Quick flip: Will Zillow’s venture into sales leave brokers behind?

Move could cut down on need for agents

Apr.April 13, 2018 08:30 AM

Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff

Zillow Group is trying its hand at the home-flipping game, a move that could further change how brokers interact with clients.

The real estate listings company has started buying up homes in Las Vegas and Phoenix with the goal of selling them within 90 days, the company said in a press release Thursday. Zillow plans to initially invest $75 million to $250 million in 300 to 1,000 homes.

The new venture doesn’t completely cut out real estate agents, but could cut down on the need for them on transactions, at least in their traditional roles. Zillow said it’s selected agents to work on its “Zillow Instant Offers” business. Such quick flips don’t require a face-to-face interaction necessarily.

Other companies, including Redfin and Open Door Labs, have already jumped into the sales side of the business.

“Consumers now expect an on-demand experience,” Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s chief executive, said to investors on Thursday. “The days of pushing a button and that generating an email to a real-estate agent is no longer as magical as it was in 2005.”— Kathryn Brenzel 

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