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FAQs for Potential Bidders

Tax Sale Frequently Asked Questions - For Bidders

The following list of most frequently asked questions and answers has been compiled to inform potential bidders or other interested parties of the basic requirements and guidelines governing participation in the Talbot County Tax Sale. Participation in the Talbot County Tax Sale may result in the immediate purchase of a "tax lien," but not an actual property, therefore, discretion is encouraged. The list does not include all applicable terms. Some of its contents may or may not be applicable and are subject to revision, without prior notice. Additional provisions may be enacted at any time, up to and including Tax Sale Day, and are at the sole discretion of the Collector of State and County taxes for Talbot County. A complete list of terms will be made available before the sale.

How often does Talbot County hold tax sales?

Talbot County holds one tax sale per year.

What are the date, time and location of the Talbot County Tax Sale?

The 2021 Tax Sale is being held online. Bidding will begin on May 11, 2021 at noon and will be completed at noon on May 12, 2021. Details can be found online at

Does Talbot County allow bidders to participate in the auction via mail, telephone or fax?

No. All potential bidders must pre-register to participate in the Tax Sale. Requirements for pre-registration at the Talbot County Tax Sale website.

How can a list of tax sale properties be obtained and what is the cost?

Beginning four weeks prior to the sale, Talbot County publishes a list of properties to be auctioned in a local publication (usually the Easton Star-Democrat) for four consecutive weeks. Copies of those publications must be purchased directly from the publisher, APG Media of Chesapeake LLC. Because taxes can be paid up to two days before the date and time of the sale, the number of properties on the list may change. The list will be updated periodically as these properties are removed from the sale. Concurrently, a list will be made available at the Tax Sale website at

Are the properties not bid upon at the Tax Sale available for sale over the counter?

No. Any property not sold is purchased by the County. No property will be sold at any other time than on the day of the tax sale.

What are the registration requirements?

All potential bidders are required to pre-register. To pre-register, potential bidders must complete the registration process found at the Tax Sale website. Click here to register for the 2021 Tax Sale. (in the Tax Sale Procedures documents (to be made available on April 26, 2019). Please specify on the IRS Form W-9 which tax class potential interest payments should be recorded. Pre-registration ends Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 4:00 P.M. The Talbot County Finance Office will provide tax sale purchasers with IRS Form 1099 to report any interest as required by law.

If I am the successful bidder on a property, do I have to pay the bid amount at the end of the auction?

No. The successful bidder must pay for the taxes, interest, tax sale costs and any high-bid premium of any properties won by 4:00 p.m. the day of the auction. Funds will be automatically withdrawn from the bank account specified in the registration process.

What are High-Bid Premiums?

High-bid premiums are additional funds deposited on any tax sale property for which the highest bid exceeds forty percent (40%) of the property's full cash value. The high-bid premium is twenty percent (20%) of the amount that exceeds the forty percent cash value threshold. For example, if the full cash value is $100,000, the outstanding taxes due are $1,000 and the successful bid is $50,000, the bidder should expect to pay:


Taxes $1,000
High Bid Premium Cash Value $100,000
40% Cash Value ($100,000 x .40) $40,000
Bid $50,000
Less 40% Cash Value $40,000
Total $10,000
20% Premium ($10,000 x .20) $2,000
Total Due $3,000


Under the example above, a total of $3,000 is due to the County by 4:00 p.m. the day of the auction. That is, $1,000 for the outstanding taxes, interest and costs, plus 20% of $10,000, the amount that exceeds forty percent of the full cash value or $2,000.

The high-bid premium is refundable without interest to the holder of the tax sale certificate or assignee upon redemption, or the plaintiff in an action to foreclose the right of redemption. The high-bid premium is non-refundable if not redeemed, and no action to foreclose the right of redemption is filed within the two years of the date of the tax sale certificate.

If I am the successful bidder on a property, do I take ownership of that property?

No. The successful bidder will hold a tax lien against the property and be given a tax sale certificate. However, until redeemed, the lien will be considered the first priority financial obligation of the property.

How long is the tax lien valid?

The tax lien certificate is valid for two years from the date of the certificate.

What interest rate is paid on the lien upon redemption?

The current interest rate paid by Talbot County on tax sale property is six percent (6%) annually. The interest amount will be calculated at a monthly rate from the date of sale to the date of redemption.

What are the original owner's rights of redemption?

The procedure for redemption of properties sold at tax sale is governed by state law set forth in Title 14, Subtitle 8 of the Tax-Property Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. The County does not provide legal advice to either the tax sale purchaser or the property owner on their respective rights under the law. The information in these FAQ's is NOT intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in determining your rights and liabilities under governing law.

Page last modified Tuesday, January 9, 2024 8:43:14 AM