How to Find Land Auctions Near You

By Staff WriterLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 6:48:28 PM ET
Land with a "For Sale" sign in front of it
CC-BY/Rick Techlin/Flickr

One of the best ways to buy land is at an auction. Sometimes land goes for a better price at auction, and some of the larger plots of land that real estate agents don’t sell find buyers at an auction. If you're interested in purchasing land at an auction, how do you go about finding auctions near you? Here are some tips for finding local land auctions.

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Check the Local Newspaper

Local newspapers are a prime source for legal announcements. You can typically find announcements for auctions for everything from estate sales to foreclosed land. You may have to do your own research on the plots of land for sale, as the legal notices don't usually include a lot of details. It’s a situation where the buyer should beware, but it's possible to find great deals.

Search for Government Auctions

Federal, state and local governments often auction off surplus property or land they've seized for nonpayment of taxes or criminal reasons. To find these opportunities to buy land at auction, you can visit the sites of government agencies that repossess or seize lands, or you can go to a search engine and look for “government land auctions.” You need to do your homework before bidding on seized lands, because sometimes the buyer is responsible for any liens on the land, or the property may need a lot of repairs. Tread carefully, but if you know what you want, you may be able to find land at a good price.

Look at the Websites of Auction Houses

To find some land auctions, you have to look for the party conducting the auction. Open a search engine and look for local auction companies. A little digging on their websites should lead you to the parcels of land that will be up for auction. These sites often have better detail on the land they're trying to sell, and properties may be in better condition than seized properties. A diligent search for auction houses oftens yield land parcels that are part of estates or larger sales.

Reach Out to Realtors

Sometimes real estate agents have a hand in land auctions, whether directly or indirectly. Talk to local realtors to see if they know about land auctions that are happening soon. Realtors who are part of the auction process will have detailed information at their offices or on their websites. If you're friends with a real estate agent, don’t be afraid to ask him or her about local land up for auction. Realtors who have good working relationships with other agents should also be willing to share information about upcoming auctions.

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Drive Around

This last tip may sound like a time waster, but you never know what you’re going to find when you go exploring. Take the time to drive around the area where you're looking for land to see if any parcels or lots are up for auction. Take a pen and paper with you, or use your smartphone camera to capture phone numbers and any other information you may need to pursue the land you want to bid on. You may find exactly what you’re looking for with a simple drive.