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Zillow search now includes pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties

Adding previously invisible inventory to their search, Zillow is including pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties along with a new Foreclosure Center emphasizing consumers connecting with legitimate foreclosure experts.

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Zillow makes public 1.8 million pre-foreclosure, foreclosure homes

According to a statement from Zillow, they have added 1.8 million pre-foreclosure and foreclosure homes to the site for free. These listings are not yet for sale and the company says they cannot be found on any MLS, “nor are they freely available on other real estate sites,” claiming that “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.”

Additionally, with this launch, Zillow is surfacing addresses and detailed information for more than 67,000 foreclosure listings (bank-owned homes currently listed for sale) in its For-sale search category.

Many buyers or would-be buyers are finding difficulties in locating their next home, due to tight inventory levels, which have fallen by 20 percent in the past 12 months, reports Zillow. Adding this new pre-foreclosure and foreclosure data from public records will open up what Zillow calls a “large, yet invisible part of the housing inventory.”

According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, over half of all buyers have considered purchasing a foreclosure but don’t know where to get listing information, or are discouraged by the complexity of the transaction, a problem Zillow appears to be tackling head on.

“This is another tremendous step forward in consumer empowerment. 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,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO. “What’s more, bringing this information to light, and taking this inventory out of the shadows, can help bring these homes to market faster than ever before.”

What pre-market inventory includes

Zillow says the pre-market inventory includes 1.5 million pre-foreclosure properties, 250,000 foreclosed properties, and over 147,000 Make Me Move® properties. Adding Make Me Move® into the pre-market inventory is an interesting approach, but these listings and all pre-market listings will include a foreclosure estimate (Zillow’s estimate of the sale price of the home if sold as a foreclosure, in addition to the percentage and dollar discount this represents off fair market value), listing details and history, and foreclosure details including the timeline of the foreclosure process, foreclosing loan amount, unpaid balance, lender, trustee and/or attorney information.

The Zillow Foreclosure Center will also launch to provide consumers with local “trained” foreclosure specialists, and consumer information from how-to guides to FAQs.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. MatthewCohen

    October 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

    It’s a smart move, in terms of being a ‘carrot’ to make people sign up to see the new data. I’m unsure what to think of having homes listed on Zillow when the lender has initiated foreclosure proceedings but it’s not a done deal.

  2. Matthew Cohen

    October 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

    It’s a smart move, in terms of being a ‘carrot’ to make people sign up to see the new data. I’m unsure what to think of having homes listed on Zillow when the lender has initiated foreclosure proceedings but it’s not a done deal.

  3. Andrew Stone

    October 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @Matthew I personally feel it is an invasion of privacy and the barrage of phone calls that the homeowners will get from private investors and agents looking for a quick listing only adds to the distress that most homeowners feel in this situation. Yes, it is public record, but how would YOU feel?

  4. hempler

    October 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    If the date is incorrect how many homeowners are going to be ticked off?

  5. AgentSteph

    October 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Interesting. I’ll be watching this development. I’m not sure what to make of it.

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Business News

Hobby Lobby increases minimum wage, but how much is just to save face?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Are their efforts to raise their minimum wage to $17/hour sincere, or more about saving face after bungling pandemic concerns?

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Hobby Lobby storefront

The arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby announced this week that they will be raising their minimum full-time wage to $17/hour starting October 1st. This decision makes them the latest big retailer to raise wages during the pandemic (Target raised their minimum wage to $15/hour about three months ago, and Walmart and Amazon have temporarily raised wages). The current minimum wage for Hobby Lobby employees is $15/hour, which was implemented in 2014.

While a $17 minimum wage is a big statement for the company (even a $15 minimum wage cannot be agreed upon on the federal level) – and it is no doubt a coveted wage for the majority of the working class – it’s difficult to not see this move as an attempt to regain public support of the company.

When the pandemic first began, Hobby Lobby – with more than 900 stores and 43,000 employees nationwide – refused to close their stores despite being deemed a nonessential business (subsequently, a Dallas judge accused the company of endangering public health).

In April, Hobby Lobby furloughed almost all store employees and the majority of corporate and distribution employees without notice. They also ended emergency leave pay and suspended the use of company-provided paid time off benefits for employees during the furloughs – a decision that was widely criticized by the public, although the company claims the reason for this was so that employees would be able to take full advantage of government handouts during their furlough.

However, the furloughs are not Hobby Lobby’s first moment under fire. The Oklahoma-based Christian company won a 2014 Supreme Court case – the same year they initially raised their minimum wage – that granted them the right to deny their female employees insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Also, Hobby Lobby settled a federal complaint in 2017 that accused them of purchasing upwards of 5,000 looted ancient Iraqi artifacts, smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel – which is simultaneously strange, exploitative, and highly controversial.

