Think of a purchase of a tax liens as a long term investment or like a CD. You do not actually get the property (until if and when certain conditions have been met, may be years later). You become a lien holder on that property. The owner can pay the delinquent taxes and is back on tract before the tax lien sale or right at the tax lien sale. The sale is limited to only so many investors, maybe 200-300 can get in and then depending on the county etc. it goes in a round robin manner so investor have equal chance on getting a bid in - This all depends on the county that the tax sale is occurring - you need to find out specific info on you county! and also government tax sales. Many instance you can only pay by personal check, no other form of payment is accepted. Tax lien sale usually occurs once a year. You have to register to get in to the place where it is held etc. There are several rules about all this. IT is not as simple as the current advertisment has made it look. You do not get the house immediately or even quickly- you become a lien holder - and there may be other lien holders etc. It is a complicated process.