Foreclosure Sales Frequently Asked Questions

1How does the online auction work?

Auctions are held on properties offered for sale to the highest bidder. The Clerk’s Office conducts the sale via public auction on the Internet in accordance with Florida Statute §45.031(10). A $70.00 Clerk’s sale fee and a $70.00 electronic sale service charge must be paid to the Clerk prior to the sale by the Plaintiff. The sale will be cancelled by the Clerk’s office if these fees are unpaid.

Any individual intending to bid on the properties must register with the clerk on this web site prior to the sale. The site provides information for each property, including the name of the owner, legal description and the opening or base bid. At the date and time specified for the sale, each property is auctioned in order of file number and sold to the highest bidder.

Before the sale, each bidder must post with the Clerk a deposit equal to 5% of their anticipated high bid. At the conclusion of the sale, once the winning bidder has been determined, 5% of the winning bid amount is deducted from the winning bidder’s available deposit and applied to the sale. The remainder of the bid and court registry fees are due by 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time the following business day.

Payment may be made in the form of wire transfer along with a $15.00 wire transfer fee. Multiple wire transfer fees are incurred for multiple wire transfers. Upon payment of the remaining balance via wire transfer, the Clerk will issue a Certificate of Sale.

A Certificate of Title may be issued by the Clerk of Court after ten (10) calendar days have elapsed from the issuance of the Certificate of Sale and provided there is no other action or objection relating to the subject proceeding.

2What equipment and software will I need?
There is no special software or hardware needed for the sale. In order to participate, bidders must have a computer with access to the Internet. In order to have full functionality of the web site, the Internet browsers that are supported are the latest two versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. It is suggested that MAC users download Firefox in order to participate in the sale. The Clerk’s office may provide limited access to public computers for the online auctions depending on availability.
3Do I have to be present on the day of the sale?
Effective October 18, 2016, foreclosure sales will be conducted entirely online via this web site. It will no longer be necessary to appear in person to participate in the sale. All foreclosure sales begin promptly at 12:00 p.m. Noon Eastern Standard Time.
4What do I need in order to participate?
In order to participate in the sale, bidders must register on this site to get a Username and Password and place a valid deposit for your bids to be considered.
5How do I register an account?

To create an account, click this link to launch the registration wizard.

Note: Registration is global. Once registered, you can use the same username and password to sign into any RealForeclose or RealTaxDeed website. You do not need to create multiple accounts. HOWEVER, each county handles its own funds. In order to participate in any Foreclosure or Tax Deed auction, you will be required to initiate separate deposits for each sale in which you intend to bid.

6How much is the deposit?
You will need to place a deposit equal to five percent (5%) of your estimated high bid for each property you anticipate winning at the sale.
7How do I pay for my deposit?
Deposits can be made electronically on this web site via ACH (Electronic Check). Please keep in mind that ACH fund transfers take several days to process; we recommend the transfer is initiated at least 5 full business days in advance of the sale date. Our office recommends initiating the deposit one calendar week in advance of the sale to avoid any technical delays.
8How do I pay for my winning bids?

The successful bidder must remit the remainder of the bid and court registry fees by 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time the following business day.

Payment may be made in the form of wire transfer along with a $15.00 wire transfer fee per wire transaction. Multiple wire transfer fees are incurred for multiple wire transfers. Upon payment of the remaining balance via wire transfer, the Clerk will issue a Certificate of Sale.

9Can other participants see my bids?
No.
10How does the bidding work? What is a proxy bid?
Auction participants enter their highest acceptable bid for a property. The auction system then checks all other bids and enters a bid on your behalf at $100.00 more than the next highest bidder (proxy bidding). The system stops entering bids for you when your highest acceptable bid is reached. When an auction closes, each property is awarded to the participant with the highest bid.
11What happens in case of a tie bid?

If identical bids are placed prior to the auction start date and time the first participant to place the bid will be deemed the official high bid.

Tie bids are not allowed once the auction begins, however if a bidder enters a bid that equals a proxy bid placed by another bidder, the bid entered in first would be deemed the current high bid. If this occurs, you will receive a message indicating that you “Do Not Have the Current High Bid” and will then have the opportunity to raise your bid if desired.