Why does this all matter? While raising their minimum wage to $17 should be regarded as a step in the right direction regarding the overall treatment of employees (and, hopefully, $17 becomes the new standard), Hobby Lobby is not without reason to seek favorable public opinion, especially during a pandemic. Yes, we should be quick to condone the action of increasing minimum wage, but perhaps be a little skeptical when deeming a company “good” or “bad”.

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RIP office culture: How work from home is destroying the economy

(BUSINESS NEWS) It’s not just your empty office left behind: Work from home is drastically changing cities’ economies in more ways than you think.

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An empty meeting room, unfilled by work from home employees.

It’s been almost six months since the U.S. went into lockdown due to COVID-19 and the CDC’s subsequent safety guidelines were issued – it’s safe to say that it is not business as usual. Everyone from restaurant waitstaff to start-up executives have been affected by the shift to work-from-home. Even as restrictions slowly begin to lift, it seems as though the office workspace – regarded as the vital venue for the U.S. economy – will never truly be the same.

Though economists have been focusing largely on small businesses and start-ups, we are only just beginning to understand the impact that not going back into the white-collar office will have on the economy.

The industries that support white-collar office culture in major cities have become increasingly emaciated. The coffee shops, food trucks, and food delivery companies that catered to the white-collar workforce before, during, and after their workday, are no longer in high demand (Starbucks reported a loss of $2 billion this year, which they attribute to Zoomification). Airlines have also been affected as business travel typically accounts for 60%-70% of all air travel.

Also included are high-end hotels, which accommodate the traveling business class. Pharmacies, florists, and gyms located in business districts have become ghost towns. Office supplies companies, such as Xerox, have suffered. Workwear brands such as J. Crew and Brooks Brothers have filed for bankruptcy, as there is no longer a need to dress for the office.

In Manhattan – arguably the country’s most notorious white-collar business mecca – at least 1,200 restaurants have been permanently lost. It is also is predicted that the one-third of all small businesses will close.

Additionally, the borough is facing twice as many apartment vacancies as this time last year, due to the flight of workers no longer tied to midtown offices. Workers have realized their freedom to seek more affordable and spacious residence outside the city. As companies decentralize from cities and rent prices drop, it isn’t all bad news. There is promise that particular urban white-collar neighborhoods will start to become accessible to the working class once again.

Some companies, like Pinterest and REI, are reporting that their shift to work from home is in fact permanent. The long-term effects of deserted office buildings are yet to make themselves evident. What we do know is that the decline of the white-collar office will force us to reimagine the great American cities – with so much lost due to the coronavirus, what can now be gained?

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Business News

2020 Black Friday shopping may break the mold

(BUSINESS NEWS) Home Depot states their new plan for deals and discounts over two months, in place of a 1-day Black Friday event.

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Men shopping in an empty aisle, Black Friday to come?

Humans change and adapt – that’s just in our nature. Retail stores have struggled to maintain their sales goals for years as more and more people move to ordering online. Online prices still seem to be within customer expectations and often come with free shipping. Additionally, people that may have preferred to shop in an actual brick-and-mortar store have changed their shopping habits dramatically in 2020; it’s hard to social distance and be safe in crowded stores or in small aisles. Black Friday may be next to change.

Amazon and other big box store’s online ordering platforms have simplified getting what you need delivered right to your front door. According to Statista, “Amazon was responsible for 45% of US e-commerce spending in 2019 – a figure which is expected to rise to 47% in 2020.”

Retailers count on the holiday season, specifically Black Friday deals (the day after Thanksgiving), to bring in up to 20% of their annual revenue. It’s hard to just remove that option completely. But considering the times of social distancing, wearing masks in public, and especially avoiding large crowds, the tradition of Black Friday will need to look different this year.

It will also be interesting to see what supply chain disruptions from early 2020 will have the most effect this shopping season. We saw predictions in March that said the United States would see the biggest disruptions in about six months. Black Friday falls right on that timeline.

Home Depot has announced their plans to go ahead and give the deals over a two month span, starting in early November through December (both online and in stores with the possibility of adding some special deals around the actual Black Friday date) to help encourage a more steady stream of shoppers versus so many packing in on the same day.

The home improvement chain has actually seen a great sales year. This is likely due to people working from home and being interested in doing more home projects (and possibly having a bit more time to do them as well). As of May 2020, “The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $28.3 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, a 7.1 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 were positive 6.4 percent, and comparable sales in the U.S. were positive 7.5 percent.”

Home Depot, along with many other retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have confirmed that they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, which may not be new for all of them but has always signaled the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

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