Zillow is now rolling out “Instant Offers” (https://www.zillow.com/instant-offers/) where Buyers “verified investors” actually can make offers on houses directly to homeowners. Should real estate agents be panicking? Not yet. Here’s why..
In the short term, it appears “instant offers” is primarily for sellers who want to sell there house fast for cash without doing anything to their house (i.e. Investor offers). This would appear to mean sales that will be below market. There are still a lot of unanswered questions of how this will work, but for agents who are skilled and know how to help sellers get top dollar for their homes there is little to worry about.
In the long-term, this is part of a disturbing trend of the power Zillow has in our industry, which they gained by getting access to our (Realtors’) listings through our MLS. Since the NAR essentially sold MLS access to Zillow, it has become a significant threat to the future of our industry. Unless REALTOR Associations on a large national scale are willing to refuse to continue to give Zillow access to our listings, Zillow’s power will continue to grow and the threat will expand.
Individual agents simply have to continue to get better at delivering better results for clients. If you do that, your ability to succeed in real estate is as great as ever.