You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, although Moses did. In the book of Exodus, from the Holy Bible, the ancient prophet Moses struck a stone and water came out for the people to drink. Of course, he had a pretty good in with the Man Upstairs, which is a definite benefit when trying to accomplish an impossible feat. As for my own results, I haven’t yet been able to extract any sort of vital fluid from any type of vegetable, nor have I been able to produce liquid refreshment from a rock. One other thing I am having a difficult time generating is this: a list of bank-owned or foreclosed homes.

Oddly enough, however, the online “real estate” (I use this term loosely with this company, since they are actually in the business of advertising not real estate) database company Zillow can magically produce a list of hundreds of local foreclosed properties.

Now listen up, because I’m only going to say this once ... or maybe twice ... or as many times as it takes: Zillow is NOT, I repeat NOT, an up-to-date, accurate or inclusive website. As an example, Zillow lists 48 available foreclosed homes in Weber County. Of these 48 listings, zero — that’s right, the big goose egg, nil, nada, none — are actually available, active listings in real life. All of them have been listed, in the past, as foreclosed homes. However, in almost every case, it has been several years since it has sold — not months, not weeks ... years.

Last week, a client that I have been working with to help him find a home sent me a text. “Jen, thank you so much for all the listings you have been sending me. I’ve decided I want to just look at foreclosed homes. Will you email me those listings?”

“I already did,” was my response.

“Oh, I don’t think I got them.”

“That’s right, because there are none.”

He then proceeded to tell me that he had found plenty of foreclosures online. When I asked him what website he was getting these from, since I knew it was not the website I had directed him to, he told me he had found them on Zillow. Surprise.

Everyone wants a good deal. I get it. I do too. There was a time not too long ago when there were so many active, bank-owned listings you wouldn’t even have to turn the corner to hit a few. That is no longer the case. Foreclosures are abundant in a market where property values have decreased. There is more inventory than buyers, and homeowners are upside down in their payments; meaning they owe more than they could get for their home. This generally takes place at the same time that the economy is heading south.

We are fortunate right now. Property values have been on the rise for the last few years. Most people have jobs. The economy is strong, and homeowners are able to make their payments. Not to mention, there are more buyers than sellers.

I assure you, we, as Realtors, are not holding back on you. There truly is not a secret stash of foreclosed homes for sale that we are keeping to ourselves. Trust me, when one of these hits the market, you and several hundred other buyers who are in the market for a deal will be the first to know.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jenkirchh@gmail.com

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