Smith County tax foreclosed properties to be sold online, not on courthouse steps
Change to begin in February following approval from commissioners court
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Buying tax foreclosed property on the steps of the Smith County Courthouse will soon be a thing of the past. Come February 2023, the monthly auction will move online.
“For one, it’s certainly a time saver,” said Jim Lambeth with Linebarger Attorneys at Law. “It’s going to benefit the sheriff’s department in not having to have manpower out on the courthouse steps between ten and four selling properties.”
Lambeth says traditionally local buyers have been the ones to show up, but he believes this move will attract buyers from other areas.
“In counties where these properties are sold online we sell more of them. 97% of them actually get sold in that initial sheriff sale. And then of those, the vast majority of them sell for much more than the initial minimum bid.”
The Florida-based company RealAuction will provide the online software, and showed us how it works using a demo site.
CEO Lloyd McClendon says the pros of moving online include helping both the bidders and and property owners by increasing the sale price...
“It really helps the property owner get full market value,” said McClendon.
“The additional money that is brought in above the minimum bid goes to the original homeowner or the original property owner,” Lambeth said.
And while the auction will move online, publishing rules remain the same.
“We will still have our same advertisement rules. These properties get advertised in the newspaper, no more than 20 days before the sale and no less than 10 days before the sale. They’ll also be advertised on our website at lgbs.com.”
And while the online auctions will not begin for Smith County until February, Lambeth says resources will be offered ahead of time to get buyers familiar with how it works.
“We will have webinars available between now and February, so that any of the interested buyers will know how to do that,” Lambeth said.
The auction date and times will remain the same: the first Tuesday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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