Then there are lots of details that would never come up in a traditional transaction. Is it a mortgage sale (most properties are postponed or purchased back by the bank) or a tax sale (subject to a 1-year right of redemption.) Make sure you have a good title company who will insure the deed. Make sure you are buying with Cash or Hard Money because you can not get a mortgage on a Sheriff's Deed.
It is a gamble so be prepared to walk away from your 10% deposit if the deal looks bad but if you know what you are doing and you are lucky you can WIN BIG!
These are the scheduled dates for 2010: http://www.phillysheriff.com/homeadvertisedate.html
10% of the winning bid will be needed on the day of the sale (cash, certified check, money order) and the balance must be paid within 30 days.
Terrence Charest, e-Pro