No, a short sale is not the same as a pre-foreclosure. A pre-foreclosure home has begun the legal process of foreclosure in California. Typically, this means that a Notice of Default has been sent to the home owner and filed at the County Recorder’s Office. Notices of Default are a matter of public record, and as such it is relatively easy to determine if a Notice of Default has been served on the property owner. After three months, if the Notice of Default is not cured by the home owner, the lender can then file a Notice of Trustee’s Sale. During this time period, people will often refer to a home as a pre-foreclosure.