Tax Deed Sales

One of the functions the Clerk of Court’s Official Records Department is responsible for is holding tax deed sales. Tax Deed Sales deal with the selling of property to the highest bidder at a public auction in order to recover delinquent property taxes. A tax deed sale occurs after an owner of a Tax Certificate applies to the Tax Collector for a Tax Deed.

For information on purchasing a tax certificate please visit the Wakulla County Tax Collector’s website at http://www.wakullacountytaxcollector.com/Property/TaxCertificates.

List of Lands Available for Taxes

List of Tax Deeds for Sale

Tax Deed Sale Rules of Conduct:

  • Remember this is a “BUYER BEWARE” situation. Each buyer must conduct his or her own due diligence search. Due diligence includes but is not limited to, conducting an independent search to insure that you are aware of any liens or encumbrances on the property.
  • We ask that you would please arrive at least 30 min before the sale start time. You will be asked for your ID and to fill out an “Intent to Bid” form. You may pre-register.
  • The high bidder shall post with the Clerk a non-refundable cash deposit of $200 or 5% of the winning bid, whichever is greater, at the time of the sale. This can be either cash, money order or cashier check. NO PERSONAL CHECKS ARE ACCEPTED.
  • Bidders may be required or asked to show their willingness and ability to post the deposit prior to the sale.
  • Once the sale has started the tax deed file will remain with the Deputy Clerk.
  • If you need to view a Tax Deed file, you can do so on our in-house computers during regular business hours.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT TAX DEEDS ARE GOVERNED BY FLORIDA STATUTES AND THAT THE CLERK’S OFFICE CANNOT OFFER ANY LEGAL ADVICE. SHOULD YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ADVICE PLEASE CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register to bid on a tax deed?
Each bidder must register by completing an “Intent to Bid” registration form. This registration form must be hand delivered to the Clerk’s Office and you may be required to provide I.D. No electronic submissions of the registration form will be accepted. Due to limited staffing, all bidders are required to be registered by 9:45AM the day of the sale. Bidders will NOT be allowed to register after 9:45AM the day of the sale and will not be allowed to participate in the sale.

When and where are tax deed sales held?
Tax Deed Sales are held when advertised. Tax deed sales are advertised for a period of four (4) consecutive weeks in the Wakulla News (Local Newspaper). Tax Deed sales are generally held on a Wednesday, usually at 10:00 a.m. at the Wakulla County Court House located at 3056 Crawfordville Hwy Crawfordville FL. The sale is held in the main lobby area located on the first floor of the Courthouse outside the Official Records Room 121.

Are there specific requirements for paying for a tax deed?
Before the sale begins, each bidder should be aware of the requirements of Florida Law. All sales are for cash, a certified cashier’s check or a money order. Anyone bidding on the property should have already made financial arrangements so that they can meet the requirements of the sale. If the balance of the bid is not received by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the sale, it may be necessary to void the sale and advertise the property for resale. If this occurs, the initial $200.00 or 5% deposit shall be used by the court to pay all costs of the sale and any amount remaining is directed to be applied toward the judgment.

The successful bidder is also required to pay for the documentary stamps on the Tax Deed, and any other fees for recording said Tax Deed. A purchaser at a judicial sale takes the property subject to any defects, liens, encumbrances and all matters of which he/she has notice or of which he/she could have obtained knowledge.

What can I expect once the sale begins?
A tax deed sale works the same way as any auction. Bidding will start with the statutory opening bid amount. This amount will differ with each tax deed application. The sale will continue until the bidding stops in which the highest bidder will be the considered the successful bidder. All parties are asked to refrain from conversation while a sale is being conducted.

What happens after the sale?
Once the sale is over all successful bidders will be required to come into the Clerk’s Office Official Record Dept. and post their cash deposit. Each successful bidder will be dealt with on an individual basis. At that time the successful bidder will be given the total amount due. This will include; the successful bid amount, documentary stamp fee’s, recording fees, and any other applicable fees. All fees are due and payment is expected by 4:00 p.m. the day of the sale.

What if I am the successful bidder and I fail to return with the payment by 4PM?
Section 197.542(2), F.S. states: “the clerk may refuse to recognize the bid of any person who has previously bid and refused, for any reason, to honor such bid.” The unpaid successful bid will be thrown out, the property will be re-advertised for two weeks in the local paper and then sold to the highest bidder at another public auction. All monies received for the deposit (5% or $200.00) will be used to pay the fees to process a new sale. Additionally, those individuals who fail to return and make payment on a successful bid will not be allowed to bid at any future tax deed sales.

If you have any questions, please call (850) 926-0326 or (850) 926-0322.