Quiet title action on tax deeds - any advice or insight appreciated

Came across an interesting deal this week while cruising the internet: guy had 20 small parcels (19ish acres total) he bought a while ago from a tax deed sale and wanted to get rid of them on the cheap (couple hundred bucks a pop). I went so far as sending the guy an offer only to realize today after reading up on the matter that tax deeds seem to be a huge cloud on title. By the grace of God, I was dumb enough to not change the language in my contract regarding the deed so it still specifies that he needs to deliver a warranty deed - which he obviously can’t/shouldn’t deliver.

Does anyone have experience with clearing tax deed titles? Curious if there’s any way I could have made this work without paying an attorney several thousand per parcel to quiet the title?

@mmehring1 when I see stuff like this, I always ask myself,

“What would have to be true for this to be a good deal?”

What if you got them all for $100 a pop?

Maybe $50 per parcel?

What if you paid $100 for ALL of the parcels combined?

What about ZERO? Would that be a good enough deal to justify the hassle?

Heck, let’s go nuts! What if the seller paid you for the inconvenience of taking these worthless, clouded title properties off his hands? Would it work for you then?

I’ve had sellers offer to pay me to take their properties before. It’s not common, but not outside the realm of possibility.

Whatever the number is (even if it’s a negative number), it doesn’t hurt to ask. Rather than walking away from the deal that could make money under the right circumstances, you might as will exhaust every possible option.

If the seller doesn’t understand what a mess he has on his hands, be sure to let him know, so he understands why your offer is so low. He needs to realize that no knowledgeable buyer in their right mind would buy properties like this unless they’re getting a massive discount to justify the inconvenience of cleaning up his mess.

On a more practical note, you’ll find that most buyers of small, cheap lots like this won’t know or care enough to do a title search anyway.

Even if they do, if a tax sale is the only issue they find clouding the title, that’s not the biggest problem in the world (enough to prevent them from getting title insurance, yes… but in reality, this very rarely results in any actual future problems). Keep in mind, a tax sale is technically supposed to clear the title, even though title underwriters don’t look at it this way. Many other title issues could pose far more significant problems than this.

Also, if you’re looking for an alternative to a quiet title action, you could also consider the approach we discussed in episode 143 of the podcast as well.

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@retipsterseth This is GREAT information! I don’t know how I missed this podcast. Thank you!

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