Bad news for agents: Buyers warming to algorithms

Survey on iBuying shows homeowners more likely to trust Zillow than humans

Bad news for agents: Buyers warming to algorithms

An iBuyer revolution is still percolating in the residential real estate market, but homeowners are certainly becoming more trustworthy of the sector.

A new survey from 1000watt of 600 homeowners across the United States found 82 percent of them prepared to respond positively to an iBuyer pitch, Inman reported.

That bodes well for firms such as Zillow, Opendoor and Offerpad.

An iBuyer is typically willing to pay fair value for a home in cash, closing the transaction in just days. There are still fees involved, but sellers and buyers don’t have to deal with showings and open houses — or agents.

Most survey respondents said they would trust information from Zillow as much as from a real estate agent, and 27 percent said they would trust Zillow more. Only 18 percent said they would trust an agent more than Zillow.

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“We were somewhat surprised at the high level of receptivity to the iBuyer proposition at a high level,” 1000watt CEO Brian Boero told Inman.

Growing interest in iBuying has not yet correlated with an actual surge in iBuying transactions: Redfin reported that just 0.5 percent of home sales in the first quarter of 2021 went through iBuyers. But homeowners are growing comfortable with various ideas that could ultimately contribute to more iBuying.

The survey showed that 77 percent of homeowners were willing to consider taking 5 percent to 10 percent less on a sale in favor of an instant cash offer. Additionally, 44 percent of homeowners expressed frustration with open houses and showings.

[Inman] — Holden Walter-Warner