Klickitat County Public Auction
The Klickitat County Treasurer conducts one or more real property auctions per
year. Different types of property can be sold at these sales. Here is some
general information on tax foreclosure; tax-title and county owned surplus
The number of parcels auctioned varies greatly from sale to sale. An auction may
have anywhere from one parcel, to twenty or more. The auctions are generally
held in the Board of Commissioners' Chambers located in the Courthouse in
The information in this pamphlet is general in nature and does not constitute
legal advice. The treasurer may change some or all of this material. In
addition, the law applicable to the matters discussed in this pamphlet may
change or may have changed. Specific circumstances will differ at times and may
require certain exceptions.
NO GUARANTEES: Anyone considering buying property at a treasurer's sale
should be aware that THERE ARE RISKS. When selling parcels, the county conveys
the entirety of the interest which it is legally capable of transferring.
However, the treasurer and the county make no representations or warranties
concerning what interest in the real property is being sold. The treasurer is
not required to provide title information concerning the property. Any person
interested in a treasurer's sale is encouraged to make his or her own
investigation concerning the ownership of the property and the position being
conveyed. Any person interested in a treasurer's sale is also encouraged to
consult an attorney, as the treasurer does not provide legal advice concerning
the sale. The treasurer does not provide information concerning the location of
the property owners nor concerning the condition of the property. No
representations or warranties are made concerning the physical condition of the
property or whether there are any environmental or hazardous waste liabilities
or problems connected with the property. Any person desiring title information,
information concerning the physical condition of the property, information
concerning any hazardous waste or environmental issues, or other information
about the property being sold should obtain all such information independently.
The following statement applies to all treasurers' real property sales;
“This is a BUYER BEWARE sale. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. We offer the parcels on a
“where is" and “as is" basis. The County makes no representation of warranty,
expressed or implied, as to the condition of the title to any property, nor the
physical condition of any property or its fitness for any use or purpose."
TAX FORECLOSURE SALES
What is Tax Foreclosure? After real property taxes become three years
delinquent, the county treasurer begins foreclosure action. We file a
certificate of delinquency in the Klickitat County Superior Court to declare
taxes, interest and penalties due, and foreclosure costs continue to accrue.
We order title searches for each parcel. As required by law, all owners, parties
with recorded legal interest in or lien or record on the property (revealed by
title searches) are served with notice and summons by certified mail. A notice
and summons is also published in both local newspapers. (RCW 84.64.050)
The treasurer obtains a judgment from the court authorizing foreclosure of the
tax liens and ordering the sale of those parcels. Parcels being foreclosed on
can be redeemed only by their owners or other parties with recorded legal
interest, through the close of business on the day before the sale. That is,
they are allowed to pay all that is due, thus removing their parcel from the
sale. We usually hold one tax foreclosure sale per year. Check with the
treasurer's office for the date of the next sale. (RCW 84.64.070)
Can prior owners redeem their property after foreclosure? ? Prior owners
have no rights to the property after foreclosure, UNLESS they were a minor or
legally incompetent at the time of the sale. Minors and legal incompetents have
the right to redeem anytime within three years after the date of the foreclosure
sale. They do so by paying the sales price, plus interest on the tax amount. Any
improvements made by the new owner would also be reimbursed. (RCW 84.64.070)
What happens to all of the property liens? Generally, the treasurer's tax
foreclosure sale extinguishes all mortgages (including deeds of trust),
judgments and debts on the real property sold. However, separate rules determine
whether any federal tax liens or unrecorded interests are extinguished. Anyone
purchasing real property at a treasurer's tax foreclosure sale should make an
independent determination of the effect of the sale, including on any federal
tax liens. The treasurer and the county make no guarantees or assurances that
other lienholders or interest holders will honor an extinguishment, and it is
entirely up to the new owner to defend against such claims.
