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What do those colored dots on Zillow mean?

Zillow is fast becoming one of the favorite ways for Americans to start their home shopping adventures.  But it can also be deeply disappointing to learn that your favorite dream house is not actually for sale at all –or hasn’t even been on the market in over a decade!

So how can you tell what listings are “Active” and ready for purchase?  How can you get a good gauge on the value of your own home?

For starters, it’s good to remember that Zillow is a VERY ROUGH ESTIMATE.  Sometimes those estimates can be off by $100K or more!  The only way you can get a proper valuation of your home (or a home for sale) is to work with a licensed Realtor – like a member of the Redux Realty team.

Zillow is to Real Estate what WebMD is to Medicine.  Even if you can get a rough idea of what you need, you still need to visit the real estate “doctor” for a proper diagnosis.  That said, here is a run-down of what Zillow’s colored dots mean … and how you can use them in your own home search.

  • RED DOT – This home is currently FOR SALE. It is “Active” on the market, which means that it is open for buyers (like you!) to put in a contract for purchase.
  • PURPLE DOT– This home is FOR RENT. If renting is what you are looking for, congratulations!  You’ve found it!  But if you are looking to buy, this home is not for you … you need to be on the lookout for RED.  J
  • GOLD DOT – This home is OFF THE MARKET. If it looks gorgeous and perfect and has a great price tag, that’s because someone else thought so, too … and they’re already living in it (or about to move in).  Don’t be a Goldilocks – stay away from the Gold Dots!
  • BLUE DOT – This home is a “POTENTIAL LISTING”. It is NOT CURRENTLY FOR SALE.  Chances are the owners don’t even know that Zillow has marked their home that way!  It means that the owners of the property are behind on their mortgage payments and MIGHT be up for a foreclosure auction if they can’t turn it around financially.  It can also mean that the owners have said, “We will sell if you offer us our dream price of a billion dollars.” In other words, this home is NOT AVAILABLE … and if your home has a blue dot you might want to call REDUX REALTY ASAP!  We are specialists in distressed properties and can talk through all your options.
  • GREEN DOT – A green dot just means your mouse is hovering over the icon … nothing more.
  • GRAY DOT – This home is not for sale, for rent, or even for consideration. The people in this home are happy to be your neighbors, but they love their house and want to keep it for now!

To find an active listing on Zillow, go to the “Listing Type” box and de-select everything except for red (if you are looking to buy) or purple (if you are looking to rent).  And if you are looking to try to purchase a short sale, flip, or foreclosure, we STRONGLY advise you to contact us first.

Not only do we have a number of distressed properties already in our inventory, we are also market leaders in guiding you through the very detailed processes required to purchase such a home.  Even better, use our stronger, up to the minute search engine at!   Whatever you choose, we are here to help you find the right home, so contact us today!

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2 Responses to “What do those colored dots on Zillow mean?”

    • Jonathan Dinschel
      Written on

      Hi Debbie, thank you for your interest! Redux has a dedicated team of Distressed home specialists and we would like to reach out to you as soon as possible. Could you please send us your phone number to

      Thank you!

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