Facts About Purchasing Forfeited Land

Public & Private Sales

All tax forfeited lands are appraised and offered at a public sale and sold to the highest bidder. The minimum bid acceptable is the appraised value.

Parcels not sold at the public sale, may be purchased at private sale by anyone offering to pay the appraised value thereof. Prices cannot be changed unless a parcel is re-appraised, advertised, and again offered at the public sale.


Nicollet County is not responsible for locating boundaries on tax forfeited lands. The descriptions used are tax descriptions and have not been surveyed. Surveys are buyer's expense. There is no guaranteed access to the property. There is no guarantee of use.


Total purchase price and all other costs must be paid at the time of sale. All sales are final and no provision is made for refund or exchange.


The purchaser will receive a receipt at the time of purchase and will receive a deed from the State of Minnesota through the Commissioner of Revenue at a later date. Purchaser must pay applicable deed fees. There will be no abstract issued.


  • Assurance: The auditor-treasurer shall collect in full an amount equal to 3% of the total sale price of the land, which amount is in addition to the total sale price of the land. The purpose of the 3% is to help pay claims ordered against the state by the district courts.
  • Deed Tax: Deed tax must be paid at the time of sale. The amount of the tax is based on the amount of the sale, at the rate of .0033 times the purchase price, with a minimum of $1.65.
  • State Deed: A $25 fee must be paid at the time of the sale to cover the cost of the state deed (MSA 282.014).


Full payment for recording in the County Recorder's Office before the state deed can be given to the purchaser. The present charge for recording is $46.

Well Certificate

If the property contains a well, a well certificate must be prepared, for which there is a $50 recording fee.


Sales are subject to existing leases, if any, to building restrictions appearing on record at the time of forfeiture, to easements obtained by any governmental subdivision or agency thereof for any public purpose, to all applicable laws and ordinances, and to the condition that the appraised value does not represent a basis for future taxes.

Local improvements constructed but not yet assessed must be assumed by the purchaser.

Marginal Lands & Wetlands Program

Lands not located in a platted subdivision will include, on the state deed, a restrictive covenant prohibiting enrollment of the parcel in a state funded program providing compensation for conservation of marginal lands or wetlands.

Forfeited lands become taxable for the following year when purchased by December 31.