TAX TITLE & COUNTY OWNED SURPLUS
What happens to excess proceeds? If a parcel is sold at auction for more
than the amount owing, the previous title owner of record can claim the surplus
money. This is the party who held title on the day that we filed the Certificate
of Delinquency. They have up to three years from the date of the sale to make
their claim. (RCW 84.64.080)
What does Tax-Title mean? Parcels offered for auction at tax foreclosure
sale, but not sold, are deeded to the county. These parcels are “Tax-Title."
They may still be purchased from the county through a different process.
Tax-title properties are subject to the same risks as tax foreclosure
What is County Owned Surplus? Parcels the county owns, not acquired
through tax foreclosure, can be purchased if the Klickitat County Commissioners
have declared them “surplus."
How long does it take to get a deed? We will issue a deed within
approximately sixty days of the sale date. Deeds are forwarded to the Klickitat
County Auditor's office for recording and mailed to the address provided on the
bidder registration. The type of deed issued varies.
- Tax deeds are issued for parcels purchased at tax foreclosure sales.
- Treasurer' deeds are issued for tax-title parcels.
- County owned surplus deeds depend on the type of deed that the county
holds. Quit claim deeds may be issued on county owned surplus property.
Tax deeds, treasurers' deeds and quit claim deeds provide the purchasers no
guarantees. There can be a clouded title or other problems the county is neither
aware of nor responsible for to the purchaser.
Thorough research on all potential purchases is essential. It is important that
you complete this research before the day of the sale. There are definite
risks when buying tax foreclosure and tax-title properties. Even County owned
surplus sales may present risks. Buying property without doing complete research
can result in unwanted and costly surprises.
Warning – Even the most diligent research efforts may not uncover all
difficulties or unexpected problems.
Where is the best place to begin? Besides the minimum bid sheet, the
treasurer's office will provide as much information as it has available. Title
reports, maps, appraisal sheets and tax information are some items that will
help you in your research. The treasurer's office is only a starting point.
Sometimes the information available is minimal. It's up to the buyer to pursue
Other resourcesQuestions on build-ability, zoning, use restrictions and
controls and others should be looked into before any purchase. City and county
engineering, buildings & codes, and planning departments are good places to get
Title Insurance – Some title companies won't provide title insurance for
up to ten years from the date of sale. Policies vary with each title company.
Assessments – Many parcels have local improvements or special assessments
for which payment will be due. Check to find what districts or associations
service the parcel you are researching.
Local Ordinances – Some properties may have easements or use
restrictions, and zoning or other land use controls. We sell all properties
subject to applicable city and county ordinances. The existence of these is the
buyer's responsibility to detect.
Community Associations Dues – We sell all properties subject to
restrictive covenants, if applicable, allowing for imposition of community
Physical Inspection of Property – We strongly recommend that you visit
the property sites you are researching. Look at exactly what is being offered
for sale. Is there an access to the parcel? Can you accurately identify property
boundaries? Is the parcel being used by neighbors? These are a few of the
questions you may want to ask.
Improvements – If there are improvements on the parcel, you should find
out if they go with the land and how are they currently being used.
Minimum bid sheets are available at the treasurer's office before the auction.
All bidders must be registered. You may sign up on the morning of the auction.
No changes to the registration can be made after the sale. There is no
When registering, we provide a copy of the terms of sale. We require that you
read and sign this before being issued a bidder number card. You cannot bid
without this card. We accept only cash, cashier checks and money orders.
Absolutely no personal or business checks will be accepted. Those wishing to
bid must be present or have a representative present at the auction.
The auctioneer announces the minimum bid for each parcel. Bids are made in
increments of $50 or more.
These are oral auctions. To bid, you must hold up your issued bidder card and
call out the bid amount. Each parcel is sold to the highest bidder. Once a
parcel is sold, the successful bidder will be expected to pay for that parcel in
full before the auction continues to the next parcel. If payment is not then
made, the bid or bids will be deemed rejected, the bidding on such parcel or
parcels will be reopened, and the defaulting bidder or bidders will be excluded
from bidding on all other parcels..
Along with the bid amount, recording fees must be paid. We will announce these
amounts in the opening statement at the beginning of the sale.