Spencer Rascoff explains Zillow’s house-flipping strategy

CEO says it's all about providing sellers with liquidity

New York Weekend Edition /
Jun.June 24, 2018 02:27 PM

Spencer Rascoff and a residential area near Phoenix, Ariz. (Credit: Getty)

Spencer Rascoff believes Zillow’s “Instant Offers” program will appeal to sellers who want, or need, to line up the sale and purchase of their home.

The company announced their new house-flipping strategy this spring to pushback from agents who argue such deals can’t be done 100 percent online, but Rascoff sees it differently. In an interview with Marketplace, he said that Zillow’s Instant Offers will help smooth out sellers experience switching homes.

“For most people, lining up the sale of their home with the purchase of the next home is almost impossible and it’s a requirement for them to buy that next home,” he said on the segment. “So we look at our service as basically providing liquidity to the seller so they can have an all-cash offer and a hand for their existing home and then go buy their next home.”

To those who say you need boots on the ground to sell a house, Rascoff advises them to “think about what you do on your smartphone: You press a button and magic happens,” as he told Marketplace. “For the seller, we’re trying to provide that convenience and ease where they take an all-cash offer without having to ready their home for sale.”

Zillow has a market cap of over $10 billion and saw its revenue in the first quarter of 2018 jump 22 percent, in large part due to its Premier Agent program. In April, the company said it would invest up to $250 million to buy 1,000 homes in 2018 for the Instant Offers program. [Marketplace]Erin Hudson


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