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Lee County, NC

408 Summit Drive, Sanford, NC, 27330, US


Surplus Property and Upset Bid Process

  • We have property in which the County/City has foreclosed and at the sale, the County/City became the highest bidder.
  • Someone contacts the legal department about submitting an offer.
  • The County will potentially dispose of these lots through the upset bid process allowable under GS 160A-269.
  • The County will contact the tax department to find the “redeem” amount (the amount of taxes, fees, attorney fees, and costs) are owed on the property.
  • The policy is the County would like to redeem that amount but also considers what the tax value of the property is as well
  • The individual fills out the Real Estate Offer Form and submits that, along with 5% deposit and $200 (advertising costs).  The $200 is a general estimate of the cost of the advertisement and, any costs in excess of $200 will be deducted from purchase price or return of bid deposit.  The deposit is refundable if the individual does not become the owner of the property.  The sum must be paid in cash, certified check or cashier’s check.  The advertising costs are non-refundable once an individual’s bid has been advertised in The Sanford Herald.  If the individual’s bid is rejected by the Board, or if there is a higher upset bid, the advertising costs will be refunded along with the individual’s bid deposit.
  • If someone is interested in the property, they must submit the form and then contact the legal department to set up a time to bring the deposit. 
  • That initial offer is taken to the Board of County Commissioners for approval or denial.  The Commissioners may determine they do not want to dispose of the property or they may determine they want to reject the bid amount.
  • If the Board accepts the initial offer, through its resolution, it instructs staff to advertise that offer in The Sanford Herald and allow for 10-day upset bid, whereby individuals can upset the bid by submitting sealed bids.  The Commissioners will also give the authority to staff to accept any qualifying upset bid and continue the process until the last qualifying bid is submitted to the County, then that last bid will go back to the Board for final approval.
  • For your reference, the County disposes of the property with a non-warranty deed, we do not conduct title searches and can only agree to dispose of what we own.  We highly recommend an individual hire an attorney to perform a title search
  • For the upset sealed bids:
    • Once the bid is published, individuals will have 10 days to submit sealed upset bids
    • The upset bid must be signed and the sum must be greater than the original offer by ten percent (10%) of the first one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and five percent (5%) of the remainder and must include the $175 of advertising and administrative costs.
    • The increased bid must be delivered to the Lee County Legal Department, 408 Summit Avenue, Sanford NC 27330 on or before 5:00 pm the 10th day following the publication of advertisement. 
    • At 5:00 pm on the 10th day following publication, the County Attorney and/or Deputy County Attorney shall open and read all qualifying bids.  Bids with conditions or terms contained in the original offer will not be accepted or considered.  The higher qualifying bid becomes the new offer under consideration.  In the case of identical high bids, the one submitted earliest will be accepted as the high bid.
    • If an individual uses the mail system, or any other means of delivery, it does so at the bidder’s risk and any bids received after the deadline will not be considered.
    • At the time of opening, the 5% deposit and advertising costs will be processed and later returned if their bid is not accepted.
  • Staff will continue to advertise and go through the upset bid until a final bid is accepted.  At that time, the Board will approve the final bid and instruct staff and the Chair to sign the necessary documents to effectuate the transfer.

Following the submission of an inquiry, staff will review the information provided, verify the status of the property, and contact you to schedule an appointment if you are interested in submitting a bid. We recommend scheduling an appointment with our office prior to coming in person so staff can be prepared to address all administrative needs associated with this process prior to  your arrival.

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