of the property.

It is recommended to delay any improvement on the property for a one-year period from the date the tax deed is recorded. The owner and/or a lienholder has one year to challenge the validity of the tax sale.

There may be someone living in the property you purchased.  Prior to the tax sale, bidders do not have a right to trespass or enter any property listed for sale at the public auction. Sacramento County does not own the property and does not have access to the property as in private real estate transactions. 

Properties sold at tax sale that are occupied become a civil matter between the occupant and the owner. This may be a tenant and landlord relationship.  If the purchaser requests the occupants to leave and has any difficulty, contact the Sheriff's Civil Division for instructions.

State law dictates that the minimum price for a tax-defaulted parcel offered at a public auction for the first time shall be no less than the total amount necessary to redeem the parcel, plus costs. 

The Tax Collector may reoffer property at a reduced price at the same or next scheduled sale if no bid was received when the property was last offered for sale at public auction.

Title is recorded (vested) in the name of the registered bidder. If title is to be vested differently, we require a notarized letter from the individual for whom the bidder is acting as an agent, stating the manner in which title is to be vested. 

If the bidder represents a company, corporation or partnership, the bidder will need to provide certified copies of the documentation that gives the bidder the authority to register/vest on their behalf. You must decided how the deed will be recorded before the sale.

Any property which does not receive a bid will be reoffered at the end of the sale. If it remains unsold at the conclusion of the tax sale, the owner's right of redemption is reinstated and they remain the legal owner of record. 

The property may be offered for sale at the next scheduled sale. The Tax Collector may reoffer property at a reduced price at the same or next scheduled sale if no bid was received.

No. The property cannot be sold outside of the Tax Sale Process.

If the successful bidder does not pay in full at the Tax Sale, the sale will be void, any right to the property will be forfeited, and the property will be re-offered at the public auction. 

The County shall have a claim against the Purchaser for the actual cost of auction for that property, and the purchaser may be banned from bidding at the Sacramento County Public Auction for a period of five years.

​​Excess Proceeds from Sale of Tax Defaulted Properties FAQs