A sheriff sale -- also referred to as a trustee sale in states that observe non-judicial foreclosure laws -- is when properties
that have made it to the final stages of default are made available for purchase to buyers/investors at a public auction.
These foreclosure sales, which are often conducted in local courthouses or government buildings, are often advertised in local
newspapers and public areas, as well as on Foreclosure.com.
Sheriff sales offer unbeatable opportunities to score unbelievable deals -- up to 50 percent or more off current market value.
That's the reason sheriff sale environments are often so competitive and sometimes intimidating ... especially for first timers.
Bidders are typically expected to be approved before the auctions begin because they must be prepared to make down deposits
on the spot (percentage amount varies by jurisdiction) once the sales end. Settlements are also expected to be complete anywhere
from 10 days to 30 days, meaning that time is of the essence.
Otherwise, bidders could lose their entire down payments if they are not prepared to settle by the due dates. In short, sheriff sales
have tremendous financial rewards, but there are risks. Be sure to know what you are getting yourself into and do your homework on the
properties, as well as the local auction process, before getting your feet wet.