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Public Administrator/Public Guardian

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Public Administrator/Public Guardian


For more information about Public Administrator/Public Guardian Auctions send us an email or phone 858-694-3500.

Facilities where this Service is offered:

Reminder for Perm Bidders

The deadline for asking for your $25 refund is Thursday, December 31, 2009.

For more information, please contact us at 858-694-3500.

Auctions - Personal Property & Autos

The Public Administrator/Public Guardian sells personal property from decedent and conservatorship estates.


To meet the expectations of our valued bidders and more prudently manage the demands of the current economic environment, we are re-scheduling the remaining auction dates for 2009.

The last auction of 2009 will be held on Saturday, November 21.

The auction dates for 2010 have been selected (subject to change)

  • February 20
  • May 15
  • August 21
  • November 20

Thank you for your continued support and interest in our Auctions, and we look forward to seeing you in November!

Registration and viewing of items begin at 8:00 a.m. Vehicles will be auctioned at 8:30 a.m. and all other items will follow. Customers are required to pay for and pick up the auction property by 2:00 p.m. that day.

Items available for sale at this live auction include vehicles, furniture, appliances, electronics, household items, jewelry, artwork, antiques, coins, collectibles and much more. A sample of items available at the next auction can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Proceeds from the auction are returned to the individual estates in which the assets originated. Monies earned by decedent estates are distributed to the decedent's heirs or beneficiaries. Funds earned by conservatorship estates are used to pay for pay for housing, medical care and other personal needs for frail and elderly citizens who have been found by the Court to be unable to provide for their own care

Other Personal Property and Auto Auctions

The County's Department of Purchasing and Contracting sells surplus County personal property at auction. For more information, go here.

Early vehicle preview is available on Friday prior to auction from 9:00 a.m. through 3:00pm

Vehicle Auction - Terms and Conditions

  • No bidder’s card required
  • $300.00 “Cash Only” Minimum deposit required for each vehicle (no checks, no credit cards, no exceptions)
  • Balance of purchase must be paid in cash , certified or cashier’s check, Master Card or Visa within five (5) working days
  • Vehicles may be picked up on auction day up until 2p.m or Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • A $5.00 daily storage fee will be charged effective from the day of purchase
  • Buyer is responsible for vehicle license, penalty payments (if any) and smog devices/certificates as required by the DMV
  • Vehicles sold “as is” and all sales are final

Auctions - Real Property

The Public Administrator/Public Guardian sells real estate to maximize the assets of Superior Court appointed conservatees and Superior Court appointments for management of selected decedent estates.

Properties include vacant and occupied single family dwellings, condominiums, apartments, occasional commercial properties, vacant lots, trust deeds. etc.

The Public Administrator's Real Estate Sale is held in the form of a live auction. Properties sold at this event are from conservatorship and decedent estates administered by the County of San Diego's Public Administrator/Public Guardian. Net proceeds from each sale are deposited into the appropriate estate accounts.

Properties Sold In "As Is" Condition:

All properties are sold as is with no warranties, usages or conditions written, implied or expressed by the County of San Diego Public Administrator's Office and its agents or employees. All descriptions and information are derived from reliable sources, but not guarantee is expressed or implied. Announcements made on the day of the sale will take precedent over previous information provided about the properties.

An individual purchasing a property is doing so based upon his or her own research and findings. The Public Administrator's Office will not provide information concerning zoning, usage and other matters that may affect one's decision to purchase the property. No termite clearance is given and no official inspections are conducted on behalf of the Public Administrator in preparation for sale of these properties.

Cash Deposit Requirement:

According to State Law {California Probate Code Section 10309(A) (3)}, the minimum acceptable bid for any property is 90% of the appraised value. This amount has been listed for each property. A 10% deposit is required at the time of the successful bid. The 10% deposit must be in the form of cash, cashier's check or certified check payable to the name of the individual(s) purchasing the property. The successful bidder will be required to endorse the check to the Public Administrator.

If the property is sold for more than the appraised value, then 10% of the difference will also need to be paid at the time of the successful bid in the form of a personal check or cash.

Title Vesting:

All owners must be present at the auction to complete the transaction documents immediately after their successful bid is accepted. Any changes to the vesting after that time will result in a minimum $1,000 fee.

Court Confirmation/Overbid Process:

The successful bid at the auction will be subject to court confirmation or a notice of proposed action, at the seller's choice.


A 45-day escrow will be opened by the Seller (Public Administrator). Escrow fees will be shared one-half by Seller and one-half by the Buyer. In the event the Buyer fails to complete the escrow process within 45 days of the opening of escrow, the Buyer will be assessed a daily penalty (6% of the sales price divided by 365) until the close of escrow. The Seller will furnish policy of title insurance through escrow at the Seller's expense. Taxes, rents, fire insurance and interest on encumbrances will be prorated to the close of escrow. If escrow does not close within the 45 days, or within an extension of time granted by the Seller, the sale may be vacated by the seller, and any applicable damages may be sought.

Real Estate Broker Commission:

A real estate broker who registers a client with the Public Administrator at the event and remains with his/her client during the auction will generally be eligible for a 3% commission of the purchase price, awarded by the Superior Court. The commission is paid at the close of escrow. A real estate licensee who buys as a principle owner will not be entitled to share in the commission if he or she is buying as a principal or intents to share the commission with the principal owner.

Additional Information:

If you would like to obtain a brochure with a listing of properties, please e-mail your address to Samantha Hausner's email or call (858) 694-3500. If you have additional questions, please call Estate Property Manager Kent Schirmer at (858) 694-3509.

Other Real Property Auctions

The Real Estate division of the County's Department of General Services sells property at auction. View their current property listings.

The County Treasurer/Tax Collector sells properties at auction, that have been foreclosed upon due to failure to pay property taxes. View their current property listings.


For more information about Public Administrator/Public Guardian Auctions send us an email or phone 858-694-3500.