Zillow Offers is a new feature that seeks to provide an easier way to sell your house. But how does it work? And is it worth using? Read on to learn answers to these questions and more in our complete guide.
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What Is Zillow Offers?
Zillow Offers provides a convenient way for homeowners to quickly and easily sell their homes without working with a real estate agent.
Instead of preparing your home for sale and moving through the traditional sale process with a real estate agent, you can simply enter your address on the Zillow website and request a cash offer from Zillow.
The process is simple: Zillow will send an offer that you can review and choose to accept or decline. If you wish to decline the offer, you pay no fees and have no further obligation. You’re free to sell your home with an agent if you’d prefer.
When you use Zillow Offers, your home never gets listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and you don’t need to make any repairs, upgrades, or stage your home for sale.
Zillow buys your home directly from you, transfers the sale price to you in cash, and provides one-on-one assistance the entire way. Zillow Offers says it provides a simpler way to sell your home and get paid a fair price for it.
But is that the case? In this guide, we look at the features, how the entire process works, all costs and fees, pros and cons, and more. Let’s start by looking at the features you can expect from Zillow Offers.
Zillow Offers Features
What makes Zillow Offers so different from traditionally listing and selling your home with a real estate agent? Here are the main features Zillow Offers provides for its clients.
When you put your house up for sale traditionally, you’ll need to make sure all repairs, renovations, and updates are completed before you can show the home to potential buyers.
With Zillow Offers, there is no need to pay for any repairs or stage your home for showings. From repainting and roof repairs to upgrading flooring and countertops, Zillow takes care of everything after closing.
The cost of the needed repairs will be deducted directly from the offer price Zillow gives you. For many homeowners, not having to make repairs or renovations (or paying contractors to do it) is worth accepting a few thousand less in the offer on their home.
Choose When You Close
There are no surprises when you use Zillow Offers because you get to choose your closing date and the date you move out. Simply tell them when you want to move, and they make it happen.
This allows you to plan your move-in date for your new home, ensure all your moving services and supplies are in order well before moving day, and have the payment from your home sale in your possession before you move.
The closing process with Zillow Offers can move as quickly or slowly as you’d like. Zillow says you can close in as few as seven days or as many as 90 days. It’s all up to you and what works best.
Zillow Offers assigns a Zillow Advisor to each client for the duration of the transaction. Your Zillow Advisor is there to answer any questions you might have, help find solutions for problems, or provide reassurance if you’re concerned about any part of the process.
Your advisor will show you how to use the Zillow Offers dashboard, explain each step of the process, and update you if your offer changes based on the in-home evaluation.
If you’ve ever been through the home sale process before, you know how many moving parts there are. Without a roadmap, things can get complicated quickly.
The whole experience is made more transparent and easy to follow with the Zillow dashboard. Every Zillow Offers client has access to their dashboard, which is like a hub for managing the sale of your home.
You’ll be able to see all the information regarding the sale of your home in one convenient place. You can access the information on the dashboard 24/7.
At closing, the payment for your home is transferred to you in cash. Zillow backs your payment with a 100% guarantee. While the amount Zillow Offers will offer you for your home varies based on a few factors.
Instant buyers [like Zillow] promise a much smaller discount, perhaps shaving only 1 or 2 percent off what a homeowner might get in a conventional sale.
These include your location, the condition of your home, special features, proximity to attractions and schools, and more, the offer amounts are typically within a few percent of the market value of your home.
How Zillow Offers Works
Zillow has created a simple process to help you quickly sell your home based on data about your home, an in-home evaluation, and guaranteed cash payments. Let’s walk through each step of the way so you can see how Zillow Offers works.
Request an Offer
At Zillow.com/Offers, you can enter your address to find out if Zillow Offers is currently available in your area. If it’s not, you can still claim your home on Zillow to be notified when they expand.
If your area is within Zillow’s territory, you will be able to answer a quick questionnaire about your house. You’ll be asked to provide information like:
- Your address
- The year your home was built
- Square footage
- Any upgrades or renovations you’ve made to your home
- Additional features (pool, garage, etc.)
- Photos of the interior and exterior (not required, but helps you get the most accurate offer)
- Your email address and phone number for contact
In total, filling out the questionnaire takes about 3 minutes. When you’ve finished filling it out, just click Submit.
