Real Estate Department FAQs

1. How much does this property cost?
The minimum bid is established through an appraisal that is prepared by a County-approved, third-party appraiser. The appraisal process is initiated by an interested buyer who is willing to submit Request for Public Auction form and a bid deposit to cover the cost of the appraisal.

2. Does the property have to be auctioned?
Yes, unless the buyer is a qualified government agency or a qualified non-profit organization, if applicable. Arizona Revised Statutes outline the requirements for the sale of real and personal property via the competitive public auction process.

3. How long does the purchase process take?
The purchase process time varies depending upon the stage the particular property has reached in the excess property declaration process. Typically, a property that has already been declared as excess by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors/Flood Control District Board of Directors can close escrow six to nine months from the date the initial bid deposit is received.

4. What is the cost of the bid deposit to bring a property to auction?
The bid deposit or cost to bring a property to auction is an estimated cost of the appraisal and a preliminary title report. This deposit typically ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 and will be set once of a bona fide interested party submits the Request for Public Auction form. Once the Request for Public Auction form is filed, the prospective party must bid at auction or risk forfeiting their deposits.

5. What is the deposit for participating at the auction?
Prospective buyers must have 10% of the property's appraised value plus the amount of the sales deposit in certified funds to be recognized as a bidder in the auction.

6. What happens to my bid deposit?
If you are the successful bidder at a public auction for a Flood Control District of Maricopa County (District), Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) or County-owned property and the respective Board approves the sale documents, all deposits are applied to the purchase price and/or escrow fees.

If you are an unsuccessful bidder and you were not the initiating party, all of your deposits will be returned to you.

If you are an unsuccessful bidder and you were the initiating party and did not bid, you will forfeit the bid deposit. The Appraised Value Deposit, which is required on the day of the auction, will be returned to you the day of auction.

If you are an unsuccessful bidder and were the initiating party and were outbid, all of your deposits will be returned to you. The Appraised Value Deposit, which is required on the day of the auction, will be returned to you the day of auction.

The appraisal and title report deposits will be returned to you after the close of escrow.

7. What if I'm the successful bidder and my financing falls through?
If the financing falls through, you will forfeit one-half of the appraised value deposit, the entire cost of the appraisal and the entire cost of the preliminary title report. 

8. Is a Broker's Commission offered?
While not routinely available for all properties, broker commissions may be offered on select properties and will be called out as being offered in the respective bid package. 

9. What can I build on the property?
Before considering future development plans for a particular property, check with the local jurisdiction of the subject property to obtain guidance as to the allowed uses of the subject property. If the subject property is located within a floodplain, a floodplain use permit or equivalent will be required prior to making any changes to the property. The District enforces floodplain regulations in unincorporated Maricopa County and regulates the location and construction of buildings and other developments within designated floodplains. Keep in mind that some jurisdictions within Maricopa County enforce their own floodplain regulations. 

10. How does the County advertise?
There are statutory requirements for providing public notice of a public auction of real and personal property. The requirements for the duration and type of legal notice are dictated by state statutes but the public notice period is normally 3-4 weeks in duration. Typically, the public notice postings appear in the Arizona Business Gazette.

Marketing of public property auctions can be found:

  • On our scheduled auctions page. Interested parties may subscribe to notifications of upcoming auctions.
  • On signs posted on the subject property.
  • On flyers posted in public buildings.

In addition, other methods of marketing may be utilized on a case-by-case basis, depending on the location and nature of the property. 

11. Are these the only properties the County, District and MCDOT have available for auction?
No, MCDOT, the District and the County may have additional property that could become available but has not been declared as excess and available for auction at this time. 

12. What about County buildings?
County-owned buildings are managed by the Facilities Management Department (FMD). Any request to lease or purchase County owned buildings is handled by the General County Property Management team within the Real Estate Department who can be reached at 602-506-5249

13. Can I bid below the starting bid if the minimum is not met?
No. You cannot bid below the starting bid even if the minimum is not met.