Skagit County will begin auctioning tax-foreclosed properties online, starting with 20 properties in December.

Treasurer Jackie Brunson said the county’s partnership with Bid4Assets.com will free up her staff and expose property to a larger pool of buyers.

She said handling auctions in-house requires excessive staff time and effort

“The one word that was used to describe (it) was chaos,” she said.

She said Bid4Assets will handle the paperwork, which will help her department.

“It’s a really huge burden off of us,” Brunson said.

The website charges a 10% premium on its auctions, but Brunson said the cost is paid by the buyer, not the county.

With more potential buyers, she said she would expect fewer properties will go unsold.

If a property doesn’t sell, it becomes the county’s responsibility.

Brunson said the county would much rather sell the property so it continues to generate property tax revenue.

Many other counties in the state use Bid4Assets, and Brunson said she’s heard nothing but good things about the company.

The county’s first online auction is set for Dec. 6. More information is available at bid4assets.com.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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