Zillow Offers: Everything You Need to Know

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By Andrew Whytock Updated November 3, 2023
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Edited by Katy Byrom

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What is Zillow Offers? | How it works for sellers | How it works for buyers | Fees | Locations | Zillow Offers reviews from customers | Alternatives | Should you use a company like Zillow Offers?

🚨 Zillow Offers is no longer buying houses: On November 2, 2021, Zillow announced that Zillow Offers would be permanently shut down. But there are other ways to get fast cash offers on your home:

For the most competitive cash offers — with no added fees or commissions — we recommend Clever Offers.

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What's the best alternative to Zillow Offers?

If you're curious what a cash buyer would pay for your house, we recommend starting with a free service like Clever Offers.

With Clever, you can compare up to 10 competitive offers from pre-vetted cash buyers — ranging from trusted local investors to well-known iBuyers like Offerpad and Opendoor.

Simply tell Clever's team about your home, and they'll send you tailored cash offers from a variety of local, regional, and national home buyers in their network. 

You can also request a free home valuation report from a local realtor to compare your home's estimated value against each offer. 

Clever Offers is free to home sellers, and there’s no obligation to move forward. Compare offers to find the best deal, and either accept or walk away — no strings attached.

Get fair offers from legitimate cash buyers

Compare offers from leading cash buyers in your area, plus get an expert realtor's opinion on what your house is worth.

Get Cash Offers

Why did Zillow Offers shut down?

On Nov. 2, 2021, Zillow announced it was leaving the iBuyer business and shutting down Zillow Offers. Zillow continues to work with current sellers under contract until closing, but it won’t make any new offers on homes.

Zillow admitted its home-buying model was flawed, and it bought too many homes at too high a price.

Zillow CEO Richard Barton said the proprietary algorithm the company developed to buy and sell houses caused it to overbid, and Zillow ended up with thousands of homes worth less than what they paid for them. On an earnings call, Barton said the company was "unintentionally purchasing homes at higher prices."

From the beginning of July 2021 through September 2021, Zillow Offers lost more than $420 million, which is approximately as much as the company earned overall through the 12 months prior to July.

What if Zillow already agreed to purchase my home?If Zillow agreed to purchase your home before Nov. 2, 2021, the company will probably still buy it. However, a small number of purchase contracts have been cancelled as Zillow Offers winds down.

If you have a home under contract with Zillow Offers, you should log in to your Zillow account for details or contact Zillow directly.

Zillow says on its website that it's focused on helping existing customers and selling its remaining inventory. When the company announced in October 2021 that it was pausing new contracts to buy homes, it said it will "focus operations on purchasing homes with already-signed contracts, but have yet to close."

Despite that promise, Zillow cancelled 400 of approximately 8,172 contracts with closing dates later in 2022. Zillow offered compensation — in the form of returned earnest money and variable bonuses — to sellers who agreed to terminate their contracts by Nov. 30, 2021. Zillow said they don’t anticipate cancelling any more contracts beyond the 400 who have already been notified.

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What is Zillow Offers?

Zillow Offers, at a glance
💰 Zillow fees 1.5–9% (7.5% on average)
📍 Locations 25 metro areas across AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MN, NV, NC, OH, OR, TN, and TX
⏱️ Time to close Sellers: 7–90 days | Buyers: Negotiable
☎️ Contact Phone: 1 (833) 963-3377 | Email: [email protected]
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In 2018, Zillow launched its iBuying service, then called Zillow Instant Offers. Until it shut down in November 2021, Zillow Offers provided a fast, hassle-free option for eligible home sellers by providing a cash offer in just two days.

In exchange for this convenience, Zillow Offers charged an average service fee of 7.5%.[1] The service fee covered Zillow's carrying costs when reselling homes.

Despite its high service fee, Zillow once had the second-highest transaction volume among iBuyers, with a total of more than 6,000 transactions in 2019.

However, Zillow Offers wasn’t available in as many locations as other iBuyers — it only operated in 25 cities across the U.S. — and its potentially high fees could drain sellers' profits. Compared to its competitors, it was also surprisingly difficult to find Zillow Offers reviews from customers.

Unlike other major iBuyers, Zillow Offers was intended to help its existing network of premier agents close more deals. For example, if a premier agent's client wanted a quick, predictable sale, the agent may have recommended Zillow Offers. Then, sellers paid Zillow Offers' fees, plus their agents' commission (usually another 3%).

In this case, Zillow could collect fees from:

  • The premier agent (for marketing)
  • The home seller (for commissions and service fees)
  • The home buyer when it resells the house

Put simply, Zillow Offers was not great for home sellers. In total, Zillow Offers fees could soar as high as 22% of your sale price!

Looking for Zillow Offers reviews from customers? Find them here!

