San Diego

Selling Your Home Online

NBC 7 Responds looks at a new home buying program from real estate wesbite Zillow.

Consumers can do just about anything online, from shopping, to ordering pizza, to ordering a ride to the airport. Now, homeowners can even sell their homes.

Real estate website Zillow has now launched a home-buying program in San Diego County called Zillow Offer. Homeowners in San Diego can now log on to the website, answer a few questions about their home, and send pictures and from there, they wait for up to 48 hours for Zillow to make an offer.

“We are on a mission to transform real estate,” said Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman in a September 9 statement. “We are one step closer to delivering a seamless transaction experience to home buyers and sellers across the country.”

The rub: Zillow can charge up to 7.5 percent in fees, substantially more than traditional real estate agent commissions.

But for those looking to get cash fast for their home and avoid performing extensive repairs on the home, local real estate experts feel the program can be a good fit.

“This is for people who are in a specific situation where they need a quick sale to get cash,” said real estate professional Mark Goldman.

“You get the cash, they get your house and now it’s Zillow’s problem,” added Goldman.

Adam and Karen Slater sold their home outside of Atlanta through the Zillow Offer program.

“At our stage of life and where we are at, it just worked out perfect for us,” Karen Slater told NBC 7 Responds.

Slater said Zillow charged them 8 percent in fees and deducted what they considered were “reasonable fees for repairs, paint, and new carpet.”

“Zillow Offer is almost like what Amazon did for shopping,” added Slater. “Zillow is spinning the home model on it’s head.”

A spokesperson for Zillow said the website is planning on expanding the program to include nine additional markets - Los Angeles and Sacramento are among them - by 2020.

“Homeowners can skip making repairs, leaving for open houses, having the house show-ready at all times, worrying about their children and pets, worrying about contingencies and other people’s financing,” said Zillow spokesperson Matt Kreamer. “They also can close in as little as five days, rather than wondering how long the house might be on the market. We believe many consumers will feel that having a hassle-free experience will be worth that, especially the 61 percent of sellers who are trying to time their sale with the purchase of another home.”

According to Kreamer, the company has received more than 170,000 requests from homeowners since launching Zillow Offers in April 2018. The company sold 786 of the 1,535 homes it purchased between April and June of this year.

Added San Diego real estate expert Goldman, “It creates another opportunity to sell their house quickly and get the highest price they can get even if their home is not very marketable.”

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