Like most events in our lives these days, Sheriff Sales of real estate have gone virtual. Bucks County, Pennsylvania has joined Philadelphia, Montgomery, Berks, Adams, and Monroe Counties in holding virtual county Sheriff Sales. An online auction company, Bid4Assets, is used by each of these counties to produce virtual sales. The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office has held two virtual town halls to introduce the platform and answer the public’s questions regarding the change.

Philadelphia County’s first virtual Sheriff Sale is being held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Bucks County will commence its online Sheriff Sales on Friday, April 9, 2021. This sale will include postponed properties from the January, February, and March Sheriff Sales. Prior to the start of the auction, Bidders must register with Bid4Assets, and submit a $10,000 deposit to the site. This deposit is associated with a particular auction date, and allows a bidder to bid on any of the properties that go forward for auction on that specific sale date.

Before the pandemic, Sheriff Sales were held in-person within the county where the real estate was located. A bidder, their attorney, or representative was required to attend the sale, and actively bid on the properties. Generally, at the end of the auction, the winning bidder would pay a percentage of the sale price to the Sheriff’s Office. Virtual bidders are required to make payment to the Sheriff within ten days of the sale. We will see if virtual Sheriff Sales are the way of the future.