Foreclosure Auctions FAQs

Understanding TPS/Foreclosure Auctions with answers to our frequently asked questions.

Written by Customer-Service
Updated over a week ago

What is a foreclosure auction?

Foreclosure auctions, also known as Trustee or TPS auctions, are typically held in person at an onsite public venue such as a county courthouse. A Foreclosure sale occurs when a lender attempts to sell a property to a 3rd party in an attempt to recoup the balance of a loan. Foreclosure properties are sold as-is, meaning buyers may be responsible for any back taxes, liens, or encumbrances. Since the borrower still owns the home, interior access is not allowed.

Whether you intend to occupy, rent, or flip, foreclosure properties are lucrative purchases as they can yield a valuable return on investment (ROI), and no Buyer's Premium is added to the winning bid. 

How Do You Find Foreclosure Properties?

ServiceLink Auction has a wide variety of homes for sale listed on our website. Follow the instructions below to find Foreclosure properties with convenience and ease. 

  • Click on “Listings” in the top toolbar and scroll down to the “Foreclosure” option. This will take you to all Foreclosure properties on the website.

  • You can also click HERE to view all of our foreclosure properties.

  • Enter your search criteria (city, state, zip code, or address) into the search bar. Your Foreclosures results will appear in a “card view” within a Search Results Page (SRP):

    To narrow your search, you can use customized filters (occupancy, property type, auction date, etc.) Please see our article on How to Search to learn more about filters How to Search.

I See a Property I Like, Now What?

  • View the Property Details Page (PDP) by clicking on the properties image to view important information on the auction.

  • Conduct your Due Diligence on the property before you place an offer or attend the auction.

Preparing for Auction Day:

On auction day, preparing before going to the Foreclosure Sale is essential. This includes:

  • Due Diligence- Doing your due diligence and reviewing related foreclosure documents and transaction details before the auction.

  • Arrive Early- Properties can be cried anytime within the auction window, so arrive early. We recommend you map your route and determine parking availability before leaving for the sale.

  • Locate Staff- At most sale locations, our staff will be on hand to help you with the process every step of the way.

    • Quick tips:

      • Save time on Auction Day- save properties to favorites to receive foreclosure auction notifications that alert you if a property is Cleared for Sale, Postponed, or Canceled. Currently, Foreclosure Status Notifications are only available in the following areas: AL, AR, AZ, CA, GA, ID, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, WA, select counties in FL and IL, and Denver County, CO.

      • Postponement and Cancellations- It is common for postponements and cancellations to occur at Foreclosure Sales. Don’t limit your investment options. Choose multiple properties within the auction. If a property is no longer going to be cried, you are prepared with other possible opportunities.

How Do I Register for a Foreclosure Auction?

Unlike ServiceLink Auction‘s other sales, registration for Foreclosure auctions is not required. However, in most sales, it is necessary to show proof of funds before bidding.

  • Quick Tip: Although registration is not required, we highly recommend creating a free account and saving the property to your dashboard to manage your property portfolio easily, accessing our helpful investment tools, and downloading reports that will simplify the buying process.

What Do I Need to Bring to the Auction?

  • Proof of funds- Cashier's Check(s)

  • Payment- The winning bidder will need to present certified funds in the specified amount or percentage required by the state. Typically, you will need to make full payment immediately following the auction.

    • All states have different requirements. To determine nuances per location, it is essential to conduct thorough due diligence before bidding on a Foreclosure Sale.

  • Government ID- A government-issued form of identification, such as a Driver’s License or Passport.

What If I am the Winning Bidder?

First off, congratulations on being the winning bidder!

  • How do I pay? For most states, you will need to tender funds via certified funds or cashier's check to the Foreclosure Sales agent immediately after bidding on the property closes.

    • Quick Tip: Payment requirements can vary on the county and Foreclosure Sales Agent. For more information, visit “What to Bring to Auction” on the Property Details Page

  • What if I didn't bring enough funds? If you cannot make the full payment, your bid may be rejected, and bidding on the property will continue.

  • How long until I can close on the property? Execution of sale receipt, deed upon sale, and IRS Form 8300 will be completed according to the state requirements once payment and due diligence reviews are complete (subject to state-specific laws). Entity documents must be submitted on auction day before the final sale. 

What is an Estimated Opening Bid, and where can I find the amount?

The Estimated Opening Bid is the amount the auctioneer will start bidding.

  • Where can I find the Estimated Opening Bid? If the Estimated Opening Bid amount is available, it will be featured on the Property Details Page.

  • What if the Estimated Opening Bid isn't listed? If you do not see an amount listed, it may not have been supplied by the attorney firm or trustee, but be sure to check the website closer to sale day and time as information is sometimes updated at a later date.

What is the Sale Status?

The Sale Status is whether the Foreclosure property has been Cleared for Sale, Postponed, or Cancelled.

  • When ServiceLink Auction receives updated property sale status information, it is immediately shared on our website and through our auction status notifications. 

Can I schedule a walk-through or inspect the property's interior and exterior?

Since Foreclosure properties may still be occupied, interior access and a scheduled walkthrough is not permitted. In addition, you won't be able to trespass or contact the occupants.

  • Quick Tip: Although trespassing is strictly prohibited, you may drive by and assess the neighborhood.

What if a Property is not sold at the Foreclosure Auction?

If a property is not sold to a third party at the Foreclosure auction, it will revert to the lender.

  • Quick Tip: There may be a 2nd Chance opportunity to purchase the asset with ServiceLink Auction. You can check back on our website for your property of interest. 

Will the Property be free and clear of all liens, liabilities, title, and taxes?

No, properties are sold "as is, where is" with all faults and limitations. All prospective bidders should conduct due diligence on properties in which they are interested.

  • Quick Tips:

    • We recommend you seek independent counsel to do your due diligence to understand the foreclosure sale process before the auction.

    • You may find the title and property information online and determine that property's value based on whether you intend to occupy the property personally, rent it or sell it for profit.

Will the foreclosure attorney reimburse an outstanding amount of the cashier’s check? How long does it take? 

Yes, any refund of the balance due to the winning purchaser will be issued by the firm or county handling the foreclosure auction.

  • The process of issuing a refund is different for each law firm.

Do TPS/Foreclosure properties have an absolute sale? 

No, TPS/ Foreclosure does not have an absolute sale.

  • When an asset is purchased from a Foreclosure sale, and the winning bidder has tendered the total purchase amount, a deed is issued to the winning bidder for recording. 

What is the definition of “revert to beneficiary”? 

When a property “goes back” or “reverts” to the beneficiary, it means there were no successful 3rd party bidders at the foreclosure sale, and the asset is in possession of the lender.

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