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RealtyTrac is an online provider of real estate information, covering both properties that are for sale as well as homes under foreclosure and available for short sale. It makes its money through memberships, and while there are some negative reviews of RealtyTrac’s service the Better Business Bureau has given RealtyTrac an A+ rating.

What does the site do?

The RealtyTrac website provides all sorts of information useful to homeowners, lenders, investors, sellers, and buyers.  Search its Florida pages and learn things like Miami-Dade County saw 2715 new foreclosures in April 2011, and there have been 79,790 foreclosure filings in Florida since the first of the year, but only 18,212 foreclosure sales.

Now, through a partnership with a research company out of California called SmartZip Analytics, the site is providing information specific to those interested buying or selling distressed properties.  Like all the Florida homes that are available for short sale, or are already carrying a “foreclosure” label.

What’s new at RealtyTrac?

The news is that RealtyTrac gives its members the ability to study which Florida properties may be most likely to appreciate in value.  In other words, RealtyTrac is providing a rating for each property that is going to give potential buyers and investors an idea of how smart a bargain that short sale or foreclosure property might be.

The RealtyTrac rating – called the “HomeScore rating” — will provide a score for each home ranging from 1 to 100.  The higher the rating, the better the home is predicted to have growing appreciation in fair market value as well as lower than average costs accompanying its purchase.

In other words, the HomeScore rating is providing a SweetDeal score – which might help Florida homeowners sell their homes.

According to RealtyTrac, homes with a HomeScore of 35 – 65 are “good” investments, but any property over 65 is primo: those homes are in the range of  “very good” to “excellent.”

For investors and buyers, this helps cull through the available properties in the search for good deals. For homeowners and sellers, especially those with good to great HomeScores, it may help them sell their property.  Which is something that Florida homeowners  considering a short sale will find especially helpful.

If you are interested in learning more about these ratings, RealtyTrac has a short YouTube video that gives details on how SmartZip’s HomeScore works.

If you want to know more about short sales, read this short article that gives you the basics under Florida law.

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