The Washington County Sheriff’s Office conducts the sale of all real estate subject to foreclosure on the “Official Public Sheriffs’ Sale Website”. This website is operated by Realauction, based on a contract with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. The process and procedures under which these sales will be completed are detailed at the Realauction website. All prospective bidders should familiarize themselves with this new process.
In general, the following key points are noted:
- All person(s) who want to bid on a property offered by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office must register with Realauction. Registration will include completion of the Purchaser Information Form.
- Properties will be open for bid, at least seven days immediately prior to the date of sale. This is generally known as a proxy bid.
- The online auctions will begin on the scheduled Friday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (EST). An auction will be conducted for each individual property; however only one property will be sold at a time. After a property is sold the next scheduled property sale will begin.
- To be a qualified participant, bidders must submit a deposit based on the total deposit requirement ($2,000 / $5,000 / $10,000 as set by law) for all properties on which the bidder wishes to bid by the predefined deadlines. The only acceptable deposit types are bank wire transfer or ACH, no cash deposits will be accepted. All Wire Deposits must be received by 5 p.m. EST two (2) business days before the auction sale date. All ACH Deposits must be initiated by 4 p.m. EST five (5) business days before the auction sale date. It is the responsibility of the bidder to plan ahead and allow enough time for their bidding deposits to be received and processed within the time frames described above.
- Plaintiff/Judgment Creditors – A Judgment Creditor is defined as the creditors (plaintiff or defendants) who are awarded judgment in the foreclosure case. Judgment Creditors are required to register for a Username and Password and fill in all appropriate fields. Per Ohio Revised Code 2329.211, in every action of Judicial Sale or Execution of residential property, if the Judgment Creditor is the purchaser, they shall not be required to make a deposit on the sale. However, Judgment Creditors are required to submit the bidding style choice (pre-sale manage bid or live bid) AND a copy of the court order stating they are the Judgment Creditor on the case they are bidding to Realauction Customer Service (email@example.com) at least one (1) business day prior to the sale date. Submission can be done via email or fax. Submission must include the bidder number and user account contact first and last name in the submission. For more information and training on requirements to participate in the online auctions as a Plaintiff/Judgment Creditor, please call (877) 361-7325 Ext 245 or 246.
NOTE: Properties sold for delinquent taxes and Probate sales will continue to be sold on location at the Washington County Courthouse, 205 Putnam Street, Marietta, Ohio 45750, until further notice.
Realauction will conduct webinar training classes. Classes will be held via the internet on a regular schedule. These webinar classes generally last 90 minutes and specifically cover the use of the software. Attendance is by registration only.
For additional information or to register for a webinar, please contact the Realauction Customer Service at (954) 734-7401 or toll free at (877) 361-7325. Customer Service can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following information is to address the questions most frequently asked regarding Sheriff’s Sales. If there are specific procedural questions not addressed herein, we would be happy to address them upon further inquiry. We will not respond to any requests for legal advice. For specific factual information regarding a case, please see the court file in the Washington County Clerk of Court’s Office or view their records online. Please contact Customer Service at Realauction with questions on bidding or registering, email@example.com.
Sheriff’s Sales are held online on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. (EST) at https://washington.sheriffsaleauction.ohio.gov unless the advertisement states otherwise. Properties are bid competitively, beginning at an advertised minimum bid, generally 2/3 of the appraised value. “Proxy” bids will be accepted prior to the actual sale date.
Appraisals are completed by three individuals, who are residents of Washington County. We attempt to use local realtors or retired realtors for appraisals due to their knowledge of the value of real estate in this area. The appraised value may have been established based on an exterior view only of any structure(s) located on the premises. Neither the Sheriff’s Office, nor any affiliates have access to the interior of any structure(s) located on said property.
Sales are advertised in the Marietta Times, Legal Notices. Ads are typically run on Tuesday for three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the sale; a potential buyer who regularly reads the Tuesday legal notices should see all applicable sales. You may also visit https://washington.sheriffsaleauction.ohio.gov to view scheduled sales.
The full legal description of the properties being sold is available in the Washington County Recorder’s Office or online by using the Prior Deed Reference listed in the newspaper advertisement.
