iBuying was put on hold by many of the leading real estate companies in the US back in March because of the chaos surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Since then, the big four have slowly brought back their iBuying services to the market as it began stabilizing.
Originally, Zillow had opened up its Zillow Offers feature for a limited number of markets- a far cry from its original list of markets it covered around the country.
Now, Zillow Group has announced additional markets for its iBuying scheme. This new announcement brings the total number of markets covered by Zillow Offers to nine.
Homeowners in Portland, Ore., Nashville, Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, Colo. now have the option to conveniently and safely sell their home directly to Zillow. The company originally restarted home buying in Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., Raleigh, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. Zillow had paused home acquisitions in all 24 markets where it operates back in March, in response to housing market uncertainty and public health concerns.
The reason behind this is that Zillow data has found increasing numbers of buyers and sellers looking to continue their real estate plans. Interestingly enough, the data showed that those in quarantine are itching to move. Zillow wants its iBuyer feature to be a safe alternative for those people.
Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman, said:
"We know that people still want to move, and Zillow Offers is a way for them to do so safely and easily. With Zillow Offers, homeowners can sell their home without showings or open houses and can close digitally. For Zillow-owned homes, we've rolled out new health and safety measures so buyers can feel confident during an in-person tour. We also provide a virtual tour option through our 3D Home feature. We are committed to helping people find and move into a home they love."
Many companies are changing the way they offer their services moving forward. Virtual tours are becoming the norm, disinfecting homes before and after in-person tours, and supporting social distancing while conducting in-person tours are just some of the steps taken to ensure the buyer’s and agent’s safety. What other measures will be put in place to continue this trend? Will they stay in place long after a vaccine is developed and the pandemic ends?