Zillow Fever Strikes Again! Instant Offer Triggers Insecure Agents

One of the more amusing things about the real estate industry in the 21st century is the extent to which Zillow triggers some folks to heights of lunacy otherwise seen only in the more extreme social justice warrior types. If Zillow bought Coca-Cola tomorrow, some people would immediately switch to Pepsi.

The latest fracas involving Zillow’s Instant Offer test is a good example. Inman News reported on it yesterday:

The new Zillow product allows prospective homesellers to receive all-cash offers from a hand-selected group of 15 large private investors along with a side-by-side comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local Zillow Premier Agent.

The way it works seems pretty straightforward. Some homeowner surfing Zillow fills out a form. That form is sent to well-heeled (institutional) investors. It is also sent to some agents who are asked to provide a valuation (CMA) and try to get the homeowner to list the home with them instead of selling to an investor. The homeowner can choose to (a) sell to an investor, (b) sell to an investor, but pay an agent to help, or (c) list with an agent.

Doesn’t strike me as being all that different from all of those “What’s Your Home Worth?” type of things we have seen on the real estate web since… well… the start of the real estate web. I distinctly remember Homegain doing that back in the day, and doesn’t anybody remember HouseValues.com?

And yet… the response from some (though not all) people has been… ah… striking. Y’all need to chill out. This isn’t anything more than Zillow trying to fend off real threats looming on the horizon in the form of Opendoor and its copycats. Yet, some of the same people who were pooh-poohing Opendoor as a We Buy Ugly Houses with fancier office furniture are losing their ever-loving minds when Zillow does something similar but with a benefit for agents.

If that’s not a symptom of Zillow Fever, I don’t know what is. Let’s explore this like rational people.

[Note: I have a business relationship with Zillow, but as I have mentioned many times before, they don’t even know that I’m writing this. But, you make up your own mind, y’hear?]

The Triggering

First of all, if you haven’t read the Inman coverage, go ahead and do that first. Start with the link above, and then also read Brad Inman’s take on 11 burning questions. Finish up with this comparison of Opendoor and Zillow Instant Offer.

Note also that Zillow insists that this is but a test in two markets. They’ll learn from it, and then decide whether to go forward with it or not. As a test, Zillow isn’t making any money from Instant Offer, but we all can rest assured that they’ll figure out a way to monetize it if it becomes a full-blown product offering.

So in essence, we have some homeowner somewhere who’s thinking about selling. Instead of calling his Realtor, he decides to go surf Zillow to look at Zestimates, look at what’s on the market, and maybe take a gander at what sold for how much, and so on. (We’ll get to why he didn’t call his Realtor below….)

He’s presented with some kind of a call to action that says “Get an instant offer!” He fills out some info, hits submit, and some time later (we don’t know just how quickly investors or agents will respond), he gets a binding offer that lasts five days and a CMA from some agent who would like to list the house instead.

That’s it. That’s the product. It generates leads… like everything else on Zillow. In fact, it generates seller leads, which are the most valuable of all.

The Triggered

The response to this modest little experiment is a full-on Zaterade festival. Some of the finer examples from the comments of just one Inman article:

Valerie Mooney’s profile on Zillow, with 10 Reviews. Wonder how those got on that profile page.

At least Nancy doesn’t have a Zillow profile, so kudos for the courage of her convictions. By the way, Nancy, your franchise Keller Williams is who put DotLoop on the map… #justsayin.

Greg Bennett’s profile page on Zillow.

Adriana Cruz’s profile on Zillow, with 10 five star Reviews added there by evil Zillowbots who are trying to take over her business right under her eyes.

Jay Meader, another Realtor with the courage of his convictions refusing to be on Zillow. Good for him on that!

[As an aside, can you IMAGINE if Zillow were to terminate the profile pages of all these agents calling for the death and destruction of Zillow? I kinda wish they would, just so I can enjoy the resulting fireworks. But don’t, don’t do that guys.]

In any event… some of the comments are actually hilarious. All of the people talking about pulling listings from Zillow seem to ignore that this particular product generates listings. No Realtor’s listing was harmed in the production of said listing leads.

Then you have all of the people yelling that Aha! Zillow IS becoming a brokerage! They’re matching buyers to sellers!!!ZOMG!BBQ!!11!!