12Can I change or cancel my bid?
Bids may be cancelled or modified (raised or lowered) at any time before the auction officially begins for that case. Once an auction begins, however, bids may be increased only. Cancelling or lowering a bid during a live auction is NOT permitted.
13 If I am the high bidder, how long do I have to pay for the property?
If you are the successful bidder for property at a foreclosure sale, the balance of the final bid amount and court registry fees are due by 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time of the following business day. Payment may be made in the form of wire transfer along with a $15.00 wire transfer fee. Multiple wire transfer fees are incurred for multiple wire transfers.
14When am I required to pay documentary stamps?

The documentary stamps are due no later than ten (10) calendar days after the Certificate of Sale has been issued.

Documentary stamps must be mailed to:

The St. Johns County Clerk of Courts
Richard O. Watson Judicial Center, Room 136
4010 Lewis Speedway
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Failure to provide documentary stamps will result in a hold on the issuance of the Certificate of Title by our office.

15What if I fail to make the final payment or choose not to purchase the property?
If full payment is not made by 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time of the following business day, your deposit will be forfeited. A Certificate of Non-Sale will be issued by the Clerk of Court and the Court will be notified of the default.
16What happens to the unused funds left in my bidder account?
The funds may remain on deposit to use at a later sale or you may request a refund.
17How do I request a refund?
Funds on deposit are only returned when requested. To request a refund, click “Request Refund.” Please allow approximately two weeks from the date of your request for processing refunds.
18What is the overtime period? Why does the auction keep extending?

Any bid placed with less than 30 seconds remaining on the auction clock will automatically extend the bidding period by one full minute under the following circumstances:

  • If the Plaintiff’s Maximum bid is hidden and the bid is placed within the last 30 seconds, the clock will extend.
  • If the Plaintiff’s Maximum bid is displayed and the bid placed exceeds the Plaintiff’s bid, then an additional minute will be added to the auction clock. If the bid placed is less than the Plaintiff’s bid, the clock WILL NOT extend.
19Does the foreclosure or tax deed sale erase all other liens on the property?
No! There may still be other encumbrances (judgments, priority mortgages, taxes or liens) that survive the sale. The winning bidder takes title to the property subject to all defects, liens, encumbrances and matters of which he/she has or could obtain knowledge of. It is the bidder’s responsibility to perform all research regarding the property, including the value, title defects, liens, mortgages or other encumbrances. The Clerk’s Office does not guarantee a clear title and is not responsible for any encumbrances on the property purchased at auction. The laws regarding foreclosures are extremely complicated. It is recommended that all bidders perform a title search and/or consult an attorney prior to placing a bid.
20 What is the procedure for obtaining Plaintiff Access?

In order to have access to the cases you will be managing you must first register an account. Be advised that registration is global so once you have obtained a User Name and Password you will be able to log in to any RealForeclose site in which you will be managing cases. Once the registration is created, an email requesting Plaintiff Access should be sent to Customer Service at customerservice@realauction.com, with the following information:

  • Name of County
  • User Name
  • Name of Firm
  • Sale Date
  • Case Number

An email confirming access to the Manage Cases module will be sent upon completion.

Once an account has been granted Plaintiff Access it CANNOT be used for participation as a 3rd party bidder. 3rd party bidding would necessitate creating a separate funded account in order to place a bid on an auction as a 3rd party which means the 5% deposit requirement must be met as well.

21What if I fail to pay the plaintiff pre-sale fees?

Plaintiff’s representatives are not required to have a 5% deposit in order to participate. A $70.00 Clerk’s sale fee and a $70.00 electronic sale service charge must be paid to the Clerk prior to the sale by the Plaintiff.

Failure to provide the Clerk’s sale fee or the electronic sale service charge will result in the cancellation of the sale by our office.

22How do I update my bidder account information?

If any information needs to be updated in your bidder account, i.e., contact name, address, email address, etc. Realauction will execute those changes. There is an Account Update Form that must be completed in order for any changes to be made to your account. This form can be accessed through the “My Account” link located on the left menu. The required form along with a Photo ID and any other supporting documentation can be faxed or emailed to the Realauction Customer Service Center.

Note: Updating any information in your bidder account DOES NOT automatically update the information associated with any of your aliases (Names on Title). Those changes are done by the bidder through the My Account option. After clicking on that link select Manage Aliases (Names on Title) to manually make any changes needed.

23What happens to my proxy bid if a case is canceled?
If a presale/proxy bid is placed on a case that is subsequently canceled, all bids will be removed. If that same case is reactivated for the same date or rescheduled for another sale date, bids previously placed will NOT be restored so it is the sole responsibility of participants to check the status of the cases for which they intend to participate.