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How can I use Zillow and tell if the property is a short sale? Running out of time for tax credit

  • March 13 2010 - Phoenix
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Answers (6)

Best Answer

Short sale information is rarely disclosed in the public comments of real estate listings (unless they want to say they aren't a short sale). If this is disclosed at all, it will only be disclosed in the agent information on MLS. Plus a savvy agent can review past sale data which can sometimes give a clue as to whether a home is a short sale.

Obviously sellers are hesitant to tell the world they can't afford their home anymore. And you are wise to avoid a short sale with so little time left before the tax credits expire. Plus only a small percentage of short sales close, so it's a crap shoot even without a tax credit.
  • March 13 2010
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Hi Marco & V,

You are right...the deadline to get your new home is fast approaching!  If you haven't already done so, may I suggest you find a reputable mortgage banker to Pre-Approve you (not just pre-qualify you) for your loan amount and then ask to be referred to a Realtor to help you steer clear of those short sales while they represent & protect your interests.

Here is the nice thing about the pre-approval: It gives you the leverage to shop as a cash buyer! With a pre-approval in hand, you now have the power to negotiate. The seller will take your offer much more seriously knowing you are already approved by a lender. Pre-approval can also shorten the time it takes to close, making you more attractive to sellers who are seeking to move quickly.

All the best,
Ros

Roswell Moore, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
imortgage
We have a loan for every home... simple as that
  • March 13 2010
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Dear Marco:

If  you wish, use Zillow and then ask a Realtor to get the short sale or other seller situational information.

Alternatively, use a Realtor's website to let you use the real MLS to search for homes for free without registration. This information is up to the minute current. Zillow uses public information that can lag 3 months. Or, ask a Realtor to email you a list of homes to view with your criteria.

Don't rule out foreclosure homes as they can close faster than a short sale to guaranty that you get the Federal Tax Credit. Also there is free grant money from the State of Arizona or the City of Phoenix if you buy a foreclosure within the currently qualifying zip codes.

If I can help or answer any questions for you feel free to contact me directly.

Regards, Jeff

Jeff Masich, Realtor
Arizona Homes and Land
HomeSmart Realty
  • March 13 2010
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Hi Marco and V,

Zillow does not provide an area to disclose short sale status unless you put it in public remarks (which most agents will not).  Your best bet is to find a good buyer's agent and have them set up a search for you from the MLS.  They can eliminate short sales and taylor your search to fit exactly what you are looking for.  I would be happy to help you and my fees come from the seller so it won't cost you anything!

Good luck with your home search!
  • March 13 2010
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A short sale, if it doesn't fall-out, usually takes over two months to close. If you only want a distressed property, I suggest a REO. Less fall-out and easier to close. .... Happy funding, Rudi
  • March 13 2010
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Dear Marco and V,
Not sure you can find out whether a listing is a short sale without using a REALTOR to help you.  In my area and my MLS, I can easily run searches including or EXCLUDING short sales and then send the results to customers.  A good agent in your area should be able to do that also for you.  But no websites that I know of will distinguish that for you.  On REMAX.com and some other sites, you can sign up to search for foreclosures specifically.  You can usually close a deal on a bank-owned property faster than a short sale, as you probably know.  If you don't want to use a professional to help you find and purchase property, then you can of course call the listing office or agent on each property of interest and ask.
  • March 13 2010
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