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Michigan Public Land Auction

Before the Sale

Bidders are urged to do their own research thoroughly BEFORE they enter bids.

Lack of proper research is NOT a valid reason to cancel a bid or obtain a refund!

If you are the high bidder, YOU BOUGHT IT. There are no buyer cancellations, bid retractions or refunds.


When researching properties, please remember several things:

  • You are purchasing property based on the LEGAL DESCRIPTION ONLY. That means that the lot and subdivision number, or the measured description is the ONLY guaranteed information that is being provided.
  • We provide other information based on the records of the local government, usually based on the records of the Assessors office AS PROVIDED TO US. These items may include acreage calculations, State Equalized Values (SEVs), Street Addresses, location and existence of buildings and other improvements, and a multitude of other information. Because we did not compile this information, we cannot guarantee that it is either correct OR current. Please double check all information and be sure you know what you are purchasing.
  • We also provide site visit notes and photographs on many properties. Again, while this information is deemed reliable, it is NOT GUARANTEED. We are not surveyors, engineers, building inspectors, or attorneys. We may not notice defects, and we may point out possible defects which may not in fact exist. This information is provided solely as additional information for you to consider and double check with your own resources.

That being said:

  • Bidders should personally inspect properties, or arrange to have someone qualified view them on their behalf.
  • The property attributes should be double checked with local assessor records for accuracy.
  • Where there is doubt, measurements or a survey should be made to assure the actual size and location of properties.
  • Local market sales should be considered in determining the current actual value of the property compared to other similar ones in the area.

Making assumptions or guessing is dangerous!
You do so at your own risk!

Things to consider when viewing property

There are many items which can affect future property use and value. A short (but not complete list) of those things should be verified and clearly understood:

  • Is the property large enough to be built on under local zoning and other ordinances?
  • What uses are allowed for property under zoning?
  • Is there a legal means to get the property (i.e.: public road or legal easement) without crossing other private property? Not all roads are public! The existence of "two tracks", roads or paths does NOT assure legal access.
  • Do roads shown on maps actually exist? Are they in the correct location? Do they encroach on private property?
  • If there is no public water or sewer system in the area, will the property pass local health department codes to install a private system?
  • Are there utilities in the area? Extending utility lines to a parcel can be a huge expense!
  • If there are buildings on the parcel, are they completely ON the property? Are there encroachments from neighboring property?
  • Are buildings condemned or subject to demolition orders?
  • Does anyone claim or appear to hold possession of all or part of the property?
  • Are buildings structurally sound?
  • Is there evidence of contamination?
  • Is the property subject to any deed or use restrictions?
  • Are there condominium or property owners association dues or fees which you will have to pay?
  • Are there any easements or special assessments which remain?
  • If the property is referred to as a UNIT, it is most likely a CONDOMINIUM UNIT. Please be aware that there are sometimes taxes assessed for units which have not even been built! A "unit" can be a second floor space on a building that isn't even there! PLEASE check with the condominium association or developer and be sure you know what the unit actually is!
  • Does the property actually EXIST? Some parcels which may appear to be "waterfront" on a map can actually be UNDERWATER!

Please also be aware that it is ILLEGAL to enter buildings on these parcels, even if they are unlocked or otherwise open! Many of these buildings have dangerous structural issues and we cannot allow bidders to enter them.

Also, if there are current occupants, or if former owners have any personal property stored on parcels, they have rights too! Please do not interfeere with the rights of others who still occupy or have a claim of occupancy to these parcels!


Late night "info-mercials" like to portray tax properties as huge bargains.
While you can often purchase properties for less than market value, the claim that you can buy move-in ready homes or very valuable properties for "pennies on the dollar" is more of a myth than a reality!

Our Michigan sales are well publicized, and we attract hundreds of experienced property buyers who know the many pitfalls that tax properties can have:

  • Boundary and title disputes
  • Location in undesirable neighborhoods where resale is difficult
  • Wetlands and environmental issues
  • Building and land defects which are not apparent to the eye
  • Title insurance can be expensive and difficult to obtain
  • Occupants, eviction and personal property storage issues

The general rule is that if it seems to good to be true... it probably is!

You worked hard for your money.
Please be sure to spend it wisely!