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  • Writer's pictureChris

How To Speak Zillow (Part 2)

Hey all!

This week we continue our segment teaching you, "How To Speak Zillow". Today, we are going to touch on what exactly constitutes a "Pre Foreclosure".

So let's start with first, what a "Pre-Foreclosure" is. According to Zillow's site, "The lender initiated foreclosure proceedings on these properties because the owner(s) were in default on their loan obligations. Pre-foreclosures also include properties for which a foreclosure auction is scheduled." So, this really can be anything from the owner being a couple payments behind, to this house is headed for the county court next week, and everything in between.

Naturally, the tricky part as a consumer is trying to distinguish which homes are in default, and which of those homes are actually for sale. Here are a few ways you can tell.

DISCLAIMER: This house is not currently listed for sale, and is just being used as an example.

1. First, and easiest, under the price, it does not say "For Sale". All homes currently listed for sale will be designated by that. Don't see it? It's probably not for sale.

There is no agent name or agency affiliation on the listing. Another easy one to look for. No agency, and not marked as "For Sale By Owner"? It's probably not offered for sale.

2. Look for an odd price. I know us real estate agents love the "9"s principal, the house isn't $800,'s $799,000. But on the example above, the house is listed as $454,734. This weird number can be the amount owed, or amount the lender is seeking relief from, but it is not the price of the home. See an oddball price? That's a dead giveaway.

3. The photos are exterior only, or a generic "street view" pulled elsewhere from the internet. Now, there are times where this can be tricky, and there is professional photography of the home featured. If so, check the "price and tax history" tab to see if the home was recently sold, if so...most likely you are looking at the photos from that listing.

4. Still unsure? Look at the days on market. If you follow our emails, you know Nikki and I have been beating the gong about how fast homes are moving. Underpriced and on the market for (in this case) 286 days? Not happening.

I decided to make a blog post about this because this is so often misconstrued and the last thing anyone who might be going through a hard time wants is people looking in their windows or walking around their yard.

Until next week, be excellent to each other, 😄

Chris & Nikki

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