Three months after Zillow began buying up homes with its own money and then reselling them — all the while using agent customers of its Premier Agent program to represent it in the transactions — the Seattle-based real estate tech giant is getting ready to expand the program, Zillow Instant Offers, to Atlanta, Georgia.
“Sellers love Zillow Offers, because it’s a service that offers them more control and convenience – and less stress — when they sell their homes,” said Zillow brand president Jeremy Wacksman in a statement provided to Inman. “Zillow has delivered that to sellers in our first two markets, and we’re excited to expand into Atlanta.”
Currently, Zillow Instant Offers is available in two markets: Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. The program lets prospective homesellers visit Zillow’s website and request an all-cash offer on their homes, putting it in direct competition with other similar “iBuyers” such as Opendoor and OfferPad, the latter of which was previously a business partner of Zillow’s. Incidentally, all three companies, along with another startup called Knock, are increasingly vying for customers in the same markets.
If a buyer accepts Zillow’s offer, the tech giant commissions light renovations and repair, then re-lists the home with a local agent customer of its nationwide Premier Agent advertising and lead-generation program program.
Though Zillow Instant Offers and its rivals take service fees and may offer a seller less for their home than they would get on the open market, the programs may be a good option for those looking to offload a house quickly.
In its research, Zillow found that 71 percent of homesellers are also looking to immediately buy a new home, which means that many will need the certainty that their property will sell.
“Once we launch the program in the fall, we will be able to provide Atlanta–area homeowners with more choices, greater control, certainty about price, and transparency when it comes to selling their home – whether they take a cash offer or sell traditionally with a Premier Agent,” Wacksman said.
Mirroring how Zillow Instant Offers currently operates in Las Vegas and in Phoenix, Zillow will match homesellers who choose not to accept their offer (or do not receive an offer due to program constraints) with an agent who will help them sell in the traditional way, on the open market. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Georgia Properties and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers are two of the brokerages that Zillow will be partnering with for the Atlanta launch.
“Consumers expect an experience tailored to their unique circumstances, especially when it’s as significant as selling their home,” said Craig McClelland, Vice President and COO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, in a statement. “[…] We’re excited to partner with Zillow on this innovative program to serve consumers in Atlanta.”