What is a live internet auction?

Answer: Our Live Internet Auctions are conducted with an actual audience while being broadcast live over the internet. Members of NYSAuctions.com are able to hear the auction, monitor the bidding and place bids while at their computer! Internet bids are announced by the Auctioneer just like a bid that was received from the audience. Bidding for our Live Internet Auctions will stop when the Auctioneer knocks it down at the live auction. If you wish to make an internet bid during one of our Live Internet Auctions, you will need to submit the bid in a timely manner just like you would need to do from the live audience. There is no dynamic ending at our Live Internet Auctions, so the bidding ends when the hammer falls.

What is a silent online auction?

Answer: Our Silent Online Auctions are internet-only auctions where there is no live audience. The auction is scheduled to end on a specified date and time, and bids are submitted online by Members of NYSAuctions.com [who have been approved to bid for that particular auction] We utilize a software program that allows for a dynamic ending. What this means is that as long as there is current bidding activity, the auction will not end until the bidding has stopped. For example, let’s say an auction is scheduled to end at 11:00AM. If you were to submit an online bid at 10:59AM, then the auction will automatically be extended by 2 minutes. This will allow other interested bidders an opportunity to submit a counter bid. If a counter bid is submitted, the auction is again extended by an additional 2 minutes, allowing you and all other bidders to submit another counter bid. This time extension continues until there are no more bids received and the auction ends.

As a purchaser of a tax delinquent property will I be responsible to repay the municipality the past due taxes?

Answer: Generally the amount that you purchase a delinquent property for, is what is used by the county to pay off the tax delinquency. From time to time a municipality may stipulate in the terms and conditions of the auction that you may become responsible for certain taxes. Additionally from time to time there may be outstanding village taxes, water or sewer rents that are delinquent and have not been and have not been paid by the foreclosing municipality that you could be responsible for repayment.

What does the term "land-locked" mean?

Answer: The term "land-locked" means that a subject property has no legal access off of a roadway or via a deeded right of way.

Can I make an inspection of the auction properties prior to the auction?

Answer: Yes, to all but properties that remain occupied by prior owners/tenants. Vacant improved properties will be shown per our showing schedule by our staff. Vacant land properties may be viewed anytime without supervision. NYSAuctions.com and Haroff Auction & Realty, Inc. and the municipalities that we conduct auctions for assume no liability regarding any injuries at these properties.

How often do municipalities hold tax foreclosure auctions?

Answer: Every municipality that conducts tax foreclosure proceedings in New York State should yearly foreclosure proceeding and have an annual auction of the tax foreclosed properties.

Can I purchase a tax-foreclosed property from a municipality prior to the auction?

Answer: Our contracted municipalities have chosen to sell their tax foreclosed in a public arms length transaction sale, being either sealed bid or public auction. More and more municipalities are using public auction method to sell their tax-foreclosed properties.

What is the difference between a tax lien certificate sale/auction and a tax foreclosure auction?

Answer: A tax lien certificate sale/auction is a sale of only the taxable lien against the property, where you purchase just the value of the lien. A tax foreclosure auction is a sale of the real property, where the county has completed a legal foreclosure proceeding against the delinquent owner and has received title to the real property from the court. In a tax foreclosure auction you will receive a deed giving you title to the real property.

What does the term "assessed value" or "assessment" mean in the auction brochure?

Answer: Assessed Value and Assessment relate to the value that the local assessor has placed on the property for taxable purposes.

When can I move into and/or start work on the property?

Answer: Legally you do not own the property until the deed has been recorded in the county clerk's office, in the respective county. The time required for recording varies from county to county.

Who is responsible for the eviction of any delinquent owners or tenants?

Answer: Most municipalities do not evict delinquent owners or tenants from tax foreclosed properties, thus the responsibility for eviction falls upon the successful purchaser

If I purchase a real property that contains personal property, do I own the personal property?

Answer: No. In tax foreclosure auctions, municipalities sell only to title of the real property. The title of any personal property still belongs to the delinquent taxpayer.

How do I legally dispose of personal property left behind on a real property that I purchase?

