In a surprising new partnership, Opendoor has announced it will now buy homes from sellers directly on the Zillow app.
Sellers using the Zillow app will be given the option of listing their property with a Zillow Premier Agent or selling immediately to Opendoor with an instant cash offer. The announcement of the multi-year partnership with Zillow comes after both companies have recently announced new features on each of their respective apps.
This development is all the more intriguing as Opendoor recently announced the launch of “Exclusive” listings through their interface where they will attempt to sell their properties at a discount before listing them on the MLS. Advertised as an option to eliminate the back and forth of negotiation and bidding wars, Exclusive listings will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis for 14-days. If an acceptable offer is not received by the end of those two weeks, the property will then be automatically listed on MLS through Opendoor Brokerage at a higher price point. All contract and closing documents will be completed online.
Though seemingly beneficial at first glance, the implementation of Exclusive listings is essentially a for-sale by owner approach and works to directly subvert and eliminate the compensation of agents in real estate transactions. In response to the question “Do I need to work with an agent?” the Opendoor Exclusives FAQ page directly states
“You do not need to work with an agent!... If you prefer to work with an agent, you can do so. However, any commissions paid to your agent would be your responsibility.”
This is explained in further detail under the question “If I’m working with an agent, how are they compensated?”, stating “Opendoor Exclusives is designed to be a self-service product that enables buyers to purchase directly from Opendoor. That said, we understand that some buyers prefer to work with an agent and you are welcome to do so, though any agent commissions are your responsibility…” They even have an option to add the buyer’s agent commission to the purchase price and have that amount credited to the buyer at closing so that they can use that money to pay their agent.
Expanded Zillow Search Functions
Opendoor is not the only one with new features in this partnership. Zillow has also announced the introduction of multi-location searches. This will allow for more informed comparison shopping, showing properties in multiple zip codes, cities, and even states depending on the parameters set by the searcher. The type of home may also be further defined, allowing a family of five to skip over listings for studio apartments in city centers. Prospective buyers will also be able to define searches based on commute time, budgetary considerations with projected monthly payments factored in, internet speed availability, and even ADA compliance for accessibility. It has yet to be announced if the Zillow-Opendoor Partnership will put “Opendoor Exclusive” Listings on the Zillow App.
Once all of these features have become available for use, Zillow and Opendoor are set to become a one-stop real estate dynamo. This is the latest in many years of efforts by Zillow, Opendoor, and others to entirely cut agents out of the transaction. Can the importance and necessity for a knowledgeable broker truly be replaced by an impersonal online interface?
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Han, Brooklee. “You Can Now Sell Your Home on Zillow... to Opendoor.” RealTrends, 5 Aug. 2022.
“Frequently Asked Questions | Opendoor Exclusives.” Opendoor.
Zillow. “Zillow’s New Tool Powers Home Searches in up to Five Areas at Once, Letting Shoppers Move as Fast as the Market.” PRNewswire, 21 July 2022.