Zillow Offers Reviews: Should You Sell Your Home to Zillow?

By 

Andrew Whytock

Updated 

February 26th, 2021

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What is Zillow Offers? | Pros & cons | How it works | Fees | Locations | Customer reviews | Alternatives | FAQs | Contact

🔑 Key takeaways
  • Zillow Offers can present home sellers with a cash offer in just two days.
  • The service fee for selling a home to Zillow averages 2.5% but can be as high as 9%. There are also selling costs of up to 6%.
  • Zillow Offers can close in 7-90 days, depending on the seller's timeline. The national average closing time for a traditional sale is 30-45 days.

Zillow Offers, formerly called Zillow Instant Offers, is the iBuying division of the popular online real estate marketplace Zillow.

An iBuyer is a company that leverages capital to make quick cash offers on houses and then resell them on the open market.

Zillow Offers is currently the second largest iBuyer in terms of transaction volume, with a total of 6,511 transactions in 2019.

Zillow Offers briefly stopped purchasing homes in March of 2020 due to the pandemic but resumed purchasing again in May, 2020.

✍️ Editor's take
While Zillow Offers can be a quick, convenient option for selling your house, the fees can be higher than competitors like Opendoor in some cases. If you're in a market like Phoenix or Atlanta where there are multiple iBuyers, it's worth shopping around to find out which company will give you the best cash offer.
See how Zillow Offers compares to other iBuyers.

   Zillow Offers, at a glance
1.5-9% (2.5% on average)
AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MN, NV, NC, OH, OR, SC, TN, TX
For sellers: 7-90 days. For buyers: negotiated as part of the offer.

What is Zillow Offers?

Zillow Offers gives home sellers the option to sell their house quickly and with minimal hassle by getting a cash offer in hand in just a matter of days.

For this service, Zillow charges a fee that ranges from 1.5-9%. While this is a wide price range, Zillow claims that the average service fee that they charge is 2.5%. The service fee is used to help Zillow cover their carrying costs and mitigate some of the risk that comes with reselling a home.

Zillow Offers launched in 2018 under the name Zillow Instant Offers. Unlike other major iBuyers, Zillow positions Zillow Offers as a tool that Zillow partner agents can use to cater to clients who want a quick, predictable sale.

Zillow Offers is available in 25 cities across the country, but it is continuing to expand.

💰 Quick tip
You don't need a real estate agent to request an offer from Zillow. Zillow encourages their premier agents to present Zillow Offers as an option for sellers who need a fast, easy sale. But if you've already signed a listing agreement, you'll still have to pay your agent's commission when the sale closes, on top of Zillow's fees.

Listing agents usually charge about 3% of the sale price. That's a lot of money to pay someone to essentially submit an online form for you! If an agent suggests getting an offer from Zillow, you can request it yourself before you sign the agent's listing agreement.

Pros & cons of selling to Zillow Offers

✅ Pros
  • Free, no obligation offer. There's no charge or penalty for declining an offer from Zillow, so if you're interested in selling your house quickly, it's worth getting an estimate.
  • Flexible closing date. Sellers can pick a closing date that works for them within a 7-90 day window.
  • Detailed pricing. Offers from Zillow come with line-by-line totals for the service charge, repairs, selling costs, and other expenses. This helps sellers to know exactly what they're paying for.
  • Dedicated Zillow Offers Advisor. From the moment that you first request an offer from Zillow, you're assigned a Zillow Offers Advisor who will be your main point of contact as you're guided through the selling process.
❌ Cons
  • Limited negotiation. Zillow Offers makes their best offer upfront based on all of the resale factors that they have to take into account, so it's very unlikely that you'll be able to negotiate with them to get more for your home.
  • Not all houses are eligible. While Zillow's eligibility criteria isn't as clearly defined as some competitors, they won't buy houses that need significant repairs. Anyone can request an offer, but your house might not be eligible.
  • Limited market availability. Zillow Offers is currently only available in 25 markets, so customers outside these service areas need to look for other options.
  • Potential high fees based on the market. Zillow's fees range from 1.5-9%, which is a very high ceiling. Opendoor, Zillow Offers' main competitor, has capped their fees at 5%.

