Sheriff Auction questions

11 Replies

Hello, I believe I found myself a great SFH going up for auction next week in a good area with solid rent rates. I was curious if anyone had any input on steps to take to cover my rear end. I walked around and looked in the windows everything actually looks really clean and pretty much rent ready(it even has newer appliances!). For the sheriff sales in our area we cannot go inside the property. So the condition of the basement with furnace and hot water heater is probably the biggest concern.

Other than condition of property should I have my lawyers office do a title search?

What am I missing what other things should I check on before bidding on this property?


Check with an agent to make sure you can't get in. We can get into some of the auction homes around this area and many people don't know about it. Many agents don't even know about it so check around and verify with even the bank if possible that you can't get in. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is always a good way to proceed with unknowns.

Find out what the sheriff is selling?

Maybe he is selling the lien on the new appliances you like.

Is he selling a RE lien?

Are there other liens superior to the lien he is selling?

Im actually an agent myself and have never heard of being able to walk through but I think ill call the sheriffs office and ask as well as the LIEN ?'s Thanks!

Unless a property is actively listed in the MLS for sale, there won't be any "legitimate" way to gain access, without the owner's permission. The bank doesn't own the property, and can't grant permission. Unless your talking about having access thru a property preservation employee, withthe preservation lock box code, assuming there is one?

@Matt Cramer

I actually did notice a Lockbox on the door today.

@Wayne Brooks

On some websites (ie they tell you if it is going to a live auction. If so sometimes the week before or a couple weeks leading up to the auction they have a number for you to call and get the lockbox code or a link to get it emailed to you. I was thinking the live auction some of these sites refer to was the sheriff sale however I haven't looked that closely. The one we just purchased was online auction and they gave the agent access.

@Matt Cramer What you're referring to are REO auctions, Not the actual foreclosure (court house steps) auction.

Yes. bank owned houses give you access with agent. Their listed on the MLS as well. Im speaking of the court house auction. Really gets the blood pumping when your bidding in a room full of ppl! :0

Look at the public records for the house, and on the popular home search sites. It may have been previously listed and have some information about when some of the utilities were serviced/replaced. 

For example, if you look at 123 main street and it was for sale in 2008 and comments were that it had a brand new water heater, then you likely have your answer. If you work with a Realtor, they can pull up all sales history for the property and look at the comments that way too. It can also give you a better idea of the potential condition of the inside if there are pictures and the previous listings were semi-recent.

Also, make sure to monitor the listing, depending on where it is in the foreclosure process (or how long its been since), they may grant access within a certain time frame of the auction.

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