I suppose that makes Google a brokerage too since most real estate searches start on Google, thereby having a role in matching buyer to seller. Of course, neither is actually true since the modern real estate brokerage isn’t in the real estate transaction business, but in the agent recruiting and retention business. “My agents are my customers,” said many a broker I have met over the years. And they’re not wrong to say that now, are they?

Finally, you have those who are screaming that Zillow is now competing with the agent, like Greg above. This one deserves a bit more discussion, so let’s do it.

Competing For Listings?

The only possible WTF factor here is that Zillow, with its Instant Offers, may be competing for listings with the agent on the street. After all, getting a listing is just about the hardest thing to do in real estate, once you’ve gotten past your mom, your uncle, and your sister. Getting strangers to invite you into their homes to list it for sale is the goal of every real estate agent in the world. “List to last” and so on.

From that standpoint, I can understand why some agents are livid that a billion-dollar tech company wants to insert itself between them and the homeowner.

What I wonder about, however, is why this is even remotely an issue for the competent Realtor. I said I’d talk about why Mr. Homeowner didn’t call his Realtor above. Let me do that by way of personal experience.

My Realtor

I’d like y’all to meet Blayne Vackar, my Realtor. Since 2011, when I first met him moving to Texas, Blayne has helped me buy a house, sell a house, buy two more houses, and is now working on selling a house for me. That’s five transactions in six years.

When I decided to put my house on the market, I didn’t go to Zillow — even though, as I said, I have a business relationship with them. I didn’t go to HAR.com, even though HAR is dominant here in Houston. I just texted Blayne.

Now, Blayne sorta sucks at post-transaction relationship management — something we’ve talked about in the past. But still, he’s not terrible, and we’ve become friends over the years.

He takes care of me in a transaction. I just got a text last night telling me about landscaping costs to prep my house for sale. He’s handling everything from cleaning to repairs to staging (though I’m not staging this house, as it’s empty) so I don’t have to.

When I’ve got that, why would I bother with anything else? Technology is cool and all, but it doesn’t replace My Realtor anymore than virtual porn could replace my girlfriend.

So why are so many people freaked out?

Because they know very few homeowners think of them as “My Realtor.” Why not? Because they’ve done nothing to deserve to be thought of as My Realtor by anybody. If they had, why in the world would they be worried about some computer algorithm?

He’s Not Your Boyfriend

The situation reminds me of some 15-year old girl getting jealous because Joanne is going out with Steve, on whom she has a crush. But Steve isn’t her boyfriend. In fact, Steve barely knows she exists.

The homeowner in the Instant Offer situation clearly does not have someone he thinks of as My Realtor. If he did, why is he clicking around a website? Why isn’t he calling his Realtor and talking about it?

Should said homeowner choose to take an investor’s offer… listen, he wasn’t ever going to list with an agent for a variety of reasons. This came up in the Opendoor conversation, but someone who just wants to sell the house with as little hassle as possible understands that he’s leaving money on the table — just like the people who trade in their vehicles at the car dealership know they’re leaving money on the table, but do it anyhow for the sake of convenience.

Should said homeowner mess around on Zillow, get an Instant Offer from an investor, and call you, because you’re His Realtor, then what’s the effing problem? Do your job and advise your client on how to best handle an offer from an investor.

Should said homeowner elect to call an agent to come in for a listing appointment because of Instant Offer… well, what’s the problem?

“It’s not right that some agent who just pays Zillow gets that seller lead instead of me!”

Look, Steve ain’t your boyfriend. The homeowner isn’t your client. He doesn’t think of you as His Realtor; he barely knows you exist. That’s not on Zillow, not on Opendoor, not on Offerpad or Blackstone Group or We Buy Ugly Houses or anybody other than you.

Look at this revealing stat from NAR:

  • 64% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
  • Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 70%

Then add in the fact that only 17% of buyers use the agent who helped them buy the house, despite 73% saying they would.

The mismatch is because most agents are not good at staying in touch with past clients, despite numerous pleas from their managing broker, suggestions from their coaches, and the like.

And if they’re bad at staying in touch with people who actually bought or sold a house with them, how are they at proving value to the strangers in their market areas so that some of those homeowners might start to think of them as “My Realtor?” The answer is not exactly a mystery.

