What Are The Next Steps?

What Are The Next Steps?

Next Steps… What to do as the third-party successful bidder of a sheriff sale property?

This document is provided by the Real Estate Division of the Philadelphia County Sheriff’s Office as an informational tool. Its contents should not be interpreted as legal advice. All interested parties are advised to retain independent legal counsel.

Necessary Steps to take:
  1. Follow all post sale instructions required by Bid4Assets.
  2. Pay the remainder of purchase price within 15 days of the Sheriff Sale.
  3. Verify your deeding/vesting instructions provided to Bid4Assets.
  4. Should your deeding/vesting instructions need to be updated please obtain an assignment of bid form from the Bid4Assets website or contact The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office at sheriffrealestate@phila.gov.
  5. If you are the successful bidder of any tax sale auction, you must be tax compliant. Proof of compliance must be provided at the time of final settlement. To obtain your tax compliance certificate please follow the following procedure:
    1. Buyers must appear in person to request a Sheriff Sale Compliance Certificate at

Department of Revenue Municipal Services Building 1401 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia., PA 19102

    • If you do not live in Philadelphia, you must send your local authorized agent to the office to apply for the certificate.
    • If the tax sale bid has been assigned both the original successful bidder and the assigned buyer must obtain a Tax Compliance Certificate.
  1. All required post sale documents must be submitted together via email to sheriffrealestate@phila.gov or in person at 100 S. Broad Street, Phila., PA 19110.

The Sheriff will file in the Prothonotary’s office a Schedule of Distribution Thirty (30) Days from the date of sale of Real Estate. Distribution of proceeds will be made in accordance with the Schedule unless exceptions are filed thereto within Ten (10) days thereafter. Any balance exceeding the payouts per the Schedule of Distribution and Exceptions thereto, shall be paid to the homeowner at the time of sale.

Facts to remember:
  • The Sheriff’s Office does not have keys to the property.
  • The winning bidder does not become the official new owner until the Sheriff’s Deed Poll is issued. If the property is occupied, the new owner must start a judicial procedure for ejectment to have the occupant removed.
  • You may be responsible for additional liens.
  • Each purchase is unique so situations and issues will vary from case to case.
  • Seek legal advice for all matters related to the eviction process.
  • The sheriff’s deed is the last step in the distribution process. Once the deed is recorded you will need to contact the Philadelphia Records Department in City Hall Room 154 to obtain the deed.
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