Sheriff Sale Overview – What To Expect And What It Is All About – A Basic Overview
I have found that sheriff sale auctions are a source of incredible confusion for real estate investors. I have met real estate investors who have been in the real estate business for many years, and they still did not know how a sheriff sale works. There is a lot of confusion because there is not a lot of information on the subject available. When I first started investing I was not able to find any information on sheriff sales. The only way I could gather information was by watching and talking to people who were involved in sheriff sales. Let me start by saying that I live in Ohio and the experiences that I had may or may not apply to your situation where you may live. I feel that my experience will help guide you in the right direction and give you a good idea of what kind of questions to ask when you are researching sheriff sales.
A sheriff sale is a auction of real estate when a home owner no longer makes there payments and they are foreclosed upon. The real estate is then put in a auction to the highest bidder so that the bank can recoup there money that they loaned to the property owner. In my area the auction takes place every Friday morning at 10:00 am. The auction itself is held on the steps of the courthouse. The steps are inside the court house and not out front like I originally thought they were. But they are in fact held out in the open. Around 5 til ten in the morning the sheriff comes out and stands next to the wall and sets up his papers and starts the auction at 10:00 am on the dot. Then the sheriff starts to read off the auctions one by one taking bids on the properties til he comes to the highest bidder. In my area the highest bidder is required to put down a deposit that is on the property listing page. The deposit has to be in the form of cash or cashier check. If that is not done a new auction for the property will start and it will be done all over again. At that point the property is considered sold and he will go on to the next property until there are not any more properties.
The area that I just mentioned is a bigger area that holds auctions once a week. However some smaller localities around me hold auctions at a more irregular rate. In some cases they are not on the same days either. These situations are much harder to find the listings and take a little more work effort to keep up with.
The biggest question that a new investor has is where do I find the listings for a sheriff sale. I have seen these listings in newspapers, posted around town, Public libraries, and the Internet. I have found that the best way to find listings, at least in my area is to go to the courthouse itself and grab their listing that they have printed out for the auctions. My local courthouse prints out the listings four weeks in advance so I can get a good amount of time to look at the properties in advance.
That is basically how the sheriff sale works and gives you a good idea of what to expect. In future articles I will go into more detail on specific areas of the sheriff sale. Until then you can at least get a idea of where to start.
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