What Do the Different Color Dots Mean on Zillow?

What Do the Different Color Dots Mean on Zillow?

Posted on Aug 28, 2023


When you first pull up Zillow, you might notice that properties are categorized by colored dots. Here’s what each dot represents.

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Colored dots on Zillow: a breakdown

Red dot: for sale/ under contract/ auction/ new construction/ foreclosed

A red dot on Zillow means that the home is currently for sale (rare exception: already foreclosed homes). The home will either be accepting offers, under contract, new construction, or up for auction. Click on the listing, and the text next to the dot will indicate what the home's status is.

If the home is simply for sale, you could book a home tour and see the house—and potentially place an offer. It’s possible that other buyers have placed an offer on the home, but if so, the owners have not accepted any of the offers yet.

If the home says under contract, it means the house is for sale but the sellers have accepted an offer and are moving forward with a contract. It’s possible that the home will come back on the market if the sale falls through (about 4% of the time). Until it comes back on the market, you will not be able to make an offer.

If the home is up for auction, this means it’s a foreclosure sale or a bank-owned REO property (read “Should I Buy a Foreclosure” to understand the difference between the two and what it takes to buy such a property). This means the prior owner was unable to make their mortgage payments and they lost ownership of the home. While it is for sale, there might be extra steps involved in purchasing it (such as visiting auction.com or qualifying for a different type of loan).

If a home is new construction, that means it's newly built and you'll be the first owners. Keep in mind that if you're able to buy from the builder, you might qualify for mortgage rate discounts that make the home more affordable.

If the home is foreclosed, that means it was a foreclosure that has recently been purchased. In this case, you will not be able to buy the home unless the current owners decide to sell it and it comes back on the market again.

The red dot on Zillow can mean any of these things, so it's important to read the text next to the dot for the full picture.


the red dot, in action

Yellow dot: sold

A yellow dot on Zillow means the home has been sold. In this case, you can’t place an offer on the house and the home is not available for tours. These properties are useful, though, because they can give you an idea of what comparable homes in the region sold for. That way, you’re better prepared for what to expect when you look for a home.

Purple dot: for rent

A purple dot on Zillow means the property is available for rent. Typically, if the house or apartment is still listed on Zillow, that means it’s available—but it varies. Since landlords can list their properties for free, there is often less incentive to take the posts down, so sometimes they just let the listing expire. Luckily, it’s easy to contact them to double-check.

What's the difference between red and faded red homes on Zillow?

There's a simple explanation for why homes show up as different colors in the map view on Zillow: red properties are homes you haven't clicked on, and faded red homes are the properties you have clicked on.

Learn more 

For Sale

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