First-Time Homebuyers Guide 2019
Less stress

Zillow's new real estate service offers Austin sellers cash for homes

Zillow's new real estate service offers Austin sellers cash for homes

Austin home for sale exterior
This home is currently on sale for $365,000 — $10,000 less than the median price inside the Austin city limits. Photo courtesy of Zillow

While not quite on par with getting married, being fired, or coping with the death of a loved, selling a home is still a stressful experience. Luckily, a new service aims to alleviate some of the pain felt by home sellers in the Austin area.

The new service, called Zillow Offers — part of the eponymous real estate conglomerate — enables a home seller in the Austin area to request a no-obligation cash offer from Zillow to buy their home. Through this new platform, the company directly buys a house once the seller accepts the offer, prepares it for showings, and then lists it for sale.

In short, Zillow Offers is jumping into the home-flipping business.

“It’s clear people want a simpler, easier, and less stressful way to buy and sell homes. To meet the needs of today’s on-demand consumers, Zillow is rewiring real estate to create a seamless and integrated transaction experience,” Jeremy Wacksman, president of the Zillow brand, says in a release.

Agents from local real estate brokerages represent Zillow in these deals. Zillow pays a commission to local agents when it buys and sells each home.

Aside from Austin, Zillow recently rolled out Zillow Offers in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Tampa, Florida. Zillow Offers already was available in Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Riverside, California; and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Wacksman says more than 100,000 sellers have requested a Zillow Offer since the service was launched in 2018.

Zillow purchased 898 homes and sold 414 in the first three months of 2019, according to Forbes.com. Within three to five years, Zillow aims to buy 5,000 homes a month — an opportunity it says represents $20 billion in revenue, The Real Deal reports.

Forbes.com also reports that Zillow Offers “has been met with skepticism by Wall Street and housing economists, but the Seattle-based company clearly sees the model as its path forward.”

That path is obstructed, though. This month, Austin-based residential real estate giant Keller Williams is joining what The Real Deal described as the cash-offer craze by launching its answer to Zillow Offers in Dallas. Keller Williams plans to introduce the Keller Offers platform to as many as eight major U.S. markets in 2019.

The Real Deal says Keller Offers lets homeowners flip a property for cash using a computer-generated offer based on data about the property. Other competitors in the increasingly crowded home-flipping space include HomeLight, Opendoor, Offerpad, and Redfin.