Answer: We strongly suggest that you talk to your attorney regarding this issue before you dispose of any personal property left behind by prior owners or tenants. Additionally after you have a deed recorded in your name, you should send a letter to the prior owner and/or tenants advising them that you are now the new owner of (specific real property) and that in their haste of vacating the real property they left certain personal property behind. I would also suggest that you give the prior owner/tenants a certain amount of time to contact you to arrange for removal of the personal property and that if no response is received by the end of that time, that you will dispose of the remaining personal property as you see fit. Again, we strongly suggest that you talk to your attorney regarding this issue before you dispose of any personal property left behind by prior owners or tenants.

Why do properties get removed from the public auction?

Answer: Many municipalities permit the delinquent owner to repurchase their former property from the municipality. Some municipalities permit these repurchases up to the last business day before the auction. Other municipalities stop repurchases a week to two months prior to the auction.

Can delinquent owners repurchase their properties back after the auction?

Answer: Most all municipalities do not permit delinquent owners to repurchase their former property back from the municipality after the auction. Please keep in mind that if the Board of Legislators/Supervisors wishes to sell property back to a delinquent owner, they can sponsor special legislation to permit this repurchase.

What happens if there is a lien on the property?

Answer: Most of the municipalities within New York State have chosen to follow Article 11 of the New York State Real Property Law.

This law requires the municipalities to have a search completed on each parcel that they about to foreclose on for non-payment of real property taxes to determine if there are any lien holders who have recorded liens in the County Clerk’s Office, and these are the only valid liens.

Those lien holders then must be served notice of the impending foreclosure and given a window period of time to come forth to protect their interest. Once that time has passed as in the case of the properties that are in the auction, those lien holders are then forever barred by law from coming forth again to enforce their lien.

Now this sounds very good and we see the municipalities doing a great job in this area. However, the major concern on the part of the municipalities and us is that one of the abstractors in completing the search accidently misses a specific lien holder. Therefore we urge that everyone research their properties of interest in the respective County Clerk’s office and validate through the Treasurer’s/Finance Office that all lien holders were properly sent notice.

Who is responsible for any Federal Tax Liens against a property that I purchase in the auction?

Answer: More and more municipalities are making proper notification to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding Federal Tax Liens against tax foreclosed properties. In those cases the IRS has up to 120 days after the auction to purchase the property from the successful auction purchaser for the amount purchased, commission and any closing fees. For auction parcels that have Federal Tax Liens against them and the proper notification has not been made, the successful purchaser can either negotiate a lien release or wait until the lien expires.

What happens if an improved property that I purchase is damaged between the date of the auction and the time that I close on the property?

Answer: Municipalities will generally work with a successful purchaser if it can be proven that the damage occurred between the date of the auction and the date of closing. If the property had been occupied and no inspection was made prior to the auction, then it may be difficult to determine when the damage was done. Please keep in mind that municipalities want to sell their tax foreclosed properties and will generally negotiate a satisfactory agreement.

How long do I have to get financing after the auction?

Answer: We suggest that if financing is required to complete a purchase, that you arrange and pre-qualify with a lender prior to the auction date. Basically if you fail to pay the balance due by the closing date, you would forfeit your deposit.

What happens if I cannot come up with the balance of the money for the closing?

Answer: If you fail to pay the balance due by the closing date, you would forfeit your deposit.

What happens to the properties that do not sell at the auction?

Answer: Generally we sell all of the properties at that auction. The reason for this is that we do not start the auction with minimum bids. We let the bidding start from either the floor, or advance opening bids, or absentee bids. If we have any properties that we do not receive bids on, those properties would be available for sale from the municipality.

What does Agricultural District mean?

Answer: The State Legislature initially enacted the New York Agricultural Districts Law in 1971 to protect and promote the availability of land for farming purposes. The formation of agricultural districts is intended to counteract the impact which non-farm development can have upon the continuation of farm businesses.

Briefly, agricultural districts provide the framework to limit unreasonable local regulation on farm practices, to modify public agencies' ability to acquire farmland through eminent domain, and to modify the right to advance public funds to construct facilities that encourage development.

Benefit assessments, special ad valorem levies, or other rates and fees for the finance of improvements such as water, sewer or non-farm drainage may not be imposed upon land used in agricultural production and within an agricultural district unless such charges were imposed prior to the formation of the agricultural district.

The Agricultural Districts Law also provides for reduced property tax bills for land in agricultural production by limiting the assessment of such land to its prescribed agricultural assessment value. Owners whose land satisfies the eligibility requirements may apply for an agricultural assessment.