Find lists of properties available at sheriff home auctions online by perusing the local sheriff's office website or advertisements in local or county newspapers, reports About.com. Alternatively, go to the sheriff's office at the county courthouse in person. Since sheriff home auctions take place frequently, usually every week or month, check for suitable properties often.
Sheriff home auctions happen in the sheriff's office or on the courthouse steps, explains About.com. Research the homes you are interested in by conducting a title search and finding out if the properties have any liens against them. Although sheriff's offices do not usually allow bidders to inspect the interiors of the homes beforehand, inspect them from the outside and attempt to look in the windows. Sometimes tenants are living in the homes, so find out how long their leases last.
To be able to bid on the homes, have a money order or certified check ready for 10 to 20 percent of your maximum bid, which you surrender as the down payment immediately if you win the auction, advises About.com. Have financing ready, as many sheriff's offices require you to close on the property within 30 days of the auction. Specific financial requirements for auctions are available online or at the sheriff's office.