Sheriff’s Sales FAQ

SHERIFF’S OFFICE SALES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For additional information contact Diane Buchanan at (740)452-3637 extension 6126 or Email – DBuchanan@ohiomuskingumsheriff.org

Disclaimer: The Muskingum Co. Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for defects or omissions in advertising, condition of sale property (i.e. mold, mildew, foreign objects, etc.), outstanding debt, liens, mortgages, unpaid utilities, etc.

Q – Where and when are Sheriff’s Sales held?
A – Sheriff’s sales are conducted at the Muskingum Co. Courthouse, located at the corner of 4th and Main in downtown Zanesville. Sales are held on Friday at 10:00 a.m. The status of any sales can be changed any time up to the time of sale. Sheriff’s sales are normally advertised in the Tuesday edition of the Times Recorder for a minimum of three (3) consecutive weeks.

**NOTICE** – Effective February 1, 2009 all Sheriff Sales will be held on Thursday mornings instead of Friday. They will still be held at 10:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Courthouse. We hope this will be of no inconvenience and thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter. Contact Diane Buchanan at (740)452-3637 extension 6126 if you need further information.

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

Q – What are the terms of sale?
A – A deposit of 10% of the appraised price at the time of the sale, with the balance due upon delivery of the Sheriff’s Deed.

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. 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 properties being sold.

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 still belongs to the original owner even though the order of sale has been issued from the court. If you purchase a property at Sheriff’s Sale and have a ten percent deposit down, it still belongs to the original owner until the Common Pleas Court Judge has signed the confirmation of sale. This process may take up to 30 days or more. The buyer purchases any foreclosed property caveat emptor, which means “let the buyer beware” or that you are buying the property sign unseen. The appraisals of these properties are completed without an interior inspection. Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the appraisers are responsible for the condition of the property at the time the purchaser takes possession.

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, 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. (Entering the property without permission of the owner or occupant is a violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2911.21, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250.00 fine.)

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 Muskingum Co. Clerk of Courts and in turn the Muskingum Co. Sheriff’s Office will serve the occupants with an order to vacate. If they still refuse to vacate, the buyer then needs to contact a moving company and a locksmith, and the moving company will move out the old occupants at the buyer’s 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 schedule or attend closings. It is the responsibility of the purchaser or the purchaser’s agent to pay the balance in full when contacted by the Sheriff’s Office. When the balance is paid the purchaser will received a Sheriff’s Deed.

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