Will Zillow Change the Way You Buy Your Next Home?

Do you look at homes on Zillow or REALTOR.com? The answer is most likely yes. It is easy to browse and look without leaving the comfort of your couch, making it non-invasive. These websites are great for getting an idea of what you like and what is available. But would you use a “Buy Now” button to purchase your next house online?

Zillow recently announced “Instant Offers” (April 2018). Basically a button online changing the way real estate is bought and sold. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchase decisions you will make in your life. While technology moving forward is a good thing, Zillow is attempting to change the landscape and disrupt the industry all together.

MLS, or the multiple listing service has been the source to search online for homes for sale. REALTORS® have been using this on their websites for years, and it is how Zillow started sharing information. When you find an agent or real estate firm and search homes on their website, you are accessing the MLS. Being able to search for homes on the internet has not always been a convenience available for home buyers. With the birth of the internet, there became a need for real estate presence, online style brochure sites. That quickly progressed into the ability to search homes online. Now as technology continues to progress, media company Zillow, is looking to change the internet of real estate again. 

However, it appears that landscape is changing. Zillow will be competing with the real estate investor. The company plans to buy, renovate, and re-sell homes in 90 days or less using this new model. While the housing market is hot, this business model may work for Zillow, but will it in a downturn?

Zillow has been testing their model since mid-2017, and it won’t be in Asheville or small towns anytime soon. They still need to gain marketshare, and initially  larger markets will be the focus. Customers will need time to adapt to the new buying experience. It could be appealing and it could flop.

It is hard to imagine buying a house online site unseen, or not speaking with a Buyer’s Agent that can discuss all the pros, cons, ins, and outs of a property. While we are used to buying smaller items such as clothing or house fixtures online, are we ready to shift into home purchases online?

Comment below on your opinion of buying online or working with a real estate professional.