US real estate giant, Zillow Group is planning to bring its direct home-buying program to the city of Orlando, Florida, among five other cities.
The Seattle-based online service plans to roll out its Zillow Offers program by fall, buying houses from sellers in as little as a week and then turning around and selling them for a higher price, the company said.
Orlando joins nine other cities where Zillow has already launched the service along with four other areas getting Zillow Offers this fall: Miami, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Nashville and Portland.
It joins a handful of other services such as Opendoor, Offerpad and Rex that will either buy houses directly from consumers or circumvent the traditional real estate agent model.
Online home buying services have been controversial among real estate professionals because of worries that they cut out local agents and try to take advantage of rising real estate prices.
Zillow said it does plan to work with local real estate agents on deals, or refer buyers to local agents if the Zillow’s offer isn’t accepted.
"It‘s clear people want a convenient, stress-free way to sell their home, and real estate professionals are eager to work with us to leverage Zillow Offers as a way to build their local businesses,” said Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman. “With today‘s announcement, we are excited to continue to rapidly scale Zillow Offers throughout the country, and we are well on our way to delivering a simple, on-demand real estate experience to consumers in at least 14 markets this year."
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