By Natalie Terchek
The real estate market place Zillow introduced pre-market inventory to its home search experience. Shoppers are now able to search for and find information on 1.2 million pre-foreclosures and foreclosed properties, for free. These homes are not yet listed for sale and cannot be found on any Multiple Listing Service (MLS), or on other real estate sites. For the first time, home shoppers are able to see the entire scope of housing inventory in their area, both pre-market and for-sale, side by side.
With inventory of for-sale homes falling by 20 percent over the past year, potential buyers are having a hard time finding the right home. Until now, foreclosures have made up a large, yet invisible, part of the housing inventory. It is difficult to find information on these types of properties–in fact, 55 percent of homebuyers considered purchasing a foreclosure, but don’t know where to find the homes, or are confused by the complexity of the transaction. But after searching Zillow’s pre-market inventory, buyers can connect with a local real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures who can help them navigate the process of buying a foreclosed home.
“Zillow is taking information that was really only available to a select group–in this case, savvy investors–and making it more easily available to interested home buyers,” Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO, said. “What’s more, bringing this information to light, and taking the inventory out of the shadows, can help bring these homes to market faster than ever before.”
What is included in Zillow’s pre-market inventory?
A recent press release reported that Zillow’s pre-market inventory includes nearly 1 million pre-foreclosure properties, more than 260,000 foreclosed properties and more than 147,000 Make Me Move properties (a Zillow feature where homeowners named a “dream price” for which they would potentially sell their home).
The same press release also reports that Zillow now allows shoppers to see home details and unique data about the properties, including the foreclosure estimate, listing history, foreclosure details, historical sales and contact information for local real estate agents trained to help buyers with the foreclosure process.
Zillow’s pre-market inventory search is currently available on Zillow.com and iOS mobile apps.