Pros & cons of buying from Zillow Offers

✅ Pros
  • Homes are move-in ready. Zillow evaluates and preps every home based on what they think buyers are looking for, so homes sold by Zillow don't need additional upgrades or renovations before buyers move in.
  • Flexible closing date. Because no one is occupying a home when it's purchased from Zillow, the closing date is up to the buyer.
  • Sale is not contingent on the seller finding a new home. Buyers don't need to worry about their purchase falling through because the home seller wasn't able to close on their new home.
  • Self-guided tours via the Zillow app. You can use the Zillow app to unlock Zillow-owned homes and give yourself a self-guided tour at your own convenience.
  • Virtual tours. You can take a complete video tour of houses that you're interested in online, which is convenient for buyers who are purchasing from out-of-state.
  • Response on offers in 48 hours. When you place an offer on a Zillow-owned home, Zillow will respond within 48 hours with an acceptance or rejection.
❌ Cons
  • Limited negotiation. Because Zillow has to cover all of their costs and still make a profit from the sale of each home, buyers will not be able to purchase a Zillow-owned home for much less than the listing price.
  • Zillow might not agree to extra repairs. Even if there are extra repairs or upgrades that you would like the seller to complete before closing, Zillow might not agree to them since they have already done repair and prep work before listing the home.

How Zillow Offers works

For home sellers, the process is very simple:

  • Online application. Enter your home's address on the Zillow Offers website and answer a few questions about the condition of your home and your selling preferences.
  • Initial offer. Your Zillow Offers Advisor will share an offer with you that gives an estimate of what Zillow might pay for your home. Keep in mind that this is not the final offer.
  • On-site inspection. If you would like to move forward, your advisor will schedule a home evaluation so an inspector can come and identify any necessary repairs in your home, while also testing all of the utilities.
  • Revised offer. Zillow will present you with a final offer that includes deductions for repairs. At this point, you can accept and sign a purchase agreement, or decline with no penalty or obligation.
  • Closing. Once your sale contract has been signed, you can schedule a closing date within the 7-90 day window.

How Zillow Offers works for Buyers

When you're browsing homes for sale on Zillow, you might notice the "Owned by Zillow" icon on a listing, just like you see in the image above. This means that the house you're looking at was purchased by Zillow Offers and is currently owned by Zillow.

You (or your real estate agent) can submit an offer to Zillow and get a response in as little as 48 hours.

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

⚡ Quick tip
If you're submitting an offer on a Zillow Owned home, you can increase your chances of getting accepted by asking for a short closing time. The faster Zillow can resell the home, the less their carrying costs will be, so a quick closing could make your offer stand out.

If you end up purchasing a Zillow-owned home, Zillow will pay your agent's commission when the deal closes.

Zillow Offers fees

In total, the cost to sell with Zillow Offers can range from 9.5-19%, which is potentially very high compared to the largest iBuyer's (Opendoor) range of 5.5-10%.

Zillow Offers' fees range widely based on market conditions and Zillow's anticipated cost to resell a house. For this reason, pricing is difficult to pin down without an estimate since Zillow's costs are determined on a case-by-case basis.

According to Zillow's website, the service fee ranges from 1.5-9%, but the average is 2.5%.

There are other costs, such as "selling costs" (Zillow's cost to pay expenses, pay the buyer's agent when they resell, etc.) that can add up to 6%.

See the full breakdown below.

Selling costs
6%
Closing costs
1-2%
Service charge
1.5-9% (2.5% on average)
Repairs
1-2%
Total
9.5-19%

Because this is such a wide range, the best way to find out how much it would cost to sell your house to Zillow is to request an offer.

Your offer will include line-item subtotals for each fee and expense, so you'll be able to see exactly how the costs stack up.

Since there's no fee or obligation to move forward if you don't like Zillow's offer, it makes sense to get an estimate.

Alternatively, you can connect with a real estate agent and ask them for a comparative market analysis to find out what your house is worth.

» Connect with a top agent today to get a comparative market analysis of your home!

Locations

Zillow Offers first launched in Phoenix in 2018 and is now available in 25 cities as the program continues to expand.

Current Zillow Offers markets include:

  • Atlanta
  • Phoenix
  • Miami
  • Dallas
  • Orlando

Zillow Offers customer reviews

Zillow Offers doesn't have any verified reviews on third-party sites, so it's difficult to determine exactly how customers feel about the service.

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

Having said that, some of the common themes on Zillow Offers' review page were:

  • A fast, easy selling process
  • Professional, knowledgeable, and friendly advisors
  • Very flexible closing times

Sellers on other forums have said that the initial offer their received was reasonable, but after the home inspection, the price that Zillow offered dropped drastically:

Despite these negative experiences, offers from Zillow are free and non-binding, so it can't hurt to request an offer and see how the fees breakdown — just be aware that the final offer may be much lower than the initial estimate.

