Profile picture for Christin M

i'm interested in a home in foreclosure. It's been listed for well over a year.

Zillow"s zestimate is about 1/2 what the listed price is.  If I make an offer based on this what are my chances?  Will they laugh their guts out or what can I expect?  (In general terms).  Same scenario for another house that is short sale.  What can I expect?  Sorry if this is a standard question.
  • July 23 2011 - Portland
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for prodropbox
Hi, Christin:

By now, you may have made an offer and gotten it accepted.  If so, congratulations!

If not, there are a few other things you might want to keep in mind about 'zestimates.'  Keep in mind that it's likely that 'zestimate' is NOT based on all the facts.  That's why so many fine comments have already been made about being sure to get comps of the homes sold in the local area.

Something you might want to keep in mind when making offers on short sales is that, even though there might be several price decreases in order t oencourage someone to make an offer, the final decision rests with the lender.  The lender is trying to recoup as much of the loss on the mortgage as possible.  Just because there have been price drops, it doesn't mean that's what the bank will accept as the 'final offer.'  Don't forget...they're looking at the comps too. 

As for bank-owned properties, it's likely the property has been listed to garner many offers.  As someone else already mentioned, if the home has been on the market for a long time, it's very likely that something else is going on that you might not be aware of.  All the more reason to speak with your realtor.  He/she will likely be able to find out what's going on.

I wish you success in your search.

Ruth Velez
  • September 30 2011
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Definitely do research. I would call the listing broker and ask them how they determined the asking price.  They will tell you the comps they used, and then you can see if there are more recent comps that would justify a lower price.  A 50% offer will be thrown in the wastebasket.

David Cooper
  • August 03 2011
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I agree with most of the comments about contacting a realtor and having comps done. However, the fact that it has been in foreclosure for over a year says that something more is going on here. Make sure your realtor contacts the listing agent to find out as much as he/she can about the status. If there have been other offers that have been rejected, hopefully the agent can find out and understand why.
  • August 03 2011
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Profile picture for Mevin Barnes
Contact a local Realtor to gather comparable sales for you.  This is usually done at no cost however the Realtor hopes you will use his/her service (also usually no cost when buying) to purchase the home.  Once you know what homes are selling for in the area you'll know if you're getting a sweet deal or just buying @ a realistic price.

Melvin

  • August 02 2011
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Profile picture for Donn Rasch
If you make an offer it should probably be based on a more accurate data source. Such as actual recent closed sales of similar, close-by properties. This analysis should take into consideration differences between the comparables and the property you are interested in. I would then make the "foreclosure adjustment" perhaps 10-15% below the estimate of market value. What's the worst that can happen? They say no or perhaps counter you at an attractive price?
  • August 02 2011
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It is disturbing to think that anyone would base what they offer on a web site's opinion of value. Making a lowball offer could mean you will never have a chance at the home. Not all sellers will counter - they'll just take the highest and best offer. By all means, follow the other posters' advice and find an experienced, local agent to do some due diligence for you.
  • July 24 2011
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Profile picture for Ron Ares
A local agent can guide you further with comparative values, some history on how much is owed, who the lender(s) is/are, what the success rate of closing is, and some sense of reasonable but favorable (to you) offer ranges.

Plenty of Portland agents here on Zillow, including me, to help.

Ron Ares
M Realty, LLC
[phone and hotlink removed by Zillow moderator]
  • July 24 2011
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Profile picture for BlairJones
Zillow's "zestimate" is just that... Hard to say what your chances are, but it can't hurt!  You're best bet is to contact a Realtor and work up some comps and base your offer on what they say.  Also, short sales and foreclosures can be frustrating for buyers... but can be worth the wait.  Best of luck!
  • July 24 2011
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If it's been on the market for over a year, you can probably make a low offer and if they don't accept it, make a higher offer.
  • July 24 2011
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Dear Christin,
You shouldn't make an offer based on the zestimate, instead, obtain comps for the neighborhood where the property is located.
  • July 23 2011
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