MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Should buying and selling a house be as simple as anything else done online? Zillow thinks so.
The Seattle-based real estate marketplace launched its Twin Cities portal for “Zillow Offers” on Monday. It allows people to list, sell, and walk away from their home in as short as one week. The compromise: Sellers will have to take a pay cut, as its offer is non-negotiable.
It’s also no-obligation, and starts online. Interested sellers enter information about their home and get a basic estimate of what it’s worth. That part is free. A broker then goes to the seller’s house and gives Zillow’s offer. The brokers are, across Zillow’s other “Offers” markets, local realtors. In the Twin Cities, it’s Kris Lindahl.
“In every market, Zillow looks for a broker partner with a commitment to customer service, an ability to scale up to meet demand and an ability to adapt to our unique processes that make the buying and selling market seamless,” said Zillow spokesperson Amanda Pendleton, who said Lindahl was a natural fit.
If the seller likes Lindahl’s and Zillow’s offer, he or she accepts it at the cost of a service fee. The fee itself varies by home and location, but Lindahl says it averages 7 percent.
“They pay a buyer’s agent and a listing agent out of that fee, and they also then take on the responsibility of repairs, light renovation, and really the uncertainty of selling the home,” said Lindahl.
The homeowner can set a closing date within a seven- to 90-day window, and walk away when it’s time. As of May 13, Zillow Offers is active in 10 markets, including Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. The Twin Cities is its first winter market, which will undoubtedly present new obstacles such as higher maintenance costs and a dearth of offerings in the winter.
“Every market is different, and Zillow understands that Minneapolis will present its own unique challenges,” said Pendleton. “The winter weather was certainly something Zillow considered when deciding to bring Zillow Offers to Minneapolis.”