Zillow Offers Launches In South Florida
Zillow started in 2006 as a data-sharing service that offers home estimates and has since branched into home loans. It is now in the house-flipping business, too. After launching in other U.S. cities last year, Zillow Offers last week became active in South Florida.
Home sellers can go online and input their address to see if their property is eligible. If it passes an initial online screening, one of Zillow's on-the-ground Realtor partners will do an in-person visit to the property.
Zillow may then make an offer to buy the home for cash. If the seller accepts an offer, they will choose their closing date, between five and 90 days after acceptance. Zillow will then fix up and resell the house. The company says the service reduces the stress that typically goes along with selling a home, because Zillow handles things like home repairs and showings.
Zillow Offers started in Phoenix in April 2018 and is now in 16 markets. Zillow says that more than 170,000 homeowners have requested offers since the program launched.
Critics warn that while Zillow's service may be convenient, sellers might not get the same top dollar they could by listing it and holding open houses. According to the Miami Herald, Zillow charges a service fee of about 7.5 percent, about 1.5 percent above a traditional Realtor transaction.
In January, Bisnow found that Zillow reported $11M in revenues on $10.2M in costs selling houses in its Offers division, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.