Real Estate

Zillow Wagers On Flipping Houses With 'iBuying’

Zillow

With its Zestimate that taps into algorithms to judge the current price of a house, Zillow has had a reputation for being the place to visit when consumers want to purchase a home. The firm changed up the model in 2018 by announcing Zillow Offers that would entail buying homes from sellers and making repairs before reselling the house in a model referred to as “iBuying,” CNN reported.

The big change is known as “Zillow 2.0” at the firm, and Zillow CEO Rich Barton has put forward a bold vision. He wants the service to change the space at some point, so that it as easy to sell it home as it is to trade a vehicle. But, according to CNN, he warns that the firm, along with shareholders, need to be willing to wait.

With the service, consumers can come to the company’s website to check their Zestimate and they can hit a button and share some basic facts about their home if they fall into a place and price range where Zillow see a purchasing opportunity. Zillow provides an initial offer within 48 hours, which Zillow's director of corporate communications, Emily Heffter, said is a “combination of human and machine.”

The company makes a calculation with the information it has and then works with broker partners to ensure an appropriate offer. Zillow Offers, to Barton, is a move to make an “express lane ... to make it just one click and have magic happen.” Zillow Offers has been aiming to have that happen in the year since Barton came back to the company as chief executive. It has grown to 23 markets from seven in the last year.

In December, news surfaced that Zillow Offers rolled out in Orange County and Los Angeles. The Inland Empire and San Diego has Zillow Offers already, and the firms expansion in LA covers much of Southern California. Zillow was reportedly planning  expansions this year to Jacksonville, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Oklahoma City.

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