The Court will direct the Sheriff to sell a person's interest in property when that person fails to pay a court-ordered debt. The Sheriff is only permitted to sell interests in real estate by auction.
If you are planning to bid at a Sheriff's auction you should seek your own independent legal advice. Auctions are advertised in the Government Gazette, in local papers and on this website.
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Auctions are subject to cancellation at any time and prospective bidders should check this site for auction updates.
All auctions are usually held at Level 6, 446 Collins Street, Victoria. Any person attending an auction must show valid photo ID before entering the auction venue.
Who conducts a Sheriff's auction?
A Sheriff's auction is conducted by a Sheriff's officer, not a real estate agent or auctioneer.
Sheriff's auctions of real estate differ from usual auctions conducted by real estate agents/licensed auctioneers.
- A property can not be inspected prior to auction as the Sheriff does not obtain possession of a property as part of the sale process.
- A Sheriff's auction does not operate under the Sale of Land Act 1962 and there is no requirement to provide a vendor's statement under section 32 of the Sale of Land Act.
- Unless the court orders otherwise, the Sheriff has a duty to obtain a fair price. The Sheriff sets a reserve price, however, the reserve price is not disclosed.
Interest in property
A person's interest may be subject to any other interests in the property registered on the title to the property at the time of the auction, including mortgages and caveats. These other interests are noted on the advertisement of property to be sold at the Sheriff's auction.
The extent of the interest being sold by the Sheriff will differ at each auction.
Process following a Sheriff's auction
Prospective purchasers should note that different requirements apply following the completion of a Sheriff's auction. In summary:
- A sale of contract will be entered into. This is not a standard form contract.
- On payment of the purchase price, the Sheriff provides the purchaser with a completed Transfer of Land form, which the purchaser can use to become registered as a proprietor of the property. The Sheriff does not provide the Certificate of Title.
- Payment terms vary from auction to auction - refer to individual contract for details.
- There are no adjustments made on the purchaser's payment of the balance of the price.
- The Sheriff does not deliver possession of the property upon a sale.
- Stamp duty is payable on transfer of land from the Sheriff.
Prospective purchasers at a Sheriff's auction should obtain legal advice in relation to the effect of other interests registered on title.
Further information on Sheriff's Auctions of Real Estate is available from the information sheets attached below.
For any questions please contact the Sheriff's Asset Administration Services via email on email@example.com