How do I buy a property at a Sheriff Auction?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register and bid at a sheriff auction

Identify your target property and auction date

Sheriff auctions are typically advertised in local newspapers and in the government gazette, however by far the easiest option is to sign up to where you can browse comprehensive listings and get email alerts once a week for properties that match your criteria.

Complete a registration form

You can obtain a registration form from the sheriff's office or at the auction. Some Sheriffs require registration to be completed the day before the auction - others process registration forms directly before the auction. Usually, full FICA documentation is required such as an Identity Document and Proof of Address.

Know the costs involved

The successful bidder will need to pay the following

  • 10% of the purchase price as a deposit to the auctioneer on the day of the auction. This is usually by a bank guaranteed cheque or EFT
  • Outstanding rates & taxes - these will be announced by the Sheriff before the auction
  • Transferring attorney fees - which are usually in the region of R20,000
  • Transfer duty as calculated by SARS tax tables
  • Sheriff Commission up to a maximum of R40,000
  • A guarantee for the balance needs to be provided within 30 days, however the transferring attorney usually (at their discretion) offer some leniency here if a bond is being applied for and it takes a bit longer

Attend the auction

Collect your bidding card -  you can then bid on the property by raising your bidder number. This is by far the most exciting part of the process! Stick to your predetermined maximum price so you dont get carried away. After winning the auction you sign a contract of sale with the Sheriff and the transfer process begins.

Disclaimer: Please note the above information is for general guidance only and is not to be relied upon without conducting your own due diligence.

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