Oakland County, Mich.
“REALTOR™ to the Rescue” (R2R) is a public-private partnership between the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office and local REALTORS™ that connects the concierge-style professionalism and customer service of licensed real estate professionals with families looking for a home who may be less than familiar with the property tax foreclosure process. Under Michigan law, the County Treasurer is required to sell tax foreclosed properties at two annual auctions to recover delinquent taxes owed. The R2R program was developed to promote home ownership, boost property values and stabilize neighborhoods. Formally launched on June 28, 2012, R2R adds value to real estate transactions and helps return tax foreclosed properties to the tax rolls and productive use. R2R starts with the County Treasurer’s Office selecting properties for the program based on suitability as primary residences or turn-key commercial properties not in need of major renovation. REALTORS™ help drive foot traffic through the properties, attracting a new category of auction participant and helping bottom lines for both the county and the REALTOR™. REALTORS™ participate in an annual training conducted by the Treasurer’s Office about the tax foreclosure process and the terms, expectations, and details of the program. The commission structure is incentive-based between $750 and $1,500 per property paid when a client is the high bidder at the auction. Not only do the R2R-selected properties sell for a higher average sales price, but the program has helped boost the land sale as a whole by increasing the number of participants and sales volume. In the first year of the program, gross revenue increased by 77% and totals since then have remained consistently higher. R2R has added to the overarching goal of recovering the maximum amount of outstanding delinquent taxes so that burden isn’t shifted to the great majority of taxpayers who paid on time.
Mr. Fred Miller