Rules for Purchasing Auction Properties


View Properties

  • Browse properties online before the bidding opens.
  • View properties in person at the scheduled Open House events.


  • Select a username. One word – no spaces may be included (i.e., Bill211.) Offensive usernames will not be allowed to participate.
  • Select to purchase as an individual or as an organization.
  • Complete remainder of information and check the box to agree to these Rules.
  • NOTE: The individual or company who applies must close in the name in which they applied.

Who Can Bid

  • Bidders must be a Michigan resident, a non-Michigan resident who will live in the property after rehab, or a company or organization authorized to do business in Michigan.
  • Bidders, or any legal entity in which they have an ownership interest, cannot have unpaid delinquent property taxes on properties located in Wayne County, or have lost property to back taxes in Wayne County in the last three years.
  • Bidders, or any legal entity in which they have an ownership interest, cannot have material unresolved blight or code violations in the City of Detroit.
  • If the bidder uses a legal entity to purchase the property, he/she must be authorized by that entity to acquire property on its behalf.
  • A bidder is ineligible to purchase a property from the Detroit Land Bank Authority (“DLBA”) if they or the entity they are purchasing under are currently involved in a Bankruptcy Proceeding. 
  • A bidder applicant is ineligible to purchase a property from the DLBA if they or the entity they are purchasing under have an IRS lien filed against.
  • Bidders cannot bid on more than one property at a time (i.e., bidders cannot bid on an Auction property and make an offer on an Own It Now home at the same time.)
  • The bidder, and all other legal entities in which the bidder (including any bidder entity) holds an ownership interest, is limited to the purchase of one Auction or Own It Now property until that first purchased property achieved compliance, which includes, the property being brought up to code and being occupied within six months (nine months for homes located in a historic district).  Once the purchaser has demonstrated the ability to meet the terms of the purchase agreement by successfully bringing the property up to code and having the property occupied, may be eligible to purchase additional properties.  The purchaser can purchase one (1) property per calendar month, up to nine (9) properties in a twelve month period from the last date of transfer. However, the purchaser will not be able to purchase any additional properties if any property that was previously purchased is not in compliance with all requirements outlined in the purchase agreement. Please note that, for purposes of this rule, any property that is purchased may be deemed out of compliance at any time regardless of the 6 month (or 9 month) deadline. This rule shall also apply to all purchasers that have won previous auction bids and have not completed the rehabilitation of at least one property and have failed to get it occupied within the required time period.
  • In addition, the DLBA reserves the right to exclude participants with a history of delinquent taxes or code violations.

How to Bid

  • Each property will be available for sale for one day. Bidding will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • If any bid is made within the last 5 minutes that bidding is open, the closing time will be extended by 5 minutes, and extended another 5 minutes each time a bid is made until no further bids are made.
  • The bidding will open at $1,000.00. All bids must go up in increments of at least $100.
  • To bid, click on the property and then click on “Bid Now.”
  • The amount of each bid submitted will be posted immediately on the screen so that the public knows the current bid at all times, together with the Bidder Name of the current bidder. Bidders are encouraged to refresh their browser screen frequently to ensure that current bid amounts are reflected.
  • The DLBA will review bidder’s eligibility. See Who Can Bid for purchasing requirements.
  • The DLBA reserves the right to reject any and all bids and either remove a property from auction, or reopen bidding on it at a later date.  

Automatic Bidding with a Pre-set Maximum

  • If the bidder knows the maximum amount that they want to bid and doesn’t want to sit at the computer for the duration of the bid process, they can enter an automatic bid with a preset maximum amount that is hidden on the website. The computer will then automatically enter bids for them in $100.00 increments only as needed to top other bidders.
    • For example: At 10:00 a.m., Bidder A’s amount is at $5,000.00 and they must step away from their computer to run an errand. They can enter an automatic bid with a hidden maximum of $20,000.00. When Bidder B bids $5,100.00, the computer will automatically enter a bid from Bidder A at $5,200.00. The computer will only enter bids as necessary, up to the automatic bidders maximum bid price.
  • NOTE: Bidders must be sure to double check their bid amount. Once a maximum bid is entered, it cannot be deleted.

Credit Card Processing

  • No charge will be made to a bidder’s credit card unless they are determined to be the winning bidder.
  • A $1,000.00 hold will be placed on each bidder’s credit card. That authorization will automatically be released by most credit cards within 2-3 business days for all the non-winning bidders on each property. Please note, bidders must have an additional $1,000.00 available credit balance to bid on other properties within the authorization hold period.
  • When an auction is won, the winning bidder’s credit card will immediately be charged $1,000, which will be applied to their down payment. This deposit is non-refundable.
  • Please note that the credit card issuing bank needs to support Address Verification System (AVS) and the address information provided by the bidder as part of registration must match the address on file with the credit card issuing bank.

