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My Experience With Zillow Instant Offers

I own a property on the mainland that I have been thinking about selling. In this particular market, outside of Atlanta, Zillow provides their offer service. Obviously, as a realtor this has been something that I have kept an eye on. As we advance through our modern-day digital age, you simply wonder what could come of our profession and how may this type of automation affect it. As someone that aspires to educate myself before voicing an opinion, especially a professional one dealing with real estate, I decided to dive in and give the service a try.

Seeking A Zillow Offer

The first step was to click on the tab seeking a Zillow Offer. I did that, and it asked for a variety of general questions mainly to verify information they already had in their database. They also wanted pictures, and with a few more clicks and a final submit, I was told I would be contacted soon with my cash offer. This is where it got murky. I started to receive emails telling me to upload pictures, but I had already done this. Then I received more emails telling me the offer was getting close and yet another saying that they needed to get in touch with me. Several times I mentioned on the phone and through email that I lived in Hawaii and to be cognoscente of the time difference. Cue the 3:30 AM phone calls not once but twice. In what was promised to be an offer in 24-48 hours, it took nearly eight days.

I received the final email that had a blue box saying, “See Your Offer.” Below that, it had three statements. The first one stated that I had three business days to decide whether I wanted to move forward with the offer. The second stated that if I was happy with the offer (there is no negotiating on price) that an in-home evaluation would be set-up to finalize the offer. I asked the representative what this meant, and they said that there was a chance the offer could decrease based on their evaluation. Lastly, the third step would be if the offer expired after the third day, they would be happy to reevaluate it at a later time. I asked how long you could wait before you asked for another offer, but she didn’t seem to have an answer for that and was unsure. At this point, I clicked “see offer.”

Zillow Service Charge

Before I disclose what the offer was, I asked a realtor there that I know to do a CMA on the property. When she was done, her number came out to $460,000. Zillow’s offer was $440,000. This is where things got interesting. Their pitch is that with Zillow’s service, you would be provided with a dedicated selling advisor, the ability to sell without showings, the buyer would make repairs, and you get to choose your closing date. Zillow then proceeds to inform you, the client, that “all you receive” in a traditional sale is a dedicated selling advisor. When you continue to scroll down, Zillow quotes the average realtor’s commission at 6% and then says their Zillow Service Charge is 12.9%. To their credit, they don’t hide the fact that you will pay substantially more money using their service. At the bottom of the email, it estimated my net proceeds would be $383,240 using Zillow, and if I used a realtor proceeds would be roughly $413,600.

Is It Worth It?

The bottom line is this is not an option for me, but it could be an option for you if you need to sell quickly, and you don’t mind conceding thousands of dollars.

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Jake vaughan

October 31, 2019

Good read! Was curious how that worked.

Linda Hussey

October 31, 2019

Great blog Chris !

Cherie Tsukamoto

November 1, 2019

Great article, Christopher. Eye opening!

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