The Non-Triggered

Let’s be fair here. Not all commenters were acting like teenage girls. A number of brokers and agents saw this as what it appears to be:

I have to agree with Pete Thorpe here. If a Realtor can’t prove value over an investor’s bid… well, that homeowner was in a rush and would have sold to Opendoor or We Buy Ugly Houses people anyhow. Why would you care about that?

I suspect that these Realtors have strong relationships with their clients, past-clients, sphere and neighborhood. They’re not worried about Instant Offer any more than they are about Opendoor. They’re not bitching about Zestimates, because that just lets them showcase their local knowledge and expertise. They know their people do think of them as “That’s my Realtor” and would behave accordingly.

You Gots to Chill

So, takeaways… if you’ve stayed all the way to this point, I think you deserve one or two — even if you disagree violently with them.

  1. Zillow didn’t do Instant Offers to become a brokerage — ZG is a publicly traded company, and they can’t get into low margin businesses like real estate brokerage with 2-3% profit margins. They did it because guys like Opendoor and Offerpad are potential threats, and besides… if ZG could generate seller leads, agents would be shouting “Shut up and take my money!” at them.
  2. Any homeowner who takes an Instant Offer from an investor was never going to sell with a listing agent anyhow. They know they’ll lose money. They don’t care, because something else is more important to them.
  3. The brokers and agents who have done and do a good job with their clients, then staying in touch with them after the transaction, and who provide value to their sphere and community have nothing to worry about. Their people think of them as “My Realtor” and there isn’t a human being in the world who prefers a computer algorithm to a warm, helpful Realtor who takes care of them.

So chill out, everybody. Go do what you do best: engaging people as human beings with a life, concerns, families, interests… and a house they might want to sell. You can’t out-tech tech companies, but they can’t out-human you.


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Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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47 thoughts on “Zillow Fever Strikes Again! Instant Offer Triggers Insecure Agents”

    • Hi Drew – I agree and that is why this old man says that within a very years the number of agents will be reduced by 60-80%.

      BTW I despise Z.com. T.com and R.com. I think they are whores and have prostituted our industry. I hope the founders burn in Hell.

      • Having met and worked with the founders of Zillow and Trulia, I’m pretty confident that they won’t be burning in hell. They’re all terrific humans.

        But it’s good to see we can keep the conversation on a professional level and not stoop to personal attacks.

  1. Being extremely familiar with the model: selling investment type property to a proprietary database of buyers (in ZG’s case 15 Wall Street firms…for starters) while offering consumers an “ask an agent or do it yourself” proposal I can say that IMO, this is where ZG has been heading all along.

    And why not? They are in the right position to do it. That said, without brokerage experience, IMO, it will take them some time to figure out how to balance their advertiser’s position and the user/consumers’ i.e. keeping them both happy.

    Got to get into the meat (the deal) to really be on top of the real estate food chain 🙂



  2. Thanks for the jam Rob – you always make me smile. The one thing I find about these Zillow triggers is that they are entertaining – wish I had a bit more time to follow the drama.

  3. Curious – does the investor get the contact information for the seller ? Can they continue the negotiations and go another round directly?

      • Not sure, but don’t think so. I believe everything is done through our “dashboard.” I’ll try to find out. Keep in mind too, this is a test. It’s why we test — to find out what does and doesn’t work, so things can change frequently.

  4. RSH~ I would like to start by saying I’m a broker but 98% of my business is in investment commercial real estate so whatever happens to the residential side will not and does not effect me personally. With that said – I’m one of the many that you say “have the fever.” And here’s why I have the fever and here’s why I think others have the (so-called) fever!

    It is all about trust, and I don’t think the (so called) fever-bound folks trust Zillow one bit. Don’t forget the heads of Zillow have screamed from the mountain tops “we sell ads, not homes.” What happened to that promise? And as Zillow changes (and btw there’s no doubt that Zillow is trying to become the Amazon of real estate) the moment they figure out a way to cut agents out “Zillow” won’t think twice about doing it.

    So yes “I and many others have the (so called) fever, ” but I believe it is for a good reason “we” don’t trust Zillow!

    I would love you to answer just one question “if you would be so nice.” The moment Zillow can make money without agents would Zillow hesitate to cut the rug out from under them, in the same manner, Spencer did the travel agent? My belief is -Zillow would do it in a second and not think twice about it!

    You see “trust” is important and those that don’t trust Zillow have the (so-called) “fever!”

    • Yeah, I get that there’s no trust — I just don’t get why.

