Foreclosure Sale FAQ's

I want to inspect the property before I bid on it. Can I do that?
The Sheriff's Office does not know whether or not person(s) occupy the property and has no lawful authority to give permission for any prospective bidder to enter and inspect any structure located on the property to be sold. As such, properties likely cannot be inspected prior to the sale. The prospective purchaser buys the property, more or less, "as is, where is." Any other questions regarding this, should be directed to the attorney for the plaintiff or the mortgage company.

I want to know more about the property for sale. How many bedrooms does it have?  How many bathrooms does it have? What are the real estate taxes? Does the well and septic need improvement? Are there any liens on the property? Are there any back taxes due? Are there any easements? How old is the roof? Are there any plumbing issues? Has the house been winterized (if vacant)? How old is the furnace? Does the house have central air conditioning? Does the property meet code?
The Sheriff's Office conducts the sale of the property, but does not have specific information regarding the property or the condition of the property and what improvements may be required.  All properties are sold "as is".  Persons interested in obtaining information about a property are encouraged to contact the plaintiff or their attorney of record.

If you have a serious interest in a property, you may desire to contact a title company or an attorney to perform a title search. Questions regarding the legalities of purchasing a foreclosed home should be directed to an attorney that specializes in foreclosures. Further, it is the buyer’s responsibility to have the occupants legally removed if the property is occupied.

How is the opening bid amount determined?
The plaintiff determines the opening bid amount and is not known to the Sheriff’s Office until several days prior to the sale taking place.  You may find that the published sale notice contains a dollar amount for the property.  In some cases the beginning bid amount may be higher or lower than the published amount.

How and where do I go to research what encumbrances may be levied on the property? I might be interested in the property, but how do I research the financial obligations that go with the property? What about back taxes? What about other defendants listed on the Notice of Foreclosure Sale?
The buyer assumes all liens and legal encumbrances on the property. The Sheriff's Office cannot provide legal advice on how to properly investigate what financial obligations may be outstanding. Other defendants listed on the Notice of Foreclosure Sale may have a financial interest in the property. Resources available may be a title search, record search, the Clerk of Courts, Treasurer, and the Register of Deeds.

If I bid on the property, will I be given time after the sale to go the bank and get the amount owed?
The successful third party bidder is required to pay in full with bank-certified funds the amount of the bid.  All payments must be made at the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office prior to 1:00pm on the date of the sale.

Some Sheriff Sales are either cancelled or adjourned. Why?
The plaintiff in the case may cancel or adjourn a Sheriff's Sale. Typical reasons for doing so include settlement or bankruptcy. In this situation, the Sheriff's Office has no control over whether a sale is cancelled or adjourned or how many times that may occur.

Where do I find notices for Sheriff Sales?
Properties to be sold at auction by the Sheriff's Office are generally advertised in the local paper.  You can find them in the Traverse City Record Eagle for properties located in Grand Traverse County.  Adjournments are posted on a bulletin board, which is located on the third floor of the Grand Traverse County historical court house.  We do not maintain a list of properties being auctioned on our website.