Zillow to start buying homes in Orlando

The online retail giant Zillow is about to enter the Orlando real estate market.

The company announced they will bring their Zillow Offers program to Orlando, Miami, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Nashville, and Portland by this fall. The five new cities join six others that launched last year.

Company President Jeremy Wacksman said Offers aims to remove the hassle from selling a home.
Zillow Offers allows sellers to fill out a short questionnaire about their home and get a no commitment offer within a few days. If the seller chooses to go forward with the sale, the home will undergo inspections before the sale is finalized; however the process could be complete in just days rather than the weeks or months common in traditional home sales.

"It's hassle free and it's in your control as a homeowner,” said Wacksman.

Zillow joins other competitors like Open Door and Offer Pad that offer similar programs in the growing ‘quick sale’ market.

Lake Mary Remax realtor Karen Arbutine said the sales model isn’t particularly new, but Zillow’s entry into the market is bringing major attention to the option.

"For those who want to sell their home quickly, it's a very, very good avenue,” said Arbutine.

Arbutine said she’s come across some sellers that simply need to sell fast, and having reputable websites making offers is a welcomed option for them.

However, there’s a trade-off: price.  Arbutine said the quick sale offers tend to be less than sellers will get bringing the home to open market.   Zillow said they’re making that fact clear to sellers.

"Our service fee ranges from 6-9% and what's great is we're very transparent about that,” said Wacksman.

Arbutine said there is definitely room in the Orlando market for the new competition though, and she said the traditional real estate road is alive and well even with more options out there.

"There's 15000 realtors in Central Florida and there's plenty of business, and it's a great market,” she said.