iA common misconception about tax sales is that the actual land is conveyed to the purchaser at the sale. This is not the case.
The person who pays the amount listed in the newspaper for a parcel receives a Certificate of Purchase for the land.
The Certificate of purchase only entitles the holder to a lien on the property. The CP Holder has no right to use or make improvements to the property. In fact, making improvements on the property would not be in the best interest of the CP Holder, as the landowner may Redeem the property within 4 years from the date of the sale.
When the property is Redeemed by the landowner, the CP Holder is reimbursed for all the taxes and fees he/she paid plus 15% interest and a 3% penalty on the original year. The Certificate is then returned to the Treasurer's Office and the CP Holder has no more interest in the property.
How does the tax sale work?
When will the tax sale take place?
What is sold at a tax sale?
How do I find out what's for sale and where it is?
How much does it cost to purchase a certificate at the sale?
What rights to the property does the certificate holder have?
Once I receive a certificate of purchase, what do I have to do?
If the landowner pays the taxes, what do I get back?
How do tax deeds work?
How do I apply for a Tax Deed?