      For example, you say what happened to the promise that Zillow sells ads not homes. What about Instant Offer looks like selling a home to you instead of selling listing leads to agents?

      If Z had bought REMAX or something, OK, I see why the trust would be violated. If Z started buying up houses like Opendoor, OK, I see the issue. But doing a fancier version of “What’s Your Home Worth?” widget causes that? I don’t know man….

      The whole “Amazon of real estate” thing puzzles me too. OK, let’s go with what you say and say that Zillow figures out how to get consumers to pay them directly for houses, the way Amazon gets people to pay them directly. So they don’t need the $700 million in revenues from agents.

      Supposing this magical technology is developed and consumers flock to it like seagulls because the agent has done such a piss poor job of providing value that they prefer a Shopping Cart to a human being… you don’t think the existing Big Brokerages who are hemorrhaging money to splits wouldn’t implement it first? Hell, if *I* were Bruce Zipf, I’d instantly cut the agent out and have all of the commissions come to my brokerage. Don’t forget that Zipf also works for a public company with investors who demand ROI.

      Sure, if that technology existed, Zillow would cut out the agent in a heartbeat. So would every brokerage in America: “This technology lets me not pay my agents a split? Shut up and take my money!”

      And we’ll see Google get into *that* game. And Walmart. And Quicken and Bank of America (through a brokerage subsidiary). Hell, *NAR* might cut out the agent too if it could hoover up commission dollars instead of having to worry about member dues dollars.

      Wouldn’t you?

      The only reason why Zillow, R.com, Homes.com, Realogy, HomeServices, Keller Williams, Remax, Long & Foster, NAR and everybody else doesn’t cut out the agent is that it cannot be done in a sustainable, economically feasible way, except in niche markets.

      So sure, go ahead and not trust Zillow. Hate them even. But it is awfully amusing *why* you don’t, but then trust a whole bunch of entities who are not in the Agent Charity business, but the money-making business.

      • RHS~ thank you so much! Zillow has and is showing their true colors by way of pricing. The pricing increases and their pricing structure makes way for them to do as they wish and that’s not good for those that want to compete but don’t have the means to compete. So even “if” Zillow doesn’t “eventually” get the technology to do away with the agent, they are well are their way to a monopoly! And I for one don’t feel Zillow monopolizing the industry is good for the industry.
        And as far as the “trust” issue, I personally don’t trust Zillow holding the cards and monopolizing this business….

    • Jon Kolsky,
      This should be a WAKE-UP CALL to all residential real estate agents. The real estate industry is facing many changes. Those changes are not in favor of residential real estate agents. The big MLS aggregators portals, using real estate agent’s listings to grow and in the process those portals are trying to eliminate the agent from the transaction.
      Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and every other MLS aggregators listing platforms, undoubtedly aim to disrupt the existing real estate sales model in the near future. Residential Real Estate agents must to protect their interests by acting fast and to stop sending their listings to those portals. Otherwise, before they know it, they’ll be protesting like taxi drivers did not knowing how their job disappeared over night because of Uber business model. Start acting now, or get ready to get Uber-level pay for your work and kiss your dreams of riches good-bye. Eventually those portals will connect buyers and sellers without the use of a real estate agent. That will cause real estate agents to end up with commissions further reduced if at all. Many real estate agents believe that those MLS aggregators portals are the cancer on the residential real estate industry. Many agents around the country should think twice before sending their listings to those portals. There were those in the industry, especially in leadership positions, who have consistently claimed that Zillow, Trulia have no desire getting involved in the real estate transaction. But to me It was obvious once Zillow bought out Dotloop. Now it should be clear to everyone, It will be a very short time now before Zillow, Trulia open their platform to all buyers and sellers and real estate agents will be left out from the transaction. They just need a bit more time and experiments. I have talked to many frustrated agents and brokers venting their malice toward Zillow, Trulia business model. The most common complaint is that brokers feel as though Zillow, Trulia have worked their way in-between agents and clients. They have managed to do so by using agent`s listing data. Do not say it will not happen to me!

