I was recently at a local watering hole here in Columbus with a friend of mine who was going off on the virtues of doing things the hard way and how he never takes a shortcut. He believes that taking the more difficult path is the only right way. So, when his next round came I told the bartender not to open his bottle. That made enjoying it a lot more difficult. 

I agree that there is virtue in hard work—I wouldn’t be a real estate investor if I didn’t want to work hard—but going out of your way to make things more difficult on yourself is silly. The only right way to do things is the smart way. Sometimes that’s hard, but sometimes it is easy. 

This is especially true when it comes to finding leads. There are a million ways to do it, but some of them are harder than others and with a lot less reward. Take the Sheriff’s auction here in Franklin County, Ohio. That is a way to get leads. Is it the best way? Not in my opinion. 

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Red Tape at the Sheriff Auction in Franklin County, Ohio

The problem with any sheriff sale is that there tends to be way more red tape than there is reward. It has the potential to be a huge investment of time, cost you a lot, and not provide the reward you were looking for in the beginning. I always want to find the best investment deals here in Ohio. I just want to do it right. 

There are a lot of ways to get caught up in red tape here at the sheriff auction. For every positive, there are a few potential negatives that can drag you down:

A sheriff auction has a lot of houses, but…

Franklin is the most populous county in the state by a good margin. Between OSU, the thriving business community, and all the suburbs, there are over a million people here. That means a lot of potential opportunities to buy a house. 

But all those houses are hard to keep track of. The listing will be in the Tuesday edition of the Daily Reporter Newspaper, which the website says can be found at most newsstands. Like, in print. That means poring through the listings and cross-referencing those with other information you can find online. It’s possible to find a good house here, but you have to spend a lot of time doing the research and, honestly, hoping nothing has changed between Tuesday’s paper and the actual auction. 

A sheriff auction lets you buy property, but…

One of the great frustrations in this business is the time spent between buying a house and owning. There are some buying methods which make that time essentially nothing…and then there is the sheriff auction. 

When Franklin County homeowners are foreclosed upon, they have a certain time limit to appeal and to make payments. Their house can go up for sale during this period, and you can buy it. You’ll put down the money—a lot of liquid cash you might have gotten from an Ohio hard money lender—but then lose the house when the homeowner redeems themselves. This doesn’t happen very often but, remember, that the sheriff is just acting as an agent for the sale, essentially. It’s fair to the owner, but can potentially leave you dangling. 

A sheriff auction has low prices, but…

At first glance, it always looks like an auction has low prices. In Franklin County, the bids begin at 2/3rds of the appraised cost of the property. That is a great deal! If you can get a house for less what it is worth, you’re already making money. 

Except, of course, you aren’t going to get it for that price. That’s just where the bid starts, and everyone in Columbus is going to be bidding on it. The price will go up. It might go past the appraisal price since most people are going to believe they can turn a big profit on flipping it or turning it into a rental. 

So, if you have your mind on a house, you might keep bidding. You want to win. And then suddenly you’ve paid a lot for a house you barely know. You’ve put down a sizeable deposit. You’ve got 30 days to make the remainder of the payment. Things could get tight. 

The sheriff’s auction in Franklin County, Ohio is set up as a way to keep the system moving. It’s unwieldy, as these things are. It is inefficient in its bureaucratic efficiency.  Every step has red tape. 

But, there is a way to avoid it. 

A Better Way To Get Leads in Franklin County

I love good leads. I want to know where to get the best houses here in Franklin County. I want to know the best up-and-coming neighborhoods in Columbus. To me, that means avoiding the sheriff’s auction. It is a huge expenditure of my time and money and without much reward. 

I flipped that script when I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. With the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign,  I get qualified leads that aren’t caught in red tape. See, distressed Franklin County homeowners contact local HomeVestors® franchisees, like me, when they need to sell fast. It might be because their house is in financial distress, they have too many bills, they can’t keep up with the repairs, or for any other “ugly” situation. 

It makes finding good investment properties easy. There’s still a lot of hard work to be done, of course, but it takes one of the huge obstacles out of the way. It’s the smarter way to get qualified leads. 

Want to remove yourself from the web of red tape and get qualified leads? Then request information today about becoming a HomeVestors® franchisee here in Franklin County. 


Each franchise office is independently owned and operated. 


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