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Zillow Home Buying & Selling Explained

Using Zillow to Buy & Sell

The home buying and selling process can be a very stressful one. So, it is easy for us to learn to rely on the information that is most readily available; however, it is also important to understand how to decipher that information. Websites like Zillow, Trulia, and, etc. can be very useful tools for searching and advertising, yet like most large websites, the details provided is a compilation of information collected from county records, MLS data, and past sales history. Much of the information you see on Zillow was not curated by a local professional. With that said, Zillow is an awesome tool but always consult a local real estate professional.

House for Sale This one is cut and dry. This is a House for sale. It is ready to be purchased…by anyone.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO) This means a property is for sale but the seller is not represented by an agent. In this situation, we still recommend contacting a real estate professional for assistance as we are most familiar with the process and procedures to ensure a seamless transaction.

New Construction A brand new construction house for sale.

Coming Soon This is a status used to designate property that will be listed for sale but is not available for viewing yet. This property will include the list price and most of the photos from the actual listing but will be in a “Coming Soon” status for a period of time before it can be seen by interested parties.

Auction Zillow does a great job of searching other websites to be able to advertise home auctions in the area that you are searching. However, if you see a property with this status, it likely means that the property is being sold at a live auction with a listed date and time. Most likely at the county courthouse or via online auction. While certain auction terms can differ, it is likely that cash is required in order to purchase a property of this status. To understand the condition of a property up for auction, typically it is one that has gone into some sort of foreclosure of auction proceeding, yet prior to ownership being given back to the foreclosing party, it is offered to the public in an auction.

Foreclosed This status can be very easily confused with “Foreclosure.” However, these properties have not been listed for sale. These are homes that have undergone the foreclosure proceedings, made it through the auction process, but have not been listed by a local real estate firm.

Pre-Foreclosure This status means that a certain set of events have occurred for Zillow to think that this home is a potential foreclosure in the near future. Whether it be from delinquent taxes, late mortgage payments or some other cause. However, this property is still quite some time from being listed for sale.

If you are actively searching for a home, we highly recommend that you consult with a local real estate professional. If you choose to do some research on your own, buyers who seek to obtain traditional financing should be searching for properties with the following statuses: Home for sale, for sale by owner, new construction, or foreclosure.

Zestimate The Zestimate can be a powerful tool for establishing a starting point of a property’s market value. However, it is important to understand that this is just a starting point. Anyone who is thinking of selling their home should consult with a local real estate agent who can provide a much more accurate assessment of their home’s value. If you are looking to purchase a home, please remember that the Zestimate is just that… an estimate. It was formulated by a computer that could be missing several key factors affecting the homes true value. We recommend for buyers to speak with a local Realtor that can help them fully understand these values.

Please feel free to call our firm in Hickory, NC! We are always happy to provide our expertise and assist in any transaction you are looking to make.

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