Tips for Scrubbing Delinquent Tax List

Looking for some guidance on scrubbing data on a delinquent tax list. Are there other posts that get into some of the details on how to identify vacant land versus properties with homes? I got a lengthy list from a county and it seems that in most cases the properties with a street address have homes, whereas a county road address may or may not. There’s nothing obvious to me that indicates when it is vacant land. This list also has some comments indicating “mail returned” or “tax lien”.... I am assuming I should avoid those properties in my mail campaign. Would you agree? Also do you typically target properties with multiple years of delinquent taxes? Many properties on my list have just 2019 delinquent taxes. Any tips are greatly appreciated!!

best case is look t see of the list you got from the county has am "Improvements" column - may say "Improvements Value" , Improvements Assessed Value", etc. Records with data in these columns usually indicates the presence of a house, building, slab, well, driveway, etc. If the value is very small; i.e. les than 10% of the total assessed value it might mean the improvement is just a well or driveway, septic system, etc. and may be okay to purchase. If it is relatively large in relation to the total assessed value it is likely a structure and not vacant land.


@karljames thanks for the guidance. nothing like that on this particular list. In addition it's a 723 page PDF doc that's not easily convertible to Excel... so I'm thinking maybe I avoid this county/list altogether. I have some requests out to other counties, so we'll see what their data looks like soon. Thanks again!

@lemo_tx Some counties have a column in their Delinquent Tax file for the Property Appraiser's zoning category. Immensely helpful IF they have it.

Regarding how many years back to pull a list: I think that will depend on laws and timelines for Delinquent Property Taxes in whatever state you are working in. I think the rule of thumb is that it's best to mail to folks that are months away from the potential of their property going to tax foreclosure auction. That being said, I'm under contract now for a property that has been delinquent since 2013, for whatever reason the investors that own the tax certificates from 2013 haven't pushed the property into Tax Foreclosure Auction. Maybe they were just content to collect interest and hope someone like me would buy the property and pay off the tax bill? Disclaimer, I am super new to this, I just started sending mail in early November so take what I'm saying with a couple big grains of salt :-)

Hi @lemo_tx,

I think the answer's above are great.

I used to scrub all my lists myself, and I think it's a great way to start out as you get a better understanding of how these lists work.

In the long run, I ended up hiring a VA to scrub the lists for me. This saved me quite a bit of time and energy that I could direct to other areas. I hope that tip helps!

@trevor-land thank you for the feedback. Yes, I think I'm pretty good with data, but I'm struggling to find enough time to do it all myself due to other career and family commitments. How did you go about finding a VA for this, and are you using a service like AgentPro247, or still requesting data from the counties directly?

Hi @lemo_tx,

I hear ya!

I've tried both Agentpro and going directly to the counties, however, I found the list that I pulled from counties were difficult to work with. Some county lists were not in excel format, one county could only print paper lists for me, it was quite a bit of headache so I stuck to Agentpro. I hope that helps!