✍️ Editor's take
Zillow Offers could be a quick, convenient option for home sellers, but its service fees were nearly double competitors' rates. If there are multiple iBuyers in your area, we recommend comparing offers — or hiring a qualified real estate agent who can make sure you get the best price for your home.
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Zillow Offers vs. Zestimate

The Zestimate is Zillow’s proprietary home value estimation tool. In February 2021, Zillow began using the Zestimate as a starting point for their cash offer through Zillow Offers. But the final offer was likely to be lower than the Zestimate after taxes, fees, and information from the home inspection was taken into account.

The Zestimate uses public information, MLS listings, and user-submitted data to place a value on a home. Zillow cautions that it’s not an appraisal, nor should it be used in place of a physical appraisal.

The Zestimate tool isn’t perfect. The company says[2] that the nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate is 1.9% for on-market properties, but this varies greatly by location. For off-market properties, the median error rate jumps to 6.9%.

Incomplete or flawed data will lead to an inaccurate Zestimate. This is why talking to a local real estate agent with an in-depth knowledge of your home and the area is the best way to find an accurate market value for your home.

How does Zillow Offers work?

If you wanted to sell your home to Zillow Offers, the process was very simple:

  1. Apply online. To start, Zillow Offers collected basic information, such as your address and the condition of your home, through an online form. Data from Zillow transactions suggests Zillow only purchased around 2% of the homes submitted for offers.
  2. Review the initial offer. If your home was eligible, your home's Zestimate served as the initial cash offer in most markets. (Keep in mind: This was not the final offer, which would likely have been thousands less after a home inspection. Find them here!)
  3. Complete an inspection. If you decided to move forward, Zillow Offers scheduled an on-site home inspection to identify any necessary home repairs.
  4. Review the revised offer. Zillow Offers presented a final cash offer that included deductions for repairs. At this point, you could accept and sign a purchase agreement, or decline with no penalty or obligation.
  5. Close the deal. Once you signed the sale contract, you could schedule a closing date in as little as seven days, or up to 90 days if you need more time.

⚡ Quick tip
You didn’t need a real estate agent to request a cash offer from Zillow. In fact, we recommended against it. If you had already signed a listing agreement, you would still have to pay your agent's commission — usually around 3% of the sale price — plus fees. That's a lot of money to pay someone who's essentially submitting an online form!
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Buying a home from Zillow Offers

If you were browsing homes on Zillow and saw the "Owned by Zillow" icon, it meant the home was purchased and repaired by Zillow Offers and was then up for resale.

In fact, if you wanted a move-in ready home with a flexible closing date, you could have shopped Zillow-owned homes exclusively instead of sifting through all of the listings on Zillow.

You (or your real estate agent) could have submitted an offer and heard back as quickly as within 48 hours. Plus, Zillow-owned homes were vacant — so you didn’t have to worry about coordinating the move-in timing with an occupant.

If you ended up purchasing a Zillow-owned home, Zillow paid your agent's commission when the deal closed.

⚡ Quick tip
If you want to buy an iBuyer-owned home, ask for a short closing time! The faster the iBuyer can resell the home, the lower its carrying costs will be — so a quick closing could help your offer stand out.
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Additional Zillow services

Zillow has partner lenders in every state, so you can apply for a mortgage through Zillow Home Loans and get prequalified in just a few minutes.

While interest rates may vary based on the amount of your loan, one benefit of using Zillow Home Loans is that you'll get a $1,500 lender credit when you buy a Zillow-owned home.

Further, Zillow Closing Service provides title and escrow services during a real estate transaction, which can speed up and simplify the process if you're doing a transaction with Zillow.

While this service streamlines the transaction, it's also an added cost that nets Zillow more money during a sale, so it may be worthwhile for customers to shop around and compare prices.

Zillow Offers fees

In total, Zillow Offers fees usually ranged from 9–22% of your home's purchase price. That's substantially higher than competing iBuyers' fees — for example, Opendoor fees range from 5–10%.

Here's a full breakdown of Zillow fees if the company had bought your home:

It was impossible to know exactly how much you would have paid in fees until you received a line-by-line breakdown after Zillow Offers completed your home inspection.

By comparison, sellers who list with Clever can work with a top-notch agent at a fraction of the traditional cost. For just 1.5%, a Clever agent will provide full-service support so you can reach your selling goals — whether that's a fast sale, the best possible price, or both.

💰 Incredible savings, none of the hidden fees

If you're weighing your options, Clever can help! Our fully-licensed concierge team can help you decide if working with an agent is the right choice for your sale.

✅ Connect with great local agents for free, with zero obligation
✅ Interview agents about their strategies for selling fast without compromising on price
✅ Save thousands on commission when your home sells

Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!

Where is Zillow Offers available?

Zillow Offers was available in 25 cities across 12 states.

