As an agent and team leader with 21 years of experience in real estate we are entering into a new Era. Zillow who has acted as a useful tool, friend, and lead provider to real estate agents is now our direct competition. They are now doing quick online purchases of homes and then reselling them for a small profit. They have been more active in other markets but I just encountered my first property here in Palm Beach County Florida.
So this is how the procedure works, I am sure it will change a bit once they employ their own staff but for right now they have hired a South Florida Broker as the listing agent. The company has several other listings that appear to be Zillow owned from Homestead to West Palm Beach. And it is disclosed that Zillow is and affiliate and they will be using Zillow's affiliate closing company. I made the original appointment online using showing time and I was sent a code that I had to text to a number to get the door code. The lock its self is electronic and you enter the code when you arrive and it easily opens the door. It is only good for 24 hours which is a good safety check for the security of the property. The interesting thing was there was a sticker on the door saying that if you wish to view the property you can download an app and get access via your phone. This would allow anyone to view the property with a smart phone! A preservation company was there maintaining the lawn when we arrived and it reminded me of the REO heyday and they were even taking pictures to document their work. ( I was an REO agent for many years and it brought back memories good and bad!) There is a security system in the home by the way too. My client decided he wanted to make an offer so we prepared a Florida as is contract with the appropriate addendums but were required to also complete a Zillow sales contract and addendum. I saw nothing alarming and it was very much like an reo addendum/ contract that was used for bank owned properties. Pleasantly I was able to reach the listing agent on the phone to clarify a few things and she was pleasant and helpful! After we submitted the offer we were told to wait 48 hours and in 48 hours we got an email that our offer was countered with a very small item! We emailed that we would accept the counter made the contract changes and sent it back. Now 48 hours later we are still waiting for the executed contract but I am hopeful I will get it today! Welcome to the new way of doing business. Remember you read this article six months from now as a large population of the available listings could be Zillow owned. If you are an agent and want to discuss this procedure I am here to help or discuss. 561-320-1424/ firstname.lastname@example.org