I Showed a Zillow Owned Home and This Is What I Learned

Is Zillow really a Broker's Competition?

Disclaimer: This post is as much for buyers and sellers as much as it is for my fellow Real Estate brokers.

Zillow advertises on their website that after only answering a few questions, they will buy your home and save you the hassle of selling. After they purchase your home, they list it for sale and hope to make a profit. I say hope (no pun intended here), because the house I showed yesterday, 315 N Goodhope in San Pedro, is a loser for Zillow. In fact, the home is now listed under what Zillow paid the seller. In this case, Zillow paid $962,000 for the home in August, and now it’s sitting on the market after one price reduction and 24 days later at a list price of $959,900. On top of that, the neighbor tells us the pool, which was previously empty, was refilled for the listing photos, but when we visited yesterday, it’s clear that no one is taking care of it because the sparkling pool you see in the online photos is now a green mosquito pond with 1 foot of visibility.

The showing part was quite easy – you text Zillow, they send you a code to open the front door, and you can walk into the unstaged, empty home with new carpet. BTW – There are several security cameras inside so I hope you don’t mind being monitored, so it would have been nice if Zillow at least informed you that you were being watched before you enter. But here’s why I even took the time to write this…a for sale sign and MLS listing doesn’t necessary mean you are going to sell your home. Somebody still needs to actually sell it. What’s even better, Zillow thinks they have this whole market figured out with a fancy pricing algorithm, and they can’t even get that right on something they are buying – my guess sight unseen.

So the moral of the story is if you want to sell your home, either sucker Zillow or some other “ibuyer” into overpaying for it, or hire a professional to sell it right (yes Zillow, you may want to hire a professional the next time you try this). Oh, and if you have a pool, be sure to maintain it while your home is on the market – green pools are a big turnoff to home buyers.

(I estimate the value of the home when it finally sells to be worth closer to another $50-100k less than the current list price).

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