As a consumer we are inundated with options to simplify the transaction process in a sale — buying and selling homes are no different. Company’s like For Sale By Owner, ZipRealty and Homes.com for decades now have been creating an online user friendly platform allowing homeowners to take control of their home sale, leaving real estate agents to adopt new practices. Zillow recently announced this spring they too are planning to up the ante, but how will it affect your sale?
Zillow plans to roll out the process of buying and selling houses through an expansion of their Instant Offers in Phoenix AZ, where Zillow Group, Inc. will now have the opportunity along with other pre-qualified investors to purchase those homes. The company, who tested this plan in Las Vegas and Orlando is determined to keep utilizing real estate agents as a way to navigate the process. The agent needs to be an approved Premier Agent partner with Zillow in order to participate.
Zillow released this statement earlier this week:
“The program gives real estate agents the opportunity to acquire new listings by connecting them with motivated sellers who have taken a direct action to sell their home. Across all testing, Zillow found the vast majority of sellers who requested an Instant Offer ended up selling their home with an agent, making Instant Offers an excellent source of seller leads for Premier Agents and brokerage partners.”
The company believes they’re helping to reduce the amount of stress placed on home sellers during the process, by creating a seamless way to sell they’re homes. Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman says, “they want help, and while most prefer to sell their home on the open market with an agent, some value convenience and time over price.“
Home sellers take note — with this program don’t expect to receive the biggest return on your investment. Instant Offers plans on providing a home seller with an offer by comparing the comparative market analysis (CMA).
Many steps are skipped in the home seller’s process when using this program, including preparing and showcasing a home properly for sale.
Step 1 — the home’s facts: “answer a few questions and snap some photos – no need to clean! We’ll send the information to local, pre-screened investors,” suggests the Instant Offers website.
At this point, a home stager’s ears should perk up. What “no need to clean?”
Step 2 + 3 — involve instantly receiving cash offers and choosing the best option for the seller.
Zillow is looking to buy your home as-is then they admit, “they will make necessary repairs and updates and list the home as quickly as possible. A local agent will represent Zillow in the purchase and sale of each home, enabling agents to earn commissions.”
The home seller will essentially be lining the pockets of this real estate giant with their money! Say, what?
So, I’ll ask the question to you, would you hire Zillow to buy or sell your home?
If the answer is no, then before selling your home look for a support team that has your best interests in mind. I’m not here to debate whether you should use a real estate agent or a for sale by owner platform, but to share with you the value and money you’re throwing out the window if you fail to stage your home.
According to a RESA Survey, homes staged prior to listing spend 90-percent less time on the market. And by using our staging services, clients have received 1-3 percent more money, having a combined increase in sales of nearly 1-million dollars.
This means that motivated home sellers should spend some time making a few key updates and repairs (rather than handing off their as-is property to Zillow) so, they can not only get a higher offer in a short period of time, but more money in their pocket. Home staging allows you to prepare the product (your home), have the right price and marketing strategy to attract an enticing offer.
While Zillow’s news has some agents and brokers questioning the future of real estate, it’s important for them to notice that for most home sellers, they’ll need every last cent when selling their home because it’s their biggest return on investment. In order for agents and brokers to differentiate themselves from Zillow’s new process, buying a seller’s property for a steal, they MUST realize it’s up to them to raise the property’s value by teaming up with a home stager to help sellers receive the maximum amount of money they deserve.
Want to learn more about the home staging process? Grab a copy of Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell where we go through a 10-preparation steps to make buyers feel at home when touring your property on the market. These are tried and true methods on how my client’s used home staging to sell fast. Have a home staging question? Contact us.