Prince William County Pre-Foreclosures: Buyers Beware

Posted by Carolyn A. Capalbo on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 3:16pm.


Consumers should be weary of the homes Zillow, RealtyTrac and other aggregate sites list as “pre-foreclosure” statuses, these listings are likely a large waste of consumer time and a potential invasion of homeowner peace and enjoyment.  This pre-foreclosure status is given to homeowners who have fallen behind on payments.  Many of these homeowners are able to bring the mortgage current and these homes should be removed from the foreclosure process.  These homes never actually get foreclosed upon and never make it to market.  Home buyers may be investing time and researching homes that are never going to hit the market any time soon.  Why do these sites employ such tactics? The pre-foreclosure listings enhance their website content which brings in greater authority and consumer “clicks.” These sites then sell adversting space or buyer leads to Realtors.  These sites quote consumer traffic and charge agents advertising fees accordingly.  These sites will also often market and showcase homes that are pending contract or coming soon as a means to boost content for content hungry consumers.  The foreclosure market is actually very small at the time of this blog post.

Marketing Pre-foreclosure listings, in my opnion, is irresponsible.  This tactic may be causing potential home buyers to drive-by these homes that are not actively on the market and interrupted quiet enjoyment of these homeowners.  Many of these homeowners may already be falling on tough times and trying to work through their issues to retain their homes. Imagine how you might feel if you were in this position and received consumer attention.

Prince William County Market Facts:

  • On the MRIS, there are currently 1376 active listings in Prince William County
  • In Prince William County, there are 50 active foreclosure listings which equates to only 3.6 % of all active County listings. This is drastically lower than what we’ve seen in the recent past.
  • Meanwhile, Zillow showcases 202 foreclosure listing and 696 pre-foreclosure listings.  Zillow defines pre-foreclosure as “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. These properties are not found on a multiple listing service (MLS).”

If you are searching for a foreclosure property, make sure to reach out to your agent. All bank owned homes that are actively for sale will most likely be listed in the MLS. Banks want maximum exposure for their homes for sale and will market their listings on the local MLS's.  I am a recognized distressed industry expert and have sold hundreds of bank owned, foreclosure properties and I am happy to guide any purchaser responsibly through the REO/foreclosure purchase process. Click here to view foreclosures in Prince William County. 

Carolyn Capalbo, Best Northern VA REALTORCarolyn Capalbo,
Northern Virginia REALTOR®


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