US portal Zillow cuts out agents trying to do an ‘Uber’

by Property 118

8:55 AM, 7th June 2017
About 2 years ago

US portal Zillow cuts out agents trying to do an ‘Uber’

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US portal Zillow cuts out agents trying to do an ‘Uber’

Could it happen in the UK?

US property portal Zillow has a new Instant Offer program which allows sellers to receive offers direct from purchasers. It is being piloted in Las Vegas and Orlando.

The hundred billion dollar US traditional Real Estate industry is seeing this as an attempt to displace or disrupt the status quo.

There is currently no equivalent in the UK where all portal indications of interest from purchasers are directed back to the selling agent.

Zillow is looking to monetise Instant Offers by selling on vendor leads to estate agents, so are they looking to replace real estate agents or is it a very weird attempt at a symbiotic relationship?

In a backlash agents have created a website called StopZillow.com and have a petition with over 12,000 signatures to be sent to the National Association of Realtors.

StopZillow says “Zillow’s Instant Offers encourages unknowledgeable home sellers to sell directly to profit driven investors at below market value. This program mesmerizes home sellers into acting without consulting a Realtor, attorney or appraiser.”

“Instant Offers is a costly, misleading program for the public and a stab in the back to Realtors who fund Zillow​. It’s a lose lose program for everyone except greedy investors. It ​reduces home seller equity while diminishing Realtor income.”



Comments

Luk Udav

11:53 AM, 7th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Quite how realtors in the US can get away with the commissions they charge has always been a mystery to me. Lots of room for disruption there. Less so in the UK where the commissions are much less, thank goodness. But it would be nice to see it happen. Then there would be fewer estate agents gazing out of the window in boredom and writing stilted prose.

Nick Pope

7:37 AM, 10th June 2017
About 2 years ago

Methinks the realtors do protest too much!
I know only a little about how realtors operate in the US but I have bought property there and as has been mentioned the fees are very high. However the system works a little differemntly in that a vendor appoints a realtor to act on their behalf and it will be posted on the internet almost immediately. Any other realtor can earn a percentage of the fee for finding a buyer. The result is that if you go to a realtor as a good buyer they will not let you out of their sight until they have persuaded you to buy something. Consequently they will put you in a car aand take you to every possible property. They'll buy you lunch (as cheap as possible!) and if nothing suits will be on the doorstep next day to do it all over again. They have interesting little tricks. If you specify an ideal area to live and a radius they will take you to properties short distances apart so it feels you have not gone far but you are actually outside your preferred radius and are being shown the property which no-one can sell because it's to far from anywhere.
In my view the comments of the US realtors are like UK estate agents claiming they act for buyers which is absurd as they are paid by the seller.
There is a very simple solution. A seller can ask an appraiser to provide an open market value for a substantially lower fee. Typically $300 - $400 and this includes an inspection of the structure as well. So the vendor is properly advised before starting the selling process and I believe that the benefit of the appraisal can be passed to the buyer (for a fee).
I feel sorry for the realtors but to be honest I feel a business idea coming on - anyone fancy setting up a vendor-focussed appraisal site for pre-sale advice?


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