There’s a new way to sell your home in the Tampa Bay area. Zillow launched “Zillow Offers” on Monday. The company will offer an instant cash offer.
Zillow is a well-known real estate platform. It allows you to search houses, see the approximate value or “Zestimate,” and even look inside without ever stepping foot in the house.
Now, selling your house is going high tech with less stress.
“Sellers don’t have to deal with doing repairs before the house comes on the market, they don’t have to deal with showings, open houses, things like that,” Joe Locicero, owner of 54 Realty told 10Investigates' Courtney Robinson.
Sellers go on the app, answer a few questions about their home and get an instant no-obligation cash offer.
“You’ll have your cash offer within 48 hours, at that time you’ll review it, if you’re happy with it, it’ll start the process. They’ll bring out their team, assess the property. Within 5 days you could close,” Locicero explained.
While it takes away stress and offers sellers convenience, there is a cost. On average, sellers pay a 7 percent fee. Traditional real estate agents charge between 5-6 percent.
The offer is also based on a computer algorithm. Locicero explained it’s not just a machine involved in the process. As the local partner, he will provide comps, and an assessment team will look at your home. The offer could be more or less based on what they find.
“There’s no catch. The catch is Zillow wants to give all options out to all consumers, and the sellers seeing what’s best for them, whether it’s the instant offer or if they decide to test the open market with a licensed agent,” said Locicero.
Aaron Davis with Hillsborough Title has worked with sellers in Tampa Bay for 20 years. He says iBuying, as it’s known, is not right for every seller. There are other companies like Opendoor and Offerpad operating in the area.
“The biggest thing that sellers need to understand is that there is a cost for convenience. They can be getting a good offer, it may not be the best offer. They’re going to provide you with comps, but are the comps the most recent data? Where are they pulling them from? Are they Zillow “zestimates?” Are they accurate?”
Davis says iBuying will always have a place as will traditional real estate agents.
“iBuyer is just is a convenience, and I think it’s something that will be around for quite some time because in some cases people need to move quickly and this may make sense for them. If you’re the person [who] needs to sell quickly, you don’t want to be inconvenienced by showing a home or staging a home and you don’t care that you’re going to take a little bit less money for the home then maybe iBuyer is a good alternative for you,” Davis explained to Courtney.
Right now, real estate finance professionals at the University of South Florida are in the initial stages of studying whether iBuying companies pay sellers what their homes are worth.
Zillow told 10Investigates since launching in April 2018, nationwide more than 170,000 sellers have requested an offer from Zillow to buy their homes.
During the second quarter of this year, they bought 1,535 homes and sold 786 homes they acquired.
Tampa is the company’s 21st market, and the business will expand to Jacksonville and four other cities by 2020.
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