Recently, a piece of land was for sale at a tax deed auction in Broward County. A man looked it up on the property appraiser’s website and some other public sites and found a photo similar to the one here. He bid in the auction and snagged it for $9,100. Here’s the kicker… he did not win the duplex. He did not even win one of these villas. He won the piece of grass that divides the two driveways.
In one of those only-in-Florida situations, somehow this strip of grass is separate from the two villas. The new owner is calling it deceptive and wants his money back.
I’m going to assume this guy never went to real estate school because one of the things I teach is that the rules of a tax deed auction or a foreclosure auction are “caveat emptor,” which means “Let the buyer beware.”
If you ever have a buyer who wants to skip the title search, this is why they need to do it. In real life, you have to get a title search because the mortgage company requires it. But if a person were paying cash, they could skip on the title search. Here’s a good story about why the title insurance is worth it. You want to be sure you are getting a house instead of a strip of grass with two mailboxes.
If you ever bid on a tax deed auction, or if you ever take the Florida real estate sales associate exam, be sure you know what caveat emptor is.
If you are interested in going to real estate school or getting your real estate license to ensure you don’t make a mistake like this guy, you can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.