State Metro areas
Arizona Phoenix, Tucson
California Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego
Colorado Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins
Florida Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa
Georgia Atlanta
Minnesota Minneapolis-St. Paul
Nevada Las Vegas
North Carolina Charlotte, Raleigh
Ohio Cincinnati
Oregon Portland
Tennessee Nashville
Texas Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
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» Thinking about using an iBuyer? Here are the best iBuyer companies ranked

Zillow Offers reviews by customers

Most online reviews focus on Zillow's website, app, or agents — so it was hard to find Zillow Offers reviews. This made it difficult to determine exactly how customers felt about the service.

Positive Zillow Offers reviews did mention the service's fast, hassle-free alternative to listing on the open market.

Positive review of Zillow Offers. Renee - There aren’t very many good reviews regarding Zillow offers, however my husband and I had a very positive and seamless experience. We received what we felt was a fair price for our previous area and were able to move out of the state within a month! We had a more difficult time with the home builder in our new state versus the experience with Zillow. I think people feel their homes are worth far more than it’s actually worth. Just my personal opinion! Source: Consumer Affairs.

However, other Zillow Offers reviews came from sellers who felt they'd been duped by a bait-and-switch.

For example, one customer's cash offer was slashed by $23,000 after Zillow Offers completed the inspection.

Negative Zillow Offers review - lowball offer - u/mikedjp - We decided to give Zillow a shot because who wants to list your house with a newborn if you don’t need to. The initial offer made on the phone was fair but he fees are high, which is what one would expect . Offer was $450k with net proceeds of $395k. Considering our situation, we were tempted to take this. So we agreed to the inspection. Our home is 5 years old. There was nothing wrong with it. (They factor in stuff like repainting in the primary offer so the inspection doesn’t reduce it.) But here’s the kicker: the Zillow representative that came to the inspection with a contracted inspector recommended that they reduce the offer because of its proximity to a freeway and some warehouses (this is Houston so that is like half of the city). So new offer was 420k net proceeds around $372. Needless to say, we didn’t accept. Source: Reddit (excerpt)

Another customer had the same experience according to this Zillow Offers complaint. Because of their experience, they ended up selling with a real estate agent.

Negative Zillow Offers reviews - unfair repair costs. Darrell D. Before the inspection, they offered an amount which was reasonable.  It would have (been) slightly higher than what I would receive if I worked with an agent.  Of course the process would be faster also… During the inspection, we had several repairs which were in progress. Because of the repairs, they decided to perform the inspection again to verify everything completed.  When I received the inspection report and new offer, everything changed!  First they provided an offer which was based on the first inspection, not the second inspection.  I told them the problem and the realtor who gave me the offer ignored what I said.  The Zillow representative stepped in and was professional and said they would stop and investigate the issue. One day later they said they were firm on the price.  They dropped the offer by $30k and ironically said the air conditioner didn't work.  They wanted $4000 to replace the outside unit.  The reduced price did not match the cost of repairs… Original value:  $224,000. Zillow Cash Offer: $181,000. I ended up selling with a realtor and getting $224,000, minus closing costs and realtor commission.  In the beginning I was impressed with the service and professionalism, but later everything changed.  They assumed I would accept a low offer and tried to bully me about my air conditioner. Source: Bigger Pockets (excerpt)

You can also browse customer reviews and testimonials on Zillow Offers' site — but since these are curated by Zillow, we can't consider them to be truly objective.

Between potentially high fees and Zillow Offers reviews that document inaccurate price estimates, we suggested that it often made more sense to work with a traditional real estate agent. If you don't have to sell immediately or live in an area where homes are selling fast, Clever can help you save thousands on commission while getting top-quality service!

👋 Clever can help you sell fast and for top dollar!

Before selling your home to an iBuyer like Zillow Offers, it pays to talk to a real estate agent about your options.

Our licensed concierge team can connect you with top-rated agents who know how fast homes are selling in your area — and how to find a buyer quickly while earning the most money from your sale.

Zillow Offers alternatives

Even though Zillow Offers is no longer available, there are plenty of alternatives to explore.

Zillow Offers vs. Other iBuyers

Zillow Offers is gone, but Opendoor isn’t the only remaining iBuyer on the market.

Opendoor and Offerpad are current leading iBuyers that are available in more locations and charge lower fees than Zillow Offers did.

Or, if you want to compare offers from multiple sources — including iBuyers and investors — a free service like Clever Offers may be a better choice.

Zillow Offers vs. selling with a real estate agent

Though Zillow Offers delivered speed and convenience, sellers usually ended up compromising on price.

According to Zillow, the difference between its cash offers and what sellers could earn on the open market was "typically less than 1%." Another study from iBuyer expert Mike DelPrete found that Opendoor and Zillow Offers purchased homes for 1.4% less than market value.

