MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When it comes to selling on the internet there is virtually no limits. Instead of garage sales you can go to eBay. You can offer crafts on Etsy. You can even sell your car online.
Now, the same concept is coming to selling your home.READ MORE: 'Adopt A Homeless' Resolution On Agenda At Next Miami Commission Meeting
The popular real estate site Zillow is now offering to buy your house with the click of your mouse – giving you cash in hand in days.
This sounded too good to be true, so CBS4’s David Sutta took a closer look at this new concept.
“I kind of think of it like if I am going to sell a car. Do I want to go through all the headaches, talk to strangers, have to deal with all of that? Or do I want to take my car someplace and get my check and leave? So it depends on what is going on with your life,” said Laurie Finkelstein Reader, a broker partner for Zillow.
This summer, Zillow began working with her to buy homes in South Florida through a program called Zillow Offers.
“Zillow offers is an incredible opportunity for some sellers who want the convenience of the date they sell their home, how much time,” Finkelstein Reader explained. “Let’s say you want to be out of your home in 10 days, two weeks, you can make that decision.”
The process is pretty straight forward:
- Go onto Zillow
- Click on Zillow Offers
- Enter your address and home details
- Get an offer
If you accept it, Zillow does an evaluation. If everything checks out, you close.
“Clearly, the consumer said, ‘I want trade real estate the way I want to do it, not the way necessarily the way we have been doing it.’ So it just opens up for people to have more choices,” Finkelstein Reader said.
This concept, called iBuying, is actually being offered by a host of online companies. Zillow is the biggest yet to enter the field.
IBuying, while convenient, does come at a cost.READ MORE: 'We Need To Take Action': Gov. DeSantis Vows Special Session To Ban Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
“Just understand that if you are going to sell through Zillow or Redfin or any of these other companies that are out there you are going to pay a premium,” said real estate consultant Peter Zalewski. “Nobody is going to come in and give you a competitive price and give you all the terms you want and get you out a week from now. That just doesn’t happen.”
Zalewski said buyers can expect offers below what you would get on the open market. It could be 10 percent or more.
“If you need to get out quickly you are going to pay a premium for that in terms of less money you would achieve if you were to wait it out,” said Zalewski.
And you also have to pay Zillow a convenience fee, which the company said on average is 7.5 percent.
“The fee is so that you make the decisions as to whether or not you want, as I said, decide on your closing date, not have open houses and just have a seamless transaction, where Zillow just flat out buys your house,” said Finkelstein Reader.
Once Zillow closes, they may make repairs needed and re-list your home for sale – almost always for more than they paid you.
Most realtors will argue that sellers in single-family homes and hot properties stand to gain more by selling traditionally.
But sellers relocating in a hurry or having trouble selling, such as Downtown Miami, where there is two years of inventory on the market, this might be a viable option to get out.
“I say go to Zillow. If they are ready to take it, dump it, get out,” said Zalewski.
Zillow is now in 16 markets. The company is in the process of buying their first homes in South Florida, but have yet to close.MORE NEWS: Prayer Vigil Held For Slain Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino
If you are considering selling your home to an iBuyer, you might want to consider consulting a realtor to see if the offer is truly in your best interest.