Frequently Asked Questions
What is SheriffSale.com?
Since 1999, SheriffSale.com has lead the initiative to increasing participation in the sheriffâ€™s sale process through internet technology. SheriffSale.com is privately owned and not affiliated with any local government office. Our exclusive search features, recent color photos and expert advice are all part of our membership package to make it convenient to find and buy foreclosures and tax sale properties in Philadelphia. Staffed by professionals with years of experience in the Sheriffâ€™s Sale process in Philadelphia, our members receive advice throughout the search and bidding process to help them avoid the mistakes made by someone new to purchasing foreclosure or tax sale properties. Over the last 16 years, SheriffSale.com has listed more than 250,000 properties actually scheduled for auction. Our members have the opportunity to bid on properties before they are reclaimed by the banks.
How recent are the photos on the SheriffSale.com website?
Our photo crews take photos every month for properties scheduled for auction. Our goal is to assure that our members have recent photos to help in the initial selection process of properties they have an interest in submitting a bid. However, we stress to all our members that they should or have a representative always visit and verify the property before they submit a bid. A lot can change even within 30 days such as a fire, tree damage, city demolition, etc. And although we strive to be as accurate as possible, sometimes our photo crews can make a mistake. To be safe, always visit the property.
What is the difference between a Tax Sale and Mortgage Foreclosure Auction?
Judicial Mortgage Foreclosure Sales and Tax Sales are the two type of auctions conducted by the Philadelphia Sheriff Office. One Mortgage foreclosure sale is conducted every month and three tax sales are held each month: Tax Lien, Tax Collection, and Tax Delinquent.
The Judicial Foreclosure Sale is generally conducted the first Tuesday of each month. This auction is the conducted on behalf of mortgage companies and other financial institution seeking to collect owed to them by property owner who has defaulted on mortgage payments. It is an open public auction process that allows potential homeowners or investors to bid on properties.
The Tax Sales are initiated by the city of Philadelphia to collect unpaid debt of property owners who fail to make payment arrangements on municipal debt levied on a property, which may include city property taxes, outstanding water and sewer bills and school taxes. It is also an open public auction usually conducted the third week of the month.
How many Sheriffâ€™s Sale Auctions are there each month?
There are currently four Sheriffâ€™s Sale auction each month. The Mortgage Foreclosure Sale is generally held on the first Tuesday of each month. The Tax Sales generally start of the third or fourth Tuesday of the month. There are three tax sales: GRB Tax Collection, the Cityâ€™s Tax Delinquent and the Linebargar Tax Collection.
Are properties available for inspection before the auction?
Properties are not available for inside inspection before an auction. Legally all properties are still in the procession of their owner until after the sale is completed. However we strongly recommend that you visit the property to take a closer look at the outside and to talk to neighbors. If the property is empty than you walk around a visually inspect the outside of the structure. Please see our tips for bidding for more information.
Are properties at the Philadelphia Sheriffâ€™s Sale Auction sold with clear title?
Yes. Properties sold at the Philadelphia Sheriffâ€™s Sale auction are sold with clear title, unlike most of the other counties in the state and in the country for that matter. What that means that you only pay your winning bid amount to acquire the property. In some cases where the winning bid is under $2,000 you maybe required to pay the transfer fees if there is not enough available to pay these cost with the winning bid.
Is the financing available to purchase properties or is it cash only?
Sheriffâ€™s Sale historically ae cash only. However, there are hard money lenders that will advanced you the cash or a credit to participate in the auction depending on the value of the deal.
How do I bid on-line with the optional pre-bidding service?
First, letâ€™s be clear. This is a pre-bid service for our members to have a professional bidder represent them at the live auction. As a member, bidding on line with Sheriffâ€™s Sale.com is easy. Once you log in as a member, select the property, at the bottom right you will see our optional bidding section where you enter your username and password before submitting your bid. You must win the bid among the members to be eligible for or representation service at the live action.
Is On-line bidding taking place while the actual auction is going on?
No the online bidding starts roughly three weeks before the live auction and closes five days before the live auction takes place.
Will it cost money to bid online?
Yes, but the fee is very reasonable. The cost for representation at the live auction is $125.00 for up to three properties that our bidding will follow for up to three sales. If we win the bid, there is an additional $125.00 representation fee. For more information, please refer to our Terms And Conditions on www.sSheriffSale.com.
Will I be able to increase my bid after I win the bid online?
Yes, you can increase your bid within a 24 hour period before the sale.
Will I have to attend the live Auction if I am the highest bidder online?
No. Your bid representative will contact you shortly after the sale to give you your results.
What are the requirement to attend the live Auction?
The Philadelphia Sheriffâ€™s Sale auction is open to the public. There is no charge. You must have some recognizable and acceptable form of identification such as a driverâ€™s license to make the required ten percent deposit on property at the sale. No firearms or weapons of any kind are allowed inside and you will be screen with a metal detector.
What options are available for payment at the auction?
All payments have to be made in the form of a cashierâ€™s check, bank check, money order or an attorney check. A ten percent deposit is requires at the sale and you have 30 days to pay the balance.
What are my responsibilities after I win the bid?
You must make your 10 percent deposit,â€¦â€¦
If I am unable to make the remaining 90% deposit will my 10% deposit be refunded?
The 10 percent deposit is generally not refundable. However the Sheriff does reserve the right to grant a 30 day extension upon written request.
Does SheriffSale.com have a membership fee?
Yes, the monthly membership fee is $29.95. This gives you access to recent color photos, powerful search features, expert advice and free monthly digital SheriffSale.com auction guides.
What is a "Right of Redemption" and how long does the owner have to reclaim a property?
This is a state law that only applies to tax sales. It gives homeowners who legally occupy a property 90 days prior to a sale nine months to reclaim that property with court permission to pay all the back taxes, the money paid by the winning bidder, plus ten percent more to the winning bidder. If the property is unoccupied or abandoned, there is no right of redemption. This is also seldom an issue by bidders should be aware of the law.
What does Subject to Mortgage mean?
This only applies to mortgage foreclosure sales and seldom occurs.. It occurs when a property is being foreclosed upon by a second mortgage holder or other legally access debt that was filed after the filing of the first mortgage. In this case the winning bidder will assume the responsibility for the debt of the first mortgage. Properties that are subject to mortgage must be advertised with this information and generally identified at the sale by the auctioneer.
When will I get my deed?
After settling the required 90 percent balance with Sheriffâ€™s Office, deeds are generally completed in roughly 30 to 60 days.
Who is responsible for eviction if the property is occupied?
As the new owner of the property once the deed is in hand, you have are responsible for activities needed for that property, including evicting any occupants. With the Sheriffâ€™s Sale process it is called an ejectment.