  5. Politics not aside. Zillow reminds me of Trump. Damned if you don’t and damned if you do. No matter what they do, it seems the industry responds with “a swift kick to Zillow that results from an instant knee jerk reaction.” The truth? If any broker or agent has an gripe with Zillow they should understand that Zillow is the entity in this industry that most closely represents the demands and desires of the consumer. Ouch! Not the “C” word in riesdential real estate brokerage! Despite all of the noise and threats related to the listing data, it is about the consumer. If I were you, I would take careful note of what Zillow and OpenDoor have discovered here, and then watch for the consumer’s reaction and adoption and then rush in there to use that information to build on what you have now as a practice. There is one thing I know for certain now and that is that “presence is powerful.” The residential brokerage industry – for all its good and all of tits bad – has presence in at least 5 million transactions with that many sellers and buyers each year. Might be a good idea to “watch, listen and learn” and then adapt your business to make sure that as an industry don’t blow this advantage out of the water like you have so many others.

  6. The monetization model is a no brainer. It’s an add-on for the advertising Premier Agents. Who wouldn’t like to be whispering in a seller’s ear when that that low-ball offer with its 9% fee lands in the seller’s hands? So for agents willing to give Zillow a crazy stupid amount of money, this is a huge positive development.

    For the rest of us, this development is more problematic. Yes, I have several clients who call me their “agent,” but they like the format of Zillow for their research, despite my state-of-the-art IDX website. What mildly concerns me is that my clients (or consumers in general) will go down a rabbit hole that they don’t know how to get out of before they get back to me to represent them.

    It depends really on the execution of the program and whether consumers understand how to get out before they are listed with another agent. I’m not losing sleep, but you can bet that when this program makes its way to CA, I will be busy educating my clients, readers and anybody else who will listen about the low-ball offers they can expect from this program for the hefty 9% fee. Investors don’t pay retail and 9%? Why such a high fee, Jay Thompson?

    • Tracy – I have no idea why the investors charge the fees they do. Some charge more then 9%, some less. But we don’t have any more control over that than what agents charge for commission. It’s their pricing, and between them and the sellers. It does seem like a prime opportunity for the agent to pitch getting a higher price at a lower fee (at the “expense” of not having a basically guaranteed closing date like an investor would).

      I can only assume they charge the fees they do because they can. i.e.: some people will pay it.

      • Jay,

        I made this comment over on Inman but they took down all the comments on the Greg Swartz piece…so, I’ll drop my thought here.

        Investors do not pay a fee to buy real estate from sellers…unless, of course they can. If the can, that means that the property has not been exposed to a large enough pool of buyers to create any price discovery or competition. And, as you can image…no competition to buy really doesn’t offer consumers a fair shake at even coming close to fair market value.

        I guess it doesn’t matter. The “new” model believes, and some of these valuations show, that there must be a large supply of home sellers that don’t really care about the sales price of their real estate….in my years of practice I’ve known a few where this was the case…but in the markets I’m familiar with the vast majority of consumer/sellers still put sales price near the top of their list when it’s time to sell. 🙂

        Lots of swimmers in a little pool?


    • Tracy – I was reading the article but got sick and threw up.
      I did not get far enough along to see the 9% thing. Is someone somewhere so stooped to think sellers will accept a low ball offer and then shell out 9% for a commission? Have to stop, getting sick again.

      • Technically, the 9% isn’t a “commission,” it’s a “fee” the investor charges the seller.

        And if you think some sellers won’t accept below market pricing and that sort of fee, you should take a look at what OpenDoor is doing, and charging….

      • Jay – I don’t know anything about Open Door. Don’t want to know. My tiny one person brokerage is doing just fine without the bottom feeders trying to get into my wallet. They all are the scum of the earth sucking off the work of agents and brokers just because they have the resources to develop a high dollar web site. Without brokers and agents PAYING THEM, how long would they last? I block Z.com, T.com and R.com from scavaging my listing data off the MLS.

      • Congrats on your success, Marvin. I was simply responding to your comment:

        “Is someone somewhere so stooped to think sellers will accept a low ball offer and then shell out 9% for a commission?”

        Fact is, there are some sellers that will accept below market value, and pay high fees while they’re doing it.

  7. First, it’s a good thing I’m taking some down time today so I can read the volume of posts on this – and two ROB posts in a short time frame make me go get a big glass of wine.

    I am not afraid of Zillow. I’ve advertised for years and spend some big money in my office to pay for my agents Premier status and buy zip codes. The lead gen works. I have supported Z many times on hate filled threads. But I do see problems with this.

