Zillow relaunches iBuying program

Company has resumed iBuying program in Phoenix, Tucson, Raleigh and Charlotte

Zillow CEO Rich Barton (Credit: Barton by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch; iStock)
Zillow CEO Rich Barton (Credit: Barton by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch; iStock)

Zillow is relaunching its instant homebuying program, making it the latest iBuyer to resume operations.

The listings portal — which in recent years made a big bet on homebuying — announced Monday that it is resuming its Zillow Offers program in Phoenix, Tucson, Charlotte and Raleigh. Zillow had paused home purchases in all 24 of its markets on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it expects to restart the program in additional markets soon. The company had continued selling homes through Zillow Offers via virtual tours and other technology throughout the pandemic.

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Zillow contracted Dr. Regina Benjamin, who served as the country’s surgeon general under former President Barack Obama, as its health advisor. All homes owned by the company will now follow a “Clean, Protect, Distance” protocol, which requires an extra cleaning regimen and limited in-person tours (follow distancing protocols).

The company’s instant-homebuying division generated a record $770 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year. Until it paused the program in late March, Zillow had purchased 1,479 homes, sold 2,394, and ended the quarter with 1,791 properties.

“These past two months have confirmed our belief that real estate is resilient,” Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement. “In fact, we’ve seen that people – despite these uncertain times – still want to move. Zillow Offers gives them a safe, seamless way to do so, whether selling or buying.”