Winning Bidders

  • Winning bidders will be notified by email immediately after the auction's close and their credit card will promptly be charged $1,000.00. This amount will be credited toward the winning bidder’s 10% deposit. If the purchase price is $10,000.00 or less, the $1,000.00 will be the deposit amount. The winning Bidder’s name will be listed on the auction website after the bid closes.
  • Within three business days after receiving the eligibility email, purchasers must pay any outstanding balance of the down payment, which is 10% of the winning bid, minus the $1,000.00 that was already paid.  This down payment must be made by credit card.  At its sole discretion, the DLBA may allow for other methods of certified payment. If the purchase price is $10,000.00, or less, the $1,000.00 deposit will be the down payment.
  • Once purchasers have received eligibility confirmation and paid the deposit, the purchaser will receive an electronic Purchaser Agreement. Purchasers must submit the signed and notarized Purchase Agreement and return to the DLBA within three business days for the Seller’s signature.
    • The Purchase Agreement is a contract with the DLBA in which they agree that within 6 months of closing, the property will be brought up to code and occupied. If the property is in an historic district or has historic designation, the purchasers contract will state that they have 9 months to bring it up to code and have it occupied.
    • If purchasers fail to meet these deadlines, they forfeit both their purchase price and the property.
    • In cases where substantial progress has been made, but the repair work is not complete despite the best efforts of the buyer, the DLBA, at its sole discretion, may extend the 6-month deadline.
  • If the down payment and signed and notarized Purchase Agreement are not submitted within the allotted time, the DLBA may retain the $1,000 as a penalty charge and the buyer will lose the right to purchase the property.

What happens after the Purchase Agreement has been submitted?

  • Purchasers will receive an email forwarding a copy of the title report and a closing timeline showing items needed to complete the purchase.
  • At closing, purchasers must pay the winning auction price in full (minus the down payment)
  • Purchasers will then receive a Quit Claim Deed and become the legal owner of the property. Please note, that the DLBA does not guarantee clear title to the property (see FAQ for closing costs information).

Deadline for Closing

  • If the purchaser is not seeking lender financing for the sale or rehabilitation of the property, they must close on the sale no later than 30 days after the winning bid.
  • If the purchaser is seeking lender financing for the sale or rehabilitation of the property, they must close on the sale no later than 60 days after winning the bid. The DLBA will consider requests for closing deadline extensions on a case by case basis with documentation from the lender that all required buyer documentation has been submitted for lender review, and lender requests additional time for loan processing and a final loan decision.
  • If the purchaser fails to close by the deadline, he/she will forfeit their down payment and the property. The DLBA may offer the property to the next highest bidder, auction it again at a later date, or remove it from the auction.
  • Closings will take place at the offices of the Seller’s title company. Electronic closings are not available.

Obligation to Promptly Repair and Occupy the Property

  • Within 30 days after closing, the Purchaser must provide the DLBA an executed copy of a contract to rehab the property. If they can demonstrate to the DLBA they have the skills to rehab the house on their own, within 30 days after closing he/she must provide the DLBA with a plan of work and receipts showing that the necessary materials have been purchased. See following web link Post-Closing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
  • Within 6 months after closing (9 months for homes located in a historic district), purchaser must provide the DLBA with a Certificate of Occupancy, or Certificate of Approval for the house and demonstrate that the house has an occupant.
  • If the purchaser fails to meet these deadlines, they will forfeit both their purchase price, ownership of the property will return to the DLBA, and the purchaser will be forbidden to bid in all future auctions.
  • If the purchaser fails to meet these deadlines, they will forfeit both their purchase price, ownership of the property will return to the DLBA, and the purchaser will be forbidden to bid in all future auctions.
  • Many of these properties were originally built using lead-based paint, asbestos, or other hazardous materials. If available, environmental reports will be provided to winning bidders. It is recommended that homeowners seek professional advice on how to properly address hazardous materials.


NOTICE: The DLBA advises all potential bidders that it is selling these properties “as is, where is, with all faults” with no representations or warranties of any kind, including but not limited to any warranty of habitability or fitness for a particular purpose. Bidders are advised to conduct their own careful inspection, particularly with regard to the anticipated cost to make the repairs that will be required under the Purchase Agreement to bring a property up to Code within the required 6 month time frame. Any information provided on this website or otherwise, orally or in writing, now or in the future, is for convenience only and the DLBA makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy or completeness.




Detroit Land Bank Authority
500 Griswold Street, Suite 1200, Detroit, MI 48226

The Detroit Land Bank is an Equal Housing Opportunity Provider and does not discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, or in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, age, height, weight, or disability.
Copyright © 2014 Detroit Land Bank Authority