The site’s new feature estimates a home’s equity by comparing the amounts of outstanding loans on the home and the home’s estimated market value. Users can also search for homes with equity in a certain range — positive equity of $10,000 to $50,000, for example. Search options also allow users to choose a date range for homes that are coming up for auction.
A "loans and history" tab on a property’s details page shows the numbers behind the net equity calculation, a home’s loan-to-value ratio, a list of outstanding loans on the property and the position of those loans.
While equity and loan-to-value ratios are available in search results without signing in, loan history information is only available to subscribers who log in or non-subscribers who sign up for a free seven-day trial.
"These new features bring key information to the forefront, helping buyers and investors more quickly decide which distressed properties represent good purchase opportunities for them and which do not," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO, in a statement.
"These features will also help real estate agents and brokers pinpoint potential listing opportunities — both short sales and equity sales — and spot second- or third-position loans that could trip up a short sale. In addition, the position of outstanding loans will make it easier for auction buyers to avoid costly surprises when purchasing at the trustee’s sale or sheriff’s sale."