Welcome Page
Search Listings
View All Listings
Sales Procedures
Sales F.A.Q.
Contact Information
Loan Calculator
Legal Disclaimer

Sheriff's Sales Facts

Q - What are "Sheriff's Sales"?
A - Sheriff sales are a sale of real estate ordered by the court to satisfy a judgement entry against a defendant. The proceeds of the sale will be used to satisfy a debt to the plaintiff. Usually this happens when a defendant defaults on a mortgage or loan payment. Regulations governing sheriff sales can be found in the Ohio Revised Code and court rules.

Q - Where can I find out what properties are up for sale?
A - Sales are advertised for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks (always on Tuesday), in the Daily Jeffersonian and sold not less than 30 days after the first publication of the sale ad. A list of the sales can also be found here.

Q - How can I get more information about the property?
A - Possible public record sources of information you may wish to explore are: Tax ID Records (Auditor's Office), Property Taxes (Treasurer's Office), Liens/Deeds (Recorder's Office), Liens / other Mortgage Holders / Judgement Entry showing how much is owed to the plaintiff and other case information (Clerk of Courts Office).

Q - Where and when are Sheriff's Sales held?
A - Sales are always held on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. at the County Court House in downtown Cambridge. No pre-registration is necessary, just show up at 10:00 a.m. and bid. Have your financing in order before you buy! All successful bids are legally binding offers to purchase the sold property.

Q - Do properties have to bring a set amount before they are sold?
A - Yes, the property must bring at least two-thirds (2/3rds) of the appraised value or it cannot be sold.

Q - How do you come up with the "Appraised Value" listed for the sale property?
A - Three independent free holders are directed to the property to determine a fair market value of the home. There is not an inside inspection of the home or property.

Q - What are "Free Holders"?
A - They are three disinterested court appointed appraisers that reside in the county.

Q - What are the terms of sale?
A - Deposit of 10% of the appraised value is required on the day of sale and balance due upon tender of the deed. Accepted payments are cash, certified checks, money orders, bank checks and personal checks. We do not accept credit card payments.

Q - Do you take sealed bids?
A - Unless ordered by the Court, the sale must be a public sale. You or your agent must appear to bid. All bidding is done at the sale. No prior or sealed bids are taken. There is no prior registration. Make sure you can meet the terms of sale. This is a Court function. If the sale is not completed, you are subject to being held in contempt of court.

Q - What about liens and taxes?
A - The Sheriff's Office does not have information on liens and taxes. It is the responsibility of the prospective purchaser to check into properties for back taxes, delinquent utility bills, liens and/or additional costs. You are urged to consult an attorney if you have questions. Again, the Sheriff's Office cannot give legal advice.

Q - When do we get keys to the property?
A - The Sheriff's Office does not have keys for the houses.

Q - How long does it take to get the deed?
A - The attorneys prepare the deed. It usually takes 6-8 weeks. When we receive the deed we will call the buyer to come in with the balance due.

Q - Can I go through the property?
A - No.The property is owned by the defendant until the sale has been confirmed by the court. The buyer purchases any foreclosed property caveat emptor, which means "let the buyer beware" or that you are buying the property sight unseen. Remember, deposits are not refunded.

Q - When can I go into the property?
A - You may enter the property once the court has confirmed the sale, you have paid for the property in full and you have received the deed and the deed has been recorded and conveyed. Until that time, you may not enter the property, change the locks, have occupants removed, mow the yard, etc.

Q - What happens if the property is occupied?
A - After the confirmation has been filed, you have paid in full and received your deed and have recorded and conveyed the deed, you may contact the occupants and advise them they need to vacate the premises. If they still refuse then the buyer needs to file a writ of possession with the Guernsey County Clerk of Courts and in turn the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office will serve the occupants with an order to vacate. You can contact the occupants (only if they were parties to the case) and advise them that they need to vacate the premises. If they still refuse to vacate, the buyer then needs to contact a moving company and a lock smith and the moving company will move out the old occupants at the buyers expense. The Sheriff's Office will stand by if this occurs, but usually the occupants leave prior to filing with the Clerk's Office.

Q - How can my mortgage company appraise the property for my loan?
A - The Sheriff's Office does not have the authority to order the defendant to let someone inside. The mortgage companies in this area are aware of the problems trying to appraise without going inside. The buyer must contact the mortgage company to work out those details.

Q - Who schedules the closings?
A - The Sheriff's Office does not attend closings. It is the responsibility of the purchaser or the purchaser's agent to pay the balance due in full when contacted by the Sheriff's Office. When the balance is paid, the purchaser will receive a Sheriff's Deed, which must then be recorded.


For questions, comments or problems using this website, please contact our webmaster.