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Homeowners forgo real estate agents, sell through Zillow

Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 21, 2019

Selling your home usually involves a real estate agent and multiple showings. That is, unless you go the online route.

It's been gaining popularity with websites like Zillow that can offer to buy your home without any of that.

But now that it's been around for over a year, we took a look at how well it's working and whether the convenience is really worth it.

Leigh Johnson is among the growing number of homeowners who have turned to the internet to sell their homes.

“We needed a little bit more space as the kids were getting older and we are getting more pets,” said Johnson.

She says it was a fairly easy process.

“We didn’t want to deal with figuring out open houses,” said Johnson. “We honestly didn’t want to do any more work. “

So, Johnson’s family used Zillow to forgo a real estate agent, open houses and home repair costs.

“You go online, put in your home information on Zillow,” said Johnson.

Zillow comes back with an offer and if you accept, they send out a representative to inspect the home to see if any work needs to be done before showing and selling.

"There is a convenience fee that comes with it and it's very similar to what you would pay to list it traditionally and that's where Zillow is able to make their profit to cover their expenses in that process," said Zillow representative and real estate agent Tony Julianelle.

Julianelle says selling your home online is nothing new. It’s been around for over a year.

This year alone, 80,000 people have requested a Zestimate on their home from Zillow. However, only 2,291 homes were bought by Zillow.

"Some people chose not to move forward, but they just want to know they are very curious how accurate is my Zestimate,” said Julianelle. “What's my house really worth. we see a lot of people that are curious about it but aren't ready to make that move yet."

For the sellers who decline Zillow's offer and decide to sell the traditional route, Zillow says they sold the home for 0.22% more. For example, 0.22% off a $400,000 home is only $880 more.

“We feel like for what we did, we don’t have any regrets," said Johnson. "We felt like we got a fair price because we were able to put a down payment on a new home.”

Both Zillow and Johnson say if you're looking to sell their home quickly, without open houses or home improvements, then selling online is for you.

This route isn’t right for you if you aren’t in a big rush to sell your home and if you want the most accurate price by looking at comparisons around the neighborhood, according to Modus real estate agent Kyle Bethew.