Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of sales do you hold?
A: We conduct public auctions of lands that were forfeited to the state for non-payment of real property taxes. They are held once a year in the county where the property is located.

Q: How do I know which properties will be available for sale?
A: The Commissioner of State Lands publishes a legal notice in the county newspaper prior to the sale. Parcel information for upcoming the auctions is also available on the COSL website,, under Public Auction Catalog. This information is updated daily.

Q: How can I get more information on a particular piece of property (e.g. location, structures, etc.)?
A: You should contact the county assessor.

Q: Who is entitled to redeem property from the Commissioner of State Lands office?
A: Anyone may redeem property. Redemption does not change ownership; it simply makes the taxes current.

Q: What kind of title do I get if I purchase land at one of the auctions?
A: The state executes a Limited Warranty Deed, which conveys whatever interest the state has in the property to the purchaser.

Q: When will I receive my Limited Warranty Deed?
A: Deeds cannot be issued until after the 10 business day redemption period has expired and all checks have cleared.

Q: How does a successful bidder pay for the property?
A: The full purchase price (amount of the successful bid plus tax due as stated in the catalog) must be paid the day of the auction. The first $100 of EACH PARCEL PURCHASED must be paid in cash, cashier’s check or money order. The remainder may be paid by a personal or corporate check or credit card, if WiFi service is available at the auction location.

Q: Should I make improvements to property I purchase at tax sales?
A: It is recommended that no significant improvements be made to the property prior to the expiration of the 90 day litigation period.

Q: What happens if the sale is set aside, or the Commissioner or judge declares the deed void?
A: In the event a sale or deed is canceled by the Commissioner or a judge, the purchaser is entitled to a full refund (no interest accruing) of all monies paid to the state for the purchase of the property. Credit card fees are not refundable. In addition, all taxes, penalties, interest and costs due on the property must be paid by the party challenging the tax sale or deed.

Q: Can I redeem or purchase delinquent mineral rights from the Commissioner of State Lands office?
A: Tax delinquent mineral interests may be redeemed at any time. In some limited situations, the mineral rights may be purchased from the Commissioner of State Lands.

Q: What happens to property that is offered for sale at public auction, but does not sell?
These parcels will be available after 30 days through the Post Auction Sales list. Prospective buyers may bid on these parcels through the online auction available on this website

Q: Will I be responsible for delinquent special improvement district fees assessed against the property?
A: Probably yes. All potential purchasers should research the property records maintained by the county tax assessor, tax collector and circuit clerk in order to determine if additional fees are owed on the property.