The sheriff's sale is a public auction held at the courthouse door, and anyone can bid on the property. The property is sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds are used to pay for the costs of the sale and to pay off the mortgage.
A deed given at the sheriff's sale in the foreclosure of a mortgage called Sheriff's Deed.
The properties, which are legally certified to be sold at the Judicial Mortgage Foreclosure Sheriff Sale, are advertised each month in community newspapers for three successive weeks prior to the sale. Each property has an identification number (writ number) which is listed in the newspaper before the property address. This number is used together with the property address when a property is offered for sale. The sale is conducted by an auctioneer who calls out each property by writ number only.
It is strongly recommended that persons planning to bid at a Sheriff Sale make a site visit to the property prior to the sale. Many bidders have bid on vacant lots thinking that they were bidding on a property containing residential structures - may not be true. Potential bidders should examine the building or buildings situated on the property. Talking to neighbors in an attempt to evaluate the condition of the property is also helpful.
Finally, it is worthwhile to obtain a list of any uncorrected code violations which may have identified for the property. Information is usually available at municipal buildings. A "Notice of Violation" should be provided free of charge, as will information on existing zoning, electrical or building code violations.
While there are some "bargains" to be had at Sheriff Sale, potential bidders, especially those seeking residential properties, are cautioned that property conditions may vary widely.