    I agree that only a small percent may take the easy out of the investor option. I’m not afraid of that. Hell if I was selling my own house – knowing what I know the hurdles could be – inspections, financing, emotional buyers – I may even choose to take a hit to get fast cash and get out.

    My issue lies with the whole CMA that in my opinion won’t be a good / educated / thorough analysis. A proper CMA requires seeing the house in person, walking through and seeing the upgrades and flaws, knowing your neighborhood comps and being able to pull out “yes your house is bigger than your neighbor’s but his kitchen was totally remodeled and the master suite was more luxurious than yours, thus this is the price I recommend…”

    I don’t get a phone call, google the house and pull the county records and whip out a CMA in an hour. Doing it without seeing the house – and knowing that particular house’s issues – is no better than a driveby BPO in my opinion. I can offer you a range, sure, and as I’ve been doing this almost 20 years (and own an appraisal company and am pretty familiar with that side of the business) my range will be pretty good. But I’d bet that many agents can’t pull this off accurately – and quickly. The agents who accept the assignment need to input the form within 24 hours I believe. Probably sight unseen.

    Not only will the values be off – but in my opinion the agents who get the listings will be the ones who highball the CMA. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. But if you are gaming the system and think the value range for a house in that area is about $195-225,000 …. and if 4 agents put their values into the system between those ranges …. and if the homeowner has no loyalty of any of those 4 agents …. which agent will likely get the listing? The one at $225,000 and the lower ones will be discarded.

    Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But we all know that getting a listing should be about FIRST and FOREMOST learning more about the seller and his or her situation, and COUNSELING that person. Guiding them to set the price where they need to be (higher for someone who wants to test the market or doesn’t have to sell, lower for someone who needs a set date to be out of there for whatever reason). It’s more than just “here’s your CMA please pick me I’m the best.”

    We should be building relationships. Seeing the house in person. Connecting with the seller and finding out their particular needs. Then helping them understand the market and guiding them to the end.

    I’m not worried about Z taking listings from us. I’m worried about consumers picking highest CMA because that’s all that matters to them – and not really understanding the process. Selling a house is different than selling your used Jeep that has 100,000 miles on it and Blue Book value is x. You’d better like and trust that agent you choose because you may be in for more than a 6-week relationship.

    In the end the consumers will choose. Lowball investor (maybe sometimes). An agent (sure we all agree this will happen more often) – and it’ll be great if it’s someone who knows what they are doing and not just the highest CMA into the platform.

    Now on to tackle your Upstream/Downstream post.

    • I see your concern, but I maintain that if a consumer just picks the highest CMA… then that consumer doesn’t have a “My Realtor” in his life.

      You’re right about this:

      “We should be building relationships. Seeing the house in person. Connecting with the seller and finding out their particular needs. Then helping them understand the market and guiding them to the end.”

      But my point is that you should be doing that BEFORE the homeowner turns into a seller. I’ve tried to develop programs to help Realtors do exactly that, and I have to tell you that the response from the field has not been encouraging. Still, I’ll keep on trying in the hopes that the few who get it will change the landscape.

      Until the core of the Realtor movement returns to the industry, I fear that we’ll still have this lead-client-past client mentality that dominates real estate thinking today.

  8. I know of no insecure RE Agents.it’s,a contradiction a RE Agent hits the street every day full of confidence that a sale will take place today,not withstanding the parasites surrounding them,the nar,the lousy mls,s most agents find a way to make a good living,I wish the author of this blog would get a RE License someday to experience what it’s like to make a living as an agent particularly in this shrinking residential market.

  9. Zillow is preparing itself to a market crash and to all of those thousands of distressed properties that will surface on the market.Smart investors know pretty well that we are in a bubble and they are waiting with piles of cash to take down the sharp knife on the heads of those homeowners who will be in default.Once those sellers will get used to Zillow group as a buyer with piles of cash, the agents will be out from the game.The agents and their brokers wanted free exposure and ate the bait Zillow threw into the deep ocean.Also the 11 fish I caught a week ago thought they have free food.

    • “Once those sellers will get used to Zillow group as a buyer with piles of cash,…”

      Zillow Group isn’t buying the real estate or making offers on any properties. We aren’t the buyers.

      • Even if ignoring the facts they are still there.
        The question here is: A company who claims to be an advertising platform earning its revenue from advertising real estate agents, getting involved with the transaction of selling and buying Real estate?
        All of those nice words that it will help agents to get more listings, are for kids in kindergarten to believe.

