A Sheriff Sale Is a Way To Get a Great Deal on a House
This type of opportunity tends to have a low amount of marketing, meaning that the general public does not tend to know much about it. This is good for you once you learn a bit about the average sheriff sale, as you will have less competition when bidding. Many of the other people attending this kind of event are investors who bid on a home, only to fix it up if necessary, and then sell it at a later date.
They usually wait until it is a seller's market so they can get a higher price for it, which enables them to more than pay for any costs associated with fixing it up. They may rent it out in the meantime to cover their mortgage loan payments, though many investors actually are able to charge renters more than their monthly loan payments so they make money along the way. However, some people attending the event just want a chance to buy a home for very little, as they could not normally afford to buy.
In most cases, you get about four weeks to check out the house before you bid on it, so it is not a last minute decision. Sometimes you even get several months, allowing you to thoroughly research the property first.
The only caveat is that you cannot inspect the home before you bid, so you must be prepared to make repairs and replacements if necessary. In many cases, you will have to fix at least a few things, though in some cases the previous homeowners did a lot of damage to the property before leaving. Thus, people who can fix up household issues on their own, or have the money to pay professionals to do so, fare best at these sales.
Aside from possible damage to the property, you may face a situation in which the previous homeowners refuse to leave after you buy it. This is against the law, so you definitely have legal recourse and can usually get them out pretty quickly. However, you should just be prepared for this. In addition, the house may have a lien on it that you must pay before taking possession, but you usually find out this information when researching the property before bidding.
Clearly, a sheriff sale can be a great way to get a house for a low price, especially since there is little competition from other buyers. However, you have to know how to research a house's history, and must be willing to make repairs or hire someone to do so.
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