Real Estate FAQ

What is a Sheriff Sale?

A Sheriff Sale is an execution on a judgment that may be taken on Real Estate and/or Personal Property to satisfy a debt. 

Where are the Sheriff Sales held?

The Sheriff Sales have been virtual through the use of Microsoft Teams since August 3, 2020.

How can I find out if a property is going for sale?

To inquire about a particular property, you may call the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office during regular business hours. Please note that the properties are NOT listed by lot and block. When inquiring, please have either the address of the property, sale number and/or the property owner’s name. 

What stops a Sheriff Sale?

A Sheriff Sale can be stopped by (1) the writ being stayed –that is all proceedings involving the sale of property is stopped; (2) a court order; (3) a bankruptcy being filed. (4) payment of the full amount due in full. 

What happens when a listed sale is postponed?

A scheduled Sheriff’s sale may be postponed up to 130 days without a order of the court. When a sale is postponed, the sale will maintain its original sale date and number. For this reason, it is important that the ORIGINAL sale date and sale number be known. There are times when a sale may be postponed more than once, even if this happens, the sale will still maintain its original sale date and number. 

When do the Sheriff's Sales take place?

The Sheriff’s Sale is the first Monday of every month. In the event of a holiday, the sale will be conducted on Tuesday. 

How much does it cost to bring a property to sale?

The cost is approximately $2,000.00, which is used for advertising the property for sale. 

Where are the Sheriff Sales advertised?

The Sheriff’s Sales are presently advertised in the New Pittsburgh Courier (last three Wednesdays) and Pittsburgh Legal Journal (last three Fridays). 

What methods of payment are accepted?

The Sheriff’s Office accepts cash, cashier’s checks and money orders. The cashier’s checks and money orders should be made payable to the Treasurer of Allegheny County. NO PERSONAL CHECKS. 

How much money is required at the time of the Sheriff's Sale?

The day immediately following the sale, you must bring 10% of the bid price. The balance is due the Monday following the sale before 10:00 AM.

What determines the amount of money the property will be sold for?

The attorney who represents the particular lender, taxing body or a judgment holder determines the amount that they are seeking. This bid will rarely be less than the cost and taxes that have been totaled to bring the property to sale. In a mortgage foreclosure it is usually a total representing the amount of the judgment, taxes and necessary fees that have been paid into the Sheriff to bring the property to sale.

For example: Judgment $32,000; Cost (Fees): $1,200; Taxes: $6,000 A third-party purchaser may be required to begin the bid at the Sheriff Sale: $39,200 

Is any property research required before the Sheriff's Sale?

The Sheriff’s Office strongly recommends doing a complete title search. Please visit the following offices: Register of Wills, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds, Federal Clerk of Courts, County Clerk of Courts, the County Treasurer and local government Tax Collector. (municipal and school taxes). This will also assist you in deciding whether to buy the property or not.