With the recent launch of Zillow’s Instant Offers test pilot in Orlando and Las Vegas came a deluge of heated opinions from all corners of the industry. Is Zillow becoming a brokerage? Are brokers and agents being disintermediated? Take this reader survey from RISMedia and tell us where you stand.
In a nutshell, Zillow Instant Offers allows home sellers to directly receive all-cash offers from a group of 15 large private investors, who are either licensed as brokers or use a third-party broker license. Offers will be managed by dotloop, which will connect the seller and the investor. While home sellers are encouraged to use a real estate agent to transact the deal, they are not required to do so. Zillow Premier Agents are looped in to prepare the CMAs in their respective markets.
One of the strongest opponents to Instant Offers has been the National Association of REALTORS®. As published on nar.realtor, “NAR cannot sponsor or encourage a boycott of Zillow. It would be unlawful for NAR to discourage members from using any product or service provider. Those decisions are made independently by MLSs, brokers, and agents…What NAR can do is the same thing we’ve always done, and will continue to do, in the face of a long line of business models offered to consumers to sell their homes without the use of a REALTOR®: Undertake renewed efforts to remind the public, and to encourage and help members inform their clients and customers, of the value they bring to the real estate marketing and sales transaction, and the problems and risks sellers may encounter in marketing and selling their home without using a REALTOR®.”
Zillow stresses that Instant Offers is not an attempt to circumvent real estate professionals. According to the company, “Zillow Group began piloting Instant Offers as a way to address consumer demand in a way that keeps agents and brokers at the center of the transaction. As with any test, we’re learning a lot and, even at this early stage, one thing is clear to us—sellers need and want professional real estate advocates throughout the transaction.”
What is your stand on Zillow’s latest foray into the real estate space? Please take our brief survey. We will report the results along with further industry feedback in a soon-to-be-released in-depth report.