Zillow’s new service might change the way you sell your house


Want to sell your home without all the hassle of getting it cleaned up for showings, having to leave the house on short notice when a real estate agent wants to bring clients by and all the rest?

Technology is coming to the rescue with a couple of new services.

Is this the future of real estate?

Zillow recently started testing Zillow Instant Offers, a new feature designed to help consumers sell their homes quickly to investors.

So how do you know if this option is right for you? If you need to get out of your home fast, selling to an investor can be a viable option. Plus, investors don’t typically ask you to make repairs to your home after an inspection like traditional buyers.

As a part of the instant offer process, Zillow will send you a comparative market analysis, an evaluation of recent home sales in your area, so you can gauge how your home might perform if listed on the open market.

To begin, share details of your house and upload photos. (While you don’t have to upload photos, you may risk receiving lower or fewer offers.) Once you submit the photos, you can usually expect offers via email from verified investors within two business days.

It’s important to carefully review the terms — like flexible moving date — in each statement. If you’re interested in learning more about a specific offer, Zillow will connect you with the investor and a local real estate agent to help guide you through the process.

As an added bonus, the investor is responsible for conducting and paying for any inspection, and nothing is final until you sign a contract.

While there’s no cost to use service, there are fees associated with selling your home to an investor — Zillow claims to send you statement that details the costs.

The instant offer service is currently being tested in in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida.


Quick note: If your home is already on the market, this option isn’t available.

Read more: Do real estate agents really matter anymore?

While similar sites like OpenDoor.com cut real estate agents out of the process, Zillow states that the instant offer service will include agents throughout the process.

Other real estate alternatives: Knock.com and OpenDoor.com

Both Knock.com and OpenDoor.com promise to remove friction from the home selling process. With each of these services, you can just bring them in and they’ll take over the house for you so you can move on to your next home.

They basically can either market your home for you or straight-up buy you out. Either way, they handle the maintenance, repairs and other arrangements that go along with selling your home.

Want to get a free quote for your home? The application process is similar on both sites.

You’ll begin by entering your street address on either site, which then auto-populates info about your residence — number of bedrooms/bathroom, square footage, the year it was built, etc.

After you approve that database-generated info, it’s your turn to brag about your property. You get to input info about any improvements you’ve made either inside or outside your home during the last five years!

Finally, you’ll be asked to estimate your home’s value and indicate what kind of timeline you’re looking at for moving out of your home.

And that’s it. It’s all pretty easy and painless to get a quote, which usually comes in one business day.


Where do these companies operate?

OpenDoor is in Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix and coming soon to Atlanta.

Knock operates in Atlanta.

Why these particular locations? Because there’s a huge amount of “production build” in these areas, where a large builder develops huge amounts of land with homes based on similar very limited floor plans. In such places, the algorithms OpenDoor and Knock use can more accurately predict fair market value prices.

How much does Knock.com charge?

Knock.com promises to help you sell your home in six weeks, or they’ll buy it at fair market value.

“Knock guarantees market price for your house for the same 6% fee as a traditional listing, which includes the 3% commission to the agent representing the eventual buyer of your house,” the company says on its website.

How much does OpenDoor.com charge?

With OpenDoor, you don’t have to spend any time on the market if you don’t want to. You can have your closing within three days if you like their offer and move out even sooner!

The service is priced comparably to Knock.

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