However, even if this was true, Zillow Offers' fees were substantially higher than what you would have paid with an agent who listed your home on the open market.

The total cost of selling to Zillow Offers could have been as much as 9–22% — compared to the 7–10% average cost of listing with a realtor.

If you sell with a discount company, you could save even more. Sellers who list with Clever pay just 1.5% in listing fees — keeping thousands of dollars in their pocket without compromising on service.

Zillow Offers Traditional realtor Listing with Clever
💰 Fees to sell 7.5% avg. service fee + up to 3% commission 3% buyer's agent commission + 3% listing fees 3% buyer's agent commission + 1.5% listing fees
🏡 Sale price Fair market value at most What the highest bidder is willing to pay What the highest bidder is willing to pay
📅 Closing date Flexible Negotiated with buyer Negotiated with buyer
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» MORE: With Clever, you can sell fast, for top-dollar, AND save thousands on commission!

Should I sell my home to a company like Zillow Offers?

✅ Pros ❌ Cons
Free, zero-obligation offer, with no penalty if you decline Fees start at 5%, plus repair costs — while offers tend to be below market value
Flexible closing date (7-90 day window) Little to no negotiation on sale price or repairs
Personalized customer service from a dedicated Zillow Offers Advisor Homes that need significant repairs aren't eligible
Zillow-owned homes are move-in ready Only available in 25 markets
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iBuyers offer a fast, convenient solution for sellers who want an instant cash offer and a flexible closing timeline. However, they rarely pay as much as you'd make on the open market.

If you want to sell your house fast, we recommend comparing multiple offers from legitimate cash buyers and asking a realtor or two for a comparative market analysis. That way, you can determine whether the difference in sale price is worth the convenience of a cash sale.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house

Compare offers from top local investors and iBuyers — plus get an expert realtor's opinion on what your house is worth. Get offers and realtor proposals sent straight to your inbox — with no added fees or pressure to commit.

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FAQs

Why did Zillow offers shut down?

The company was losing too much money. Zillow said its buying model was flawed, which caused it to overpay for homes from July through September 2021. The company ended up losing $420 million and owning thousands of homes worth less than what it paid.

How much are Zillow fees?

Zillow purchased homes through its iBuying service, Zillow Offers, which has since shut down. Eligible sellers received a cash offer within 48 hours — but Zillow Offers fees were as much as 9-22%. For FSBO sellers, it’s free to list your home on Zillow — but you’ll still need to pay a flat-fee MLS company to get maximum visibility. Because of that, working with a low commission agent may be a better choice for some sellers.

Is Zillow Offers legitimate?

Now shut down, Zillow Offers was a legitimate service that purchased homes for cash. However, some Zillow Offers reviews warned of high fees and repair costs that could eat into sellers' profits. Read Zillow Offers reviews from customers.

How does Zillow Offers work?

If you wanted to sell your home to the now-shuttered Zillow Offers, the process was very simple. You submitted your information online to get an initial cash offer within 48 hours, then scheduled an inspection. After the inspection, Zillow adjusted its offer to account for repairs. Learn more about how Zillow Offers worked.

Is selling your house to Zillow worth it?

Zillow Offers (now shut down) made near-instant cash offers on homes — but its maximum service fees were as much as 22%. Compare Zillow Offers to other companies that buy houses for cash.

Does Zillow give good offers?

A study from Zillow found that sellers who rejected a Zillow Offer only sold for 0.09% more on the open market. However, given Zillow's hefty service fees, sellers may have netted more on the open market. Keep in mind that if Zillow agreed to purchase a home, it's because the company believed it could resell the house for more.

Can you negotiate with Zillow Offers?

When Zillow Offers was operational, Zillow claimed it made its best offer upfront to simplify the process and speed things up for sellers. Because of this, you couldn’t really negotiate since Zillow's offer factored in the costs it anticipated having to pay to resell the home.

Does Zillow buy homes at market value?

In some cases, Zillow paid close to market value for homes — but there's no simple answer to this question. To establish a price for your home, Zillow evaluated a variety of factors, such as:

  • The estimated time to resell

  • The cost of repairs to the home

  • Market conditions

  • Potential for profit from resale

  • Closing costs

  • Holding costs

What is a Zillow cash offer?

A Zillow cash offer was an offer from Zillow to purchase your home. The offer took into account Zillow's service fee, selling costs, and repairs that Zillow had to make before reselling the home. Zillow cash offers were valid for five days from the date of your initial request.

Related articles

Article Sources

[1] Oregon Public Broadcasting – "Zillow Wants to Buy Your Home for Cash (And a Fee)". Accessed Nov. 1, 2023.
[2] Zillow – "What Is a Zestimate?". Accessed Nov. 18, 2021.

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

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