Questions regarding’s termonology

When I look up pre-foreclosure properties I’m a little baffled by the terminology used since I’m new to real estate investing.

Could someone enlighten me to what “transfer value” specifically means. Is the transfer value the amount I would have to pay to own the property or is there something other I’m missing. I only ask due the fact that I’ve run into several homes where their market value is $150k greater than their transfer value. What’s the catch?! I actually have access to drive past some of these homes. They’re in great areas where the land value has been and continues to go up…help anyone?

Additionally, I’m setting out to purchase my third real estate book with regard to pre-foreclosures. Maybe this will shed more light on the term “transfer value”.

Thanks for your time ladies and gents.

"The amount listed on RealtyTrac is usually based on the defaulted lien amount or the transfer value. Called the Balance or Opening Bid on RealtyTrac, the defaulted lien amount is what the foreclosing lender needs to break even. If our data sources don’t provide that amount, then we use the Trans Value, which is the amount paid for the property when it was purchased by the owner in default.

This is not the asking price for the property; it’s a starting place for you to begin your negotiations with the seller. The goal is to get a good bargain, but you shouldn’t necessarily expect to buy the property for just the defaulted lien amount.

Either the defaulted lien amount or the transfer value gives a good estimate of what is needed to satisfy the lender. If you subtract this amount – and any other liens against the property – from the estimated market value of the property, you will have a good idea of the potential bargain that could be realized with the property. This will also give you a solid foundation for making an offer to the seller."