Tax information can be obtained through the Washington County Treasurer’s Office.
Day of Sale
The minimum bid is 2/3 of the appraised value. If we do not receive a bid of at least the required 2/3, then we will hold a second sale, on the date advertised for the second sale. On the second sale date, there will be no minimum bid. However, the successful bidder will still be required to have the full deposit amount. The purchaser is responsible for ALL court costs, taxes and fees associated with this foreclosure action. If the purchase price is less than the amount of these expenses, it will be the purchaser’s responsibility to cover the additional costs.
The balance of purchase price must be paid to the Sheriff’s Office within 30 days of the Confirmation of Sale by certified check or money order. ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL CHECKS.
Estimated Schedule for After the Sale
• 30 days from the date of sale – confirmation of sale by the Court, to be submitted by the Plaintiff’s attorney
• 7 days from the confirmation of sale – deed to be received by Sheriff, which is prepared by the Plaintiff’s attorney
• 30 days from confirmation of sale – purchaser to pay balance of the purchase price to the Sheriff’s Office
• 14 days from receipt of payment – deed to be filed
Property which is delinquent on real estate taxes is sold (once it meets certain criteria) by the Washington County Treasurer, through the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, in accordance with applicable laws regarding tax foreclosures. The Sheriff’s Office holds the auction. Simply put, an action is filed in Washington County Common Pleas Court to foreclose upon the subject parcel(s). A judgment decree in foreclosure is sought; once obtained, the property is advertised and sold at a tax foreclosure auction.
• Terms of Sale – For tax foreclosures, a minimum bid will be set, which is the amount of the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. A down payment is also set, generally, the amount of the minimum bid. The minimum down payment must be paid the day of the sale by certified check or money order. The balance of the purchase price must be paid at confirmation of the sale by certified check or money order.
• Finality of Sales – For tax foreclosures, once property is sold at Sheriff’s Sale, the sale does not become final until the Confirmation Entry is filed, approximately one month later. In other words, the property owner may still redeem the property by paying the delinquent taxes, assessments and court costs. Once the Confirmation Entry is filed, the property owner’s right of redemption is terminated. Please note, there is also the possibility of redemption if there is a federal tax lien. To determine if a federal tax lien exists, and how it will impact the property after the sale, you are urged to conduct your own title search or consult your own attorney.
Failure or refusal to pay for real property after purchase at any Sheriff’s Sale will likely result in forfeiture of the deposit, and subject the buyer to punishment for contempt of court.
Possession of Property
Property purchased at Sheriff’s Sale does not truly belong to the purchaser until the Confirmation Entry has been filed with the Court. Therefore, the buyer should NOT exercise any dominion or control over the property, such as demolition, construction, or harassment of tenants. Any such dominion or control is strictly at the purchaser’s risk.
Once the Confirmation Entry has been filed and the purchase price has been paid, the Sheriff’s Office will record the deed. The buyer will receive a Sheriff’s Deed, which will be mailed within a couple of weeks following the recording of the deed.
Condition of Title Following Sale
Generally speaking, in accordance with applicable law, most liens are released when property is sold. This does not include taxes and assessments levied, but not yet due and payable. Please note that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office makes no representations of title in specific situations, and is not a source of title information. If you wish to be certain as to the status of title, you are urged to conduct your own title search or consult your own attorney.
Pro-ration of Taxes
By law, real estate taxes are paid through the date of sale. Anything due for prior years will be paid, then a partial payment of “pro-rated” taxes will be made. Since taxes in Ohio are paid one year in arrears, the taxes for the year in which the property is purchased are not actually “due and payable” until the following year. The taxes for the current year will be estimated and pre-paid accordingly.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. This information is in general, procedural terms only, it is not directed to any specific parcel(s) or situation, and any information contained herein may or may not be applicable in specific situations. If you have questions regarding a specific situation, you are urged to contact your own attorney. If you have questions seeking information about a specific case, please review the case file at the Clerk of Court’s Office in the Courthouse or online.
For additional information or questions, contact Jacinda Carr.