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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the online auction work?

Auctions are held on properties offered for sale to the highest bidder. The Clerk's Office conducts the sale via public auction on the Internet in accordance with Chapter 45, Florida Statutes.
Anyone may bid on the properties, and must register online at www.santarosa.realforeclose.com prior to the sale.  The site provides information for each sale item, including the name of the owner, legal description and the opening or base bid. 
At the date and time specified for the sale, each item is auctioned in order of file number and sold to the highest bidder.
At the time of the sale, the successful high bidder must post with the Clerk a nonrefundable deposit of 5% for the successful bid. The remainder of the bid plus court registry fees plus the auction fee is    due by 3:00 pm CT the day of the sale.
Payment may be made from bidder’s deposit account, wire transfer, cash, cashier’s check, or money order.  ACHs are not permitted for final payment.
 Upon payment of the remainder of the bid via counter or wire transfer initiated, the Clerk will issue a Certificate of Sale.

A Certificate of Title may be issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court after ten (10) full days have elapsed from the issuance of the Certificate of Sale and provided there is no other action relating to the subject proceeding

Q: What equipment and software will I need?

There is no special software or hardware needed for the sale. In order to participate, bidders must have a computer with access to the Internet. The Clerk's office will provide a limited number of public computers for those without Internet access. Please contact a foreclosure clerk at 850-981-5676 for availability.

Q: Do I have to be present on the day of the sale?

 Effective February 10, 2014, foreclosure sales will be conducted entirely online at www.santarosa.realforeclose.com.  It will no longer be necessary to appear in person to participate in the sale.

Q: What do I need in order to participate?

 In order to participate in this sale, bidders must register online at www.santarosa.realforeclose.com to get a Username and Password and place a valid deposit for your bids to be considered.

Q: How much is the deposit?

You will need to place a deposit equal to 5% of your estimated high bid for each item you anticipate winning at the sale.

Q: How do I pay for my deposit? How do I pay for my winning bid?

Deposits can be made electronically online at www.santarosa.realforeclose.com  via ACH (Electronic Check).  ACH (Electronic Check) may take up to 7 business days to settle in the clerk's account.   Wire transfers will be accepted but you MUST add $5.00 fee per transaction or it will be deducted from your deposit amount. Wire transfers may take up to 7 business days to settle in the clerk's account. Cash, cashier’s checks and money orders will also be accepted, however, these forms of payments must be delivered to the Clerk’s office. Personal Checks are NOT permitted.
Bidder’s accounts must be established and monies for deposit available by 3:00pm CT the day prior to the sale date.
Payments can be made by wire transfer but you MUST add $5.00 fee or it will automatically be deducted from your payment amount. Cash, cashier’s checks and money orders will also be accepted, however, these forms of payments must be delivered to the Clerk’s office. Personal Checks are NOT permitted
Payments of balance due on sales must be paid by 3:00pm CT the day of the sale.

Q: Can other participants see my bids?


Q: How does the bidding work? What is a proxy bid?

 Auction participants enter their highest acceptable bid for a property. The auction system then checks all other bids and enters a bid on your behalf at $100.00 more than the next highest bidder (proxy bidding). The system stops entering bids for you when your highest acceptable bid is reached. When an auction closes, each property is awarded to the participant with the highest bid.

Q: What happens in case of a tie bid?

If identical bids are placed prior to the auction; date and time will determine the official high bid. 

Q: Can I change or cancel my bid?

Bids may be cancelled or modified (raised or lowered) at any time before the auction officially begins.  Once an auction begins, however, bids may be increased only. Cancelling or lowering a bid during a live auction is NOT permitted.

Q: If I am the high bidder, how long do I have to pay for the property?

If you are the successful bidder for property at a foreclosure sale, the balance of the final bid amount, the documentary stamp tax, plus the court registry fees must be received by the Clerk’s office no later than 3:00 PM CT the day of the sale or by the deadline stated in the judgement.  Accepted forms of payment are by bidder’s deposit account, wire transfer, cash, cashier’s checks or money orders.

Q: What if I fail to make the final payment or choose not to purchase the property?

If full payment is not made by 3:00 PM CT the day of the sale, your deposit will be forfeited.

Q: What happens to the leftover deposit money and how do I request a refund?

Unused deposit money will be returned upon bidder’s request by clicking “Request Refund” in Real Auction.  Effective May 1, 2015, all refunds are paid via ACH. 

Q: What is the overtime period? Why does the auction keep extending?

Any bid placed with less than 30 seconds remaining on the auction clock will automatically extend the bidding period by an additional sixty (60) seconds. Bids placed below the stated Plaintiff's Maximum Bid will NOT extend the auction bidding period.

Q: Does the foreclosure or tax deed sale erase all other liens on the property?

No!  There may still be other encumbrances (judgments, priority mortgages, taxes or liens) that survive the sale.  The winning bidder takes title to the property subject to all defects, liens, encumbrances and matters of which he/she has or could obtain knowledge. It is the bidder’s responsibility to perform all research regarding the property, including the value, title defects, liens, mortgages or other encumbrances.  The Clerk's Office does not guarantee a clear title and is not responsible for any encumbrances on the property purchased at auction.


The laws regarding foreclosures are extremely complicated.  It is recommended that all bidders perform a title search and consult an attorney prior to placing a bid.

Q: How do I contact Customer Service?

Click Here for Customer Service.