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How to Bid on Sheriff Sales in Erie, Pennsylvania

by Dan Harkins

A sheriff's sale is regular auction held in certain states to dispose of bank-foreclosed homes and other property forfeited to the courts. If you want to bid on a foreclosed home in Erie, Pennsylvania, you'll need to follow the directions established by Erie County and attempt a buy at the next scheduled sheriff's sale. If you bid astutely, buying as far below market value as possible, your profit potential will be much greater than if you were buying the home on the open market.

Round up the $2,000 execution fee needed to bid on property at the next Erie County sheriff's sale. It will be a deposit toward the amount you will ultimately owe on any property on which you successfully bid.

Peruse the current holdings available for bidding at the upcoming sale at the Erie County sheriff's website in the Resources section. Click on "Sheriff's Sale Listing." Each foreclosure case will appear in a listing, showing the address, monetary judgment or value, starting bid and court status. Each listing also is advertised in the "Erie Daily Times" and the "Erie County Legal Journal" for the three Fridays preceding each sale. Write down the addresses and other information about the properties that interest you, including the "writ number" and mortgage's name, which will be used to identify the parcel during the auction.

Research the property at the county's property appraiser's website so you don't make an uninformed decision. Navigate to the first link in the Resources section and enter the address into the first field. If you have a parcel number instead, click on that tab. Investigate whether there are any nuisance violations or liens against the property for which you'd be responsible once taking over ownership.

Click on the sheriff's sale schedule at the top of the Erie County Sheriff's Department real estate page. Schedule the next date to attend.

Go to the Erie County sheriff's sale at 10 a.m. on the scheduled day, at the Erie County Courthouse's Central Court: 140 W. 6th St. First floor Erie, PA 16501-1077

Register when you arrive at the sale and raise the provided number paddle to bid on the property you seek.

Tip

  • Call the Erie County Sheriff's Department's Real Estate Division at 814-451-6006 for more information.

About the Author

Dan Harkins has been a full-time journalist since 1997. Prior to working in the alternative press, he served as a staff writer and editor for daily publications such as the "St. Petersburg Times" and "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram." Harkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Florida.