Zillow Announces “Instant Offers” for home sellers

Yesterday, Zillow launched a new feature allowing home sellers to accept offers from investors to purchase their property directly on Zillow.

Okay, here are the details and what it means:
Sellers can now accept offers from up to 15 private investors that Zillow is working with. It’s essentially an enhancement of the “Make Me Move” feature already on Zillow, except now Zillow handles the actual official offer process.

This Instant Offer product is currently only available in Las Vegas and Orlando, but expect to see it start to spread to other markets as well.

When a seller receives an Instant Offer, they have three choices:
1. Accept an offer and sell directly to an investor
2. Accept an offer and use an agent to manage and close the transaction
3. Reject the offers and list the property on the MLS with an agent

? How big of a deal is this?
This really isn’t any earth-shattering news to the real estate industry at this point. You know that company Open Door? They are essentially doing the same thing – offering an amount to purchase a property for an investor and allowing sellers the convenience of picking their closing date and not having to list their home for sale in the traditional way. Typically, with OpenDoor and now with Zillow’s Instant Offer feature, the fees involved with this type of “off-market, direct-to-investor” transaction are higher than what a seller would pay in a traditional resale scenario, and sellers typically get less for their home than they would listing it for sale with an agent.

?? So here’s what it means for you ??
All this proves is that some sellers are willing to pay extra for convenience. If the market is starting to trend in this direction, use it to your advantage! Here are some ideas:
– Talk about showings and how you handle them during your listing presentation. Tout Showing Time as an easy and convenient way for your sellers to schedule and approve showings at their convenience.
– Use NAR and other statistics to show that homes sell for a higher price when they are listed with a REALTOR® versus sold by-owner.
– Refine your value proposition. Do you specialize in a specific neighborhood or type of property? If not, now would be the time to start honing your skills so you can showcase what makes you different.
– Consider unique ideas to help with your sellers’ most common issues: temporary housing if they sell too early, partnerships with POD or other moving/storage companies, or an on-call dog walker to take care of the pups during showings.

 

Read the full story on Inman.

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