Many Americans interested in, not only the potential value of their home, but also other homes in their neighborhood, the homes of their friends or homes they dream to own someday, search Zillow.com to see the estimated value the site has calculated. Zillow.com, however, is looking to branch out beyond just providing home price estimates, they have begun to actually buy and sell homes and plan on making the process even easier.
In an article published by CNN Business, the new division of Zillow, called Zillow Offers has some new features to make the process of selling a home possible with just a few clicks of a mouse. As CNN Business reporter, Clare Duffy, details, “For certain homes, Zillow’s ‘Zestimate’— the online estimate of the home’s value — will now represent an initial cash offer from the company to buy the property. That could mean an even quicker timeline for homeowners looking to close a sale without going through the hassle of a formal listing, or a source of helpful data for would-be sellers who want to know how much money they’ll have to buy their next house.”
The Zillow Offers division of the company has been operating in a handful of markets for about three years now. They have been requesting information from homeowners in order to determine the cash offer from Zillow. The new, revamped process, soon to be available in 23 markets, will skip the required questionnaire and photos from the homeowner. Zillow is confident in the information currently available for many of the homes that the posted Zestimate would be the actual cash offer. A homeowner could simply contact Zillow to cash in on the Zestimate. After an inspection and adjustment made based on any repair issues, the sellers could pay a Zillow the seller’s fee and close the deal.
Skeptics doubt the accuracy of the posted home values. Yet, according to the article, Zillow’s COO Jeremy Wacksman points out, “For homeowners who decline Zillow’s cash offer, the difference between Zillow’s offer and what they end up selling for is typically less than 1%…”
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Zillow has been expanding the services it offers to both home buyer and sellers. In select markets, the company began a program called Zillow Offers. In the Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver areas, homeowners are able to “request a no-obligation cash offer from Zillow to buy their home. If they accept it, Zillow directly buys a seller’s house, prepares it for showings and quickly lists it for sale”, according to an article published on HousingWire.com.
The program was only launched nine months ago and according to the president of Zillow, Jeremy Wacksman, there has been a demand from homeowners to launch Zillow Offers in additional geographic markets. Wacksman states, “It’s clear people want a convenient, stress-free way to sell their home, and real estate professionals are eager to work with us to leverage Zillow Offers as a way to build their local businesses.” As a result, Zillow Offers will be expanding in 2019 to Miami, Minneapois, Nashville, Orlando and Portland. Additionally, the service is going to be launching in even more cities by the fall of 2019.
With this expansion, Zillow expects to not only work with local real estate agents and brokers, paying commission to local agents, but also promote Premier Agent, which helps connect sellers and listing agents when a seller has decided not to move forward with a Zillow Offer transaction.
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