In a pre-foreclosure/short sale the owner tries to sell the property before the bank takes it away --in this case, ultimately the bank decides on which bid to accept, reject or counter offer--in a foreclosure, the owner stops paying money owed to the bank and the bank seizes the property and takes over ownership.
THE DIFFERENCE IS A PRE -FORECLOSURE IS WHEN A HOMEOWNER IS IN DEFAULT ON THEIR MORTGAGE (BEHIND IN PAYMENTS) BUT THEY STILL OWN THEIR HOME AND THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO GET THEIR MORTGAGE REINSTATED BY PAYING THE REARS OR DO A SHORT SALE OR SALE THEIR HOME DOING A QUICK SALE. A FORECLOSURE IS WHEN THE HOMEOWNER FAILS OR IS NOT ABLE TO DO ALL THAT I JUST MENTIONED IN THE PRE-FORECLOSURE STAGE AND THE HOME IS USUALLY AUCTIONED OFF AT THE LOCAL COURTHOUSE OR BY AN AUCTIONEER. IF IT DOES NOT SELL AT THE AUCTION THAN IT IS BOUGHT BACK BY THE BANK AT THE AUCTION. IT IS THEN BANK OWNED AKA "REO". HOPE THIS HELPS.