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Onsite to Online Auctions – Why South African Sheriffs Should Consider Conducting Online auctions

Sheriff Halfway House Alexandra has been working with OnlineAuctions.Africa in conducting Sales In Executions as well as Prejudgement Sales auctions online since 2020. The Auctioneer met up with Sheriff Halfway House Alexandra’s head sheriff, Theo Sibert who spotlighted the advantages of running online auctions for sheriffs.

Besides the “spectacular benefits” of running online auctions, according to Theo Sibert, here are some additional factors why South African sheriffs should consider conducting online auctions:  

  • Safety First – when auctions are online, sheriffs are likely to avoid community members who would in live auctions mobilise against the auctioning of a property. 
  • Avoiding uncomfortable and violent confrontations with community members who have mobilised against sheriffs of the court who have been instructed to complete their duties. 
  • Reducing any fraudulent activities from occurring such as people losing their assets illegally due to corrupt cops and sheriffs illegally selling attached properties to the public without authorisation from the courts. 
  • Reducing the barriers of participation thus enabling individuals based anywhere in the world to participate in an immovable property auction, regardless of their physical address. 
  • Reserve prices are more than likely met, seeing as online auctions have more enthusiastic bidders than onsite auctions.

How Can I Participate In Online Sheriff Sale In Execution Online Auctions and What Should I Be Aware Of? 

After you have taken interest in a Sheriff Sale In Execution Online Auction, if you don’t have a bidders account on Online Auctions.Africa, naturally the first step you would have to take is registering your details and creating an account so that you can be recognised as a prospective bidder. Click here for the Bidder’s Guide On How To Create A Bidders Account On Online Auctions.Africa 

Once you have registered to participate in your sheriff auction of choice, you should have an interface similar to the one below that will enable you to bid on the lot you’d like to buy. 

 There are of course, disadvantages that can occur, despite auctions being online such as: 

  • Not being physically able to see the property being auctioned often results in the highest bidder buying the property voetstoots – meaning that if there are numerous undisclosed improvements that have to be made to the property a bidder has bought, the cost of this is likely to come out of the buyer’s own pocket. 
  • Properties auctioned on Sheriff Sale In Execution Immovable property auctions are not always vacant. If you have bought a property that is not vacant, you are responsible for evicting the inhabitants of the property which is more often than not, a very lengthy and messy process. Therefore as a bidder, you have to do your due diligence to ensure that you’ll be able to cover the costs that come with having to evict the inhabitants of the property you have bought online. 
  • As a prospective buyer in a Sheriff Sale In Execution, you will have to be aware of rule Rule46A of Uniform Rules Court that stipulates that neither the judge nor the sheriff are legally required to disclose any properties outstanding rates and taxes, so bidders need to bear in mind that assuming that a property bargain that is being auctioned for example, R 20 000 is more than likely to have a huge amount of outstanding rates and taxes, so it is incumbent on you as the bidder to have contingencies on how you’re going to pay for outstanding rates and taxes well before you place a bid on a property on auction. 

There are also a few important details to remember when Sheriff Sales In Execution Auctions are concerned: 

  • It’s imperative that you develop a good line of communication with the respective sheriffs. There is an ‘Important Information Button” on each and every Online Auctions.Africa auction listing that has the specific contact details of the sheriff houses that have items on auction. Make sure to complete your due diligence and get as much information as you can on the lot you are looking to bid on, so as to avoid any miscommunication and unnecessary complications once you’ve bought an item on a sheriff auction. 
  • Also, it would also be wise to read the terms and conditions of each sheriff’s house as they may differ depending on the items being auctioned as well as the area in which the items are located. 

If you’re a sheriff and you would like to conduct online auctions, enquire here


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