The data available from RealtyTrac is complex, so we've included a bit more information to make it accessible. Additionally, you should refer to the RealtyTrac Data Dictionary for definitions and information about the individual fields within the data.
1. Each download set in the FDA is comprised of three zipped archives that cover the time period between 2005-2016:
It is possible that individual properties would be listed in multiple files. For instance, a property that was foreclosed upon in 2009 would appear in the NYUForclosure file but would also appear in the NYUSales file if it had later experienced a change in ownership. The properties in these files inherently reflect foreclosure, sale, and loan transactions; however, they are tied to a unique, discrete parcel. To marry the separate transaction files by parcel, it is best to refer to the RealtyTrac property ID field, which is a unique identifier for all tax parcels assigned by RealtyTrac.
2. The data within these files is limited to RealtyTrac's specific geographic footprint within the United States. Overall, RealtyTrac has an extremely high rate of recording. To see what percentage of properties are covered, download the Data Coverage Guide.