      • Jay Thompson,
        Zillow is carrying a broker license in Texas. Why? What is the reason for a media company to carry a broker license? You know, we say in real estate that you can not wear two hats without disclosing it. I have learned in life there is always a reason for everything. Can you please explain why Zillow is carrying a broker license in Texas?

      • Jay, as you know Zillow’s “investors” are either licensed (like Offerpad) or have a “captive” broker. The Instant Offers program will take business away from independent Realtors in every community where it’s offered. This is an intrusion into brokerage by a firm that used our listings to build its brand and now stabs us in the back with a program that circumvents us. I respect you. I know you work for Zillow and must advocate for this program. But I’m 50 years in real estate, a broker, attorney and writer for several publications. I started http://www.stopzillow.com not to take Zillow out of business but to keep them from competing with the people who support them. Please try to talk your boss into backing off.

    • Homeiz – YEP! I began saying a year ago, that the bubble is being inflated and will pop 2018-2020 at the very latest. FREE exposure – Hell, nothing’s free and the brokers/agents who bought into Zillow and Trulia were like the fish you caught. Their money was the seed money for their demise and they hardly even knew it. FREE EXPOSURE – Haha!

      • Marvin Shelley,
        I have seen that coming from Zillow group long ago and I was alerting the agents community when Zillow bought out Dotloop.It was not difficult putting the puzzle together.Zillow was and still is using your listings to gain its exposure.Agents and their brokers do not understand that they were the ones who gave Zillow exposure and not the opposite.If you want to read what I have posted yesterday on Inman as an answer to Brad Inman, I think you will find it very interesting.The community needs full transparency and to know the truth.https://www.inman.com/2017/05/26/zillow-instant-offers-lands-realtor-48-seller-leads/

  10. I believe Jon Kolsky is on the mark.

    Zillow has chipped away at this industry from the very moment they stepped in.

    Zillow is going to end most of your real estate careers. Mark my word. For those of you that are left that call yourselves the top 20%, your success will diminish considerably.

    I’m not worried about OpenDoor or any of Zillows other competitors. I’m focused on Zillow right now. I want them gone. I want all agents to stop sending their listings to Zillow. I want all agents to stop buying zip codes from Zillow.

    This guy is on the mark as well:

  11. DeRidder – I stopped allowing Zillow and all the rest from getting my listings. I explain FULLY the reasons to my sellers when I list their property. I use the MLS and several web sites where I post the data and no one monkeys with it.
    My prediction is that within 5-10 years, agent ranks will drop to 25-35% of what they are now because
    1) Banks will get to have brokerages, or
    2) Sellers and buyers of in town subdivision homes will discover they really do not need us.

  12. This is my 50th year in real estate, selling homes, building brokerages, even practicing real estate law (I am also an attorney.) My dad was a Realtor before me. He LOVED this profession. Anyone who thinks Offerpad/Open Door/Zillow Instant Offers are best for consumers is mistaken. No other group of people works harder, longer, and cares more about clients than Realtors. If Zillow is allowed to bypass Realtors with Instant Offers, homeowners will ultimately suffer. Please read the petition at http://www.stopzillow.com. It’s gotten 9000 signatures in 3 days. I’m not suggesting Zillow be taken out of business. I am suggesting Zillow not be allowed to backstab the Realtors who give it life through their listings.

    • Greg – as we’ve discussed elsewhere, the Instant Offers test requires the investor to use an agent, and we strongly encourage the potential seller to do so as well. The potential seller is also put in touch with an agent.

      I’ve asked elsewhere, but you have yet to answer, so I’ll try here: why does your “petition” leave out the important and relevant fact that Instant Offers invokes agents?

      • Jay, as you know Zillow’s “investors” are either licensed (like Offerpad) or have a “captive” broker. The Instant Offers program will take business away from independent Realtors in every community where it’s offered. This is an intrusion into brokerage by a firm that used our listings to build its brand and now stabs us in the back with a program that circumvents us. I respect you. I know you work for Zillow and must advocate for this program. But I’m 50 years in real estate, a broker, attorney and writer for several publications. I started http://www.stopzillow.com not to take Zillow out of business but to keep them from competing with the people who support them. Please try to talk your boss into backing off.

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