Understanding what happens when a domain name expires if you want to buy it as soon as it is available.

Snatch Expiring Domain

Check WhoIs registry on the current owner.

You can also place a backorder through various major Hosting providers, like GoDaddy..

How a domain expires

Domains do not expire when they say they do.

If the owner of a domain does not renew by the expiration date of the domain, the domain goes into “expired” status.

For 40 days, the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, but the domain owner may still renew the domain for a standard renewal fee. the owner can re-register without penalty.

After 40 days are up, the domain’s status changes to “redemption period”.
During this phase, all WhoIs information begins disappearing, and more importantly, it now costs the owner an additional fee to re-activate and re-register the domain.

The fee is currently can be around USD $100. for more, depending on your registrar.

Finally, after the redemption period, the domain’s status will change to “locked” as it enters the deletion phase.
The deletion phase is 5 days long, and on the last day between 11am and 2pm Pacific time, the name will officially drop from the ICANN database and will be available for registration by anybody.

The entire process ends exactly 75 days after the listed expiration date.

Also note these:

Three services — Snapnames.com, Enom.com, and Pool.com — all operate in similar.
They use a network of registrars to hit the Verisign servers at frequent intervals, and snatch as many requested names as possible. If you don’t get your name, you don’t pay. But that’s where the three services begin to differ.

Extract from ICANN website

If your domain name has expired, renew it immediately.

You should renew your domain name through the registrar (or reseller) that provided your domain name registration services.

Once your domain has expired, it will be in Auto-Renew Grace Period (for 0-45 days), followed by a 30-day Redemption Grace Period. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, you will not be able to renew your domain name. Your domain name will be released for registration by third parties.