Once you submit your home details to Zillow, they will begin reviewing them as well as looking at similar homes in your area to determine a fair valuation for your home. Not all homes qualify for Zillow Offers right now.
Mobile homes and older homes are among those Zillow won’t make an offer on. If Zillow decides to make an offer on your home, they’ll return the offer to you within about two business days.
Once you’ve received Zillow’s first offer, you can decide whether you’d like to accept or decline it. There is no penalty for declining an offer from Zillow, and you will not owe any fees for requesting your offer.
From the time you receive your offer, you have three business days to issue a response. If you need longer to make your decision, Zillow will update your offer.
If you like your offer and want to continue selling your home, the next step is an in-home evaluation. There is no further obligation if you’re not satisfied with your offer and decide not to sell with Zillow Offers.
If you’ve accepted the offer, Zillow will send someone to your home to conduct an in-home evaluation. This will take about 2 hours from start to finish. The evaluator will be working with a local broker to look for any repairs that need to be made.
They also look for renovations that are required, and other ways to increase the overall value of your home. They will take several photos of your home to determine an updated offer.
So make sure the inspector has access to every room in your home. When your in-home evaluation is scheduled, make sure all your utilities are on for the convenience of the inspector (including water, electricity, and gas).
Also, be sure that someone over the age of 18 can be present during the inspection. If you cannot make sure someone is available during the inspection, Zillow will have you sign a waiver.
Receive An Updated Offer
Depending on the results of your in-home evaluation, your offer may be increased or decreased. Zillow will estimate the cost of any renovations or repairs that need to be made before they can sell your home, and those costs will be deducted from the original offer amount.
Your Zillow Advisor will call you to go over the details of your updated offer. You will also receive an email with all the information. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline the updated offer as well.
Once you’ve accepted Zillow’s final offer, you will move into the closing phase. The amount of time it takes to close depends entirely on what is convenient for you.
Zillow states that you can close in as little as seven days or take as long as 90 days. If you’re waiting to close because you’re buying another home, this flexibility in closing time can be extremely helpful.
Once you’ve closed on your home, Zillow will transfer the sale price to you in cash. You will receive an itemized statement that shows where the estimated cost of repairs and renovations are deducted, any Zillow Offers fees, and the total amount you will receive.
Zillow Offers Costs and Fees
It’s convenient when you sell your home with Zillow Offers, but how much does it cost you? Zillow states that there is no out-of-pocket cost to you, but there are fees that will be deducted from the total amount you receive upon the sale.
Zillow takes a 6% fee, which is comparable to the commission you would pay a real estate agent. In addition, you’ll pay the following fees out of your total sale amount:
- Closing costs: 1%-2% of the total sale price
- Zillow service fee: 1%-3.7% of the total sale price
You won’t pay for the cost of eventual repairs and renovations needed to get the house on the market. Zillow takes on that responsibility once they purchase your home. Your mortgage payments (if you have any) will end on your closing date.
Locations and Availability
Zillow Offers is not available everywhere. Right now, the service is available in several cities across the United States.
Current cities where you can use Zillow Offers include:
Zillow Offers Pros and Cons
Considering the features, simple process, fees, and all the pros and cons, is using Zillow Offers a good way to sell your home?
If you’re looking to sell quickly, Zillow Offers can help you close in as little as seven days. You can’t close that quickly in a traditional sale, so the additional fees may very well be worth it.
If you’re not rushed to sell and are willing to make repairs (or hire someone to do it), you could walk away with more money in your pocket by selling your home with a real estate agent.
Overall, we think Zillow Offers has huge potential, especially as the popularity of their platform grows. But will it mean the end of the road for real estate agents? We don’t think so.
People are emotional creatures, and selling a home is one of the biggest decisions most of us will make. For this reason, I believe there will almost always be a need for a local human to walk sellers through the process.
Should You use Zillow Offers?
The convenience of Zillow Offers does come at a price. Still, you might find that the hassle of hiring contractors, working with a real estate agent, negotiating the sale price of the home, and potentially having a deal fall through with a buyer may make Zillow Offers worth the additional fees.