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Money

Zillow wants to make a cash offer to buy your house

Whether or not you’re buying or selling your things, it’s fun to look up how much they can be worth. The car, the TV, the furniture; how much can you get for it? While you’re looking, you might find something that catches your eye.

There are countless websites out there offering direct sales as well as auctions. Tap or click here for online auction sites that are great alternatives to the almighty eBay.

Real estate juggernaut Zillow is useful for analyzing our home’s worth. We can check out our neighbor’s houses to get an idea of local property values as well. The site creates price estimates that can now represent a cash offer. You may not have been thinking of selling, but this could change that. Read on for more.

The Zestimate estimate

For the past 15 years, Zillow used something called a Zestimate to represent the online estimate of a home’s value. This figure applies to about 100 million homes across the country. It is calculated using physical attributes such as square footage and bedroom/bathroom count, tax assessments, days on the market, other homes in the area and more.

Zillow encourages buyers, sellers and homeowners to provide their own data to raise its Zestimate accuracy. The national median error for homes on the market is 1.9%, according to Zillow’s charts.

The sales pitch

The Zillow Offers program has been around for some time and is now being combined with Zestimate to represent a cash offer from Zillow itself. If your home is in a participating market, you could walk away with that Zestimate money in your pocket. Use some of those funds to future-proof your next house with these 10 smart home devices you may not have known about.

The company touts the convenience of this sales system. You can choose your closing and move-out date, for one. Zillow handles any needed repairs and deducts the costs from the final offer.

If you have any outstanding mortgage payments, they end on the closing date that you choose. You don’t have to worry about open houses and showings either, which cuts down on in-person interactions. That’s important as we continue to practice social distancing.

A press release from Zillow cites the program’s availability in the following markets: Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. Charlotte and Raleigh, NC. Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, FL. Portland, OR. Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, CO. Nashville, TN. San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and Sacramento, CA. Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, TX. Las Vegas, NV. Atlanta, GA. And Minneapolis, MN.

How to get started

Zillow says it takes more than two months on average to sell a home in the U.S., but its new sales program can accomplish this in just a few days. Here’s how it works.

  • Go to zillow.com/offers and enter your home address in the field near the top of the page to see if it’s eligible for the Zillow Offers program. If it’s eligible, you’ll be directed to an application to fill out some basic information.
  • Zillow will review your application, the Zestimate and local home market and send you an offer in a few days (if your home qualifies, of course).
  • If you get an offer and accept, Zillow will conduct an in-home evaluation of your property. Any needed repairs will be discussed at this time, with the cost being deducted from the offer.
  • You’ll get a final offer, including any fees, choose a closing date and get your cash payment shortly after.

Zillow charges a service fee that ranges from 1.5 to 9%. There is no obligation or charge to request or receive an offer from Zillow.

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