Zillow using Zestimate to streamline cash offers for some homes

Homesellers can skip survey, photos in certain markets

Zillow COO Jeremy Wacksman (Zillow, iStock)
Zillow COO Jeremy Wacksman (Zillow, iStock)

Zillow is using its “Zestimate” to streamline its process for making cash offers on some homes.

The Seattle-based listings giant will now allow homeowners in certain markets to receive a cash offer sight-unseen, CNN reported. The rest of the process will stay largely as it was: The initial offer would still be subject to a subsequent inspection and potential adjustment — and Zillow’s not-insignificant fee.

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The move to streamline the cash offer process amounts to a greater reliance on the Zestimate and may signal Zillow’s growing confidence in the home-valuation tool. Zillow COO Jeremy Wacksman told CNN Business that the company seeks to reach “one-click nirvana.”

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“(It’s about) making the real estate transaction experience more seamless, more easy, more integrated,” Wacksman said.

Currently, homeowners in some locations can fill out a questionnaire, send in photos and get a cash offer from Zillow within days. Zillow then sends an inspector to the home to assess needed repairs and adjust the offer. Zillow charges sellers a fee that averages about 7.5 percent.

Zillow’s home-valuation tool, which is based on comparable sales data and public records, has stirred controversy over the years. In 2020 a judge dismissed a suit that alleged Zillow broke antitrust law by allowing some partners to move the Zestimate to a less-prominent position on the online listing.

[CNN] — Georgia Kromrei