Due Diligence

"Due diligence" is a well-known term in the real estate field which loosely means...'do your homework' before making a purchasing decision. In the case of tax foreclosed properties, there are several things you should do before bidding at the auction:

1. Research the liens by visiting the County Clerk's office and making a list of liens (if any) against the property by looking them up by the former owner's last name. (These are typically found in the 'Lien & Judgement' books.) If you cannot do this yourself, you might want to consider hiring a 'Title Abstractor' to assist you. You should also check for IRS liens as these are the only valid liens which survive the NYS Real Property Tax Law Article 11 proceedings granting title of the foreclosed property to the Municipality. (When properly notified, the IRS lien can be 'released' against the property once you take title.

2. Take this list to the Treasurer's Office and verify with them that they served notice to all of the lien holders on your list (including the IRS if applicable.)

3. On the local Town of Village level, speak with the Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector and Tax Assessor about the property you are interested in to learn about what (if any) outstanding violations need correction. If it is a vacant piece of property, these are the people to talk with about any potential construction or other "improvement" you plan to do.

4. Speak with Town or Village Officials about past due "water district" or "sewer district" amounts. You might have to pay them.

5. Look into the school taxes you will be paying and the school district itself if that is of importance to you.

6. Drive by the property to see if it suits your needs and preferences for location, topography, etc.

7. Learn about area values for similar properties and begin thinking about the amount you are willing to pay.

8. Read and fully understand the Auction "terms & conditions" before raising your hand at the auction. Auctions are "as-is, where-is" transactions. so when you tender a bid, mean it. All highest bidder (buyers) are expected to finish paying for the property and close by the terms specified. No exceptions. These transactions are not contingent upon you getting a mortgage. You must pay in full by the date specified in the terms.

We will post to our web site, a "Showing Schedule" for improved properties that we believe to be unoccupied. We do not show vacant land parcels.

Once again, do all of your homework ahead of the auction. Finally, make certain that you have down-payment money with you and on your person at the auction as immediate down payment is required.

Property Tax Calendar