Selling to Zillow Offers vs. a traditional sale

Even Zillow admits that Zillow Offers isn't ideal for everyone — some sellers will make more money listing their homes on the open market.

A study from Zillow found that people who declined a Zillow offer only sold for an average of 0.09% more than their Zillow offer.[1]

While this might be true, it should be taken with a grain of salt since it's impossible to know how much more the same sellers in that study would have paid in fees if they accepted the Zilllow offer.

As we've already mentioned, the total cost of selling to Zillow Offers can cost 9.5-19%. By comparison, selling with a realtor generally costs 7-10%.

Another study from iBuyer expert Mike DelPrete found that Opendoor and Zillow Offers purchased homes for 1.4% less than market value.[2]

In reality, the conditions of your local real estate market have a lot to do with what Zillow Offers will be willing to offer you for your home.

A realtor may be able to net you more money, but you'll also have to negotiate commission with them and open your house up for showings. The benefit of Zillow Offers is that you don't have to deal with the hassle of entertaining multiple buyers.

Zillow Offers
Realtor
2.5-9% service fee + 6% selling costs
6% realtor commission
Pays fair market value at most
Sell for whatever the highest bidder is willing to pay
Flexible closing date
Closing negotiated with buyer
No home prep or showings required
Must prep and show home
Sell and close in 7-90 days
Sell in 25 days (on average) + 30-45 days to close

Zillow Offers alternatives

Zillow Offers isn't the only iBuyer on the market. Other similar services include:

While Zillow's fees are among the highest in comparison to competitors, they also have no cancellation penalty.

The table below shows how Zillow Offers stacks up against the other top iBuyers.


Zillow Offers
Opendoor
Offerpad
Redfin Now
Orchard
Average Rating
Unavailable
4.05
1.77
Unavailable
4.6
Service fee
1.5-9% + 6% selling costs
3.5-5%
6-10%
6-12%
6%
Trade-in incentive
None


None

Markets served
25
23
14
14
9
Repair costs
Deducted from offer
Deducted from offer
Deducted from offer
Deducted from offer
Deducted from offer
Partner agents
In-house agents + partner agents
In-house agents + partner agents
In-house agents
In-house agents
In-house agents
Flexible closing date





Cancellation penalty
None
None
1% if outside the 4-day post inspection report window
None if the repair addendum is not signed.
None
Listing options





Late checkout option
None


None
None

Opendoor vs. Zillow Offers

Opendoor — the largest iBuyer — and Zillow both buy homes for cash, but there are some important differences between the two companies that are definitely worth taking into account.

  • Size/transaction volume. In 2019, Opendoor purchased 3x more homes than Zillow. This high transaction volume allows Opendoor to maintain slimmer margins with more competitive fees.[3]
  • Business models. While Opendoor is focused on buying and selling a high volume of homes, it has been suggested that Zillow is using iBuying to generate more seller leads. Data from Zillow transactions suggests Zillow only purchases around 2% of the homes that are submitted for offers.[4]

Below is a quick breakdown of some of the two companies' key services and benefits.


Opendoor
Zillow Offers
Free offer within 24 hours

X (48 hours)
No showings, listings, open houses


Pick your own closing date


Cancel the sale at any time with no penalty


Offer valid for 5 days


Home trade-in program

X
Partnership with major homebuilders

X
14-day "late checkout" option

X

» READ: Our full review of Opendoor.

Other Zillow incentives & services

Whether you're buying a Zillow-owned home or selling a home to Zillow Offers, Zillow has services that they integrate into the transaction.

For buyers, Zillow has a network of mortgage lenders who can provide you with a mortgage through Zillow Home Loans.

For buyers and sellers, Zillow offers Zillow Closing Services which can handle escrow and title services for the entire transaction.

These services are optional and customers are free to shop around if they want to find a better rate.

Zillow Home Loans

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.

Zillow Closing Services

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.

Contact Zillow Offers

Website
Phone
1 (833) 963-3377
Email
zosupport@zillowgroup.com

FAQs

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 potentially high service fees, it's likely that you'll still net more selling your house on the open market. Keep in mind that if Zillow agrees to purchase your home, it's because they believe they can sell it for more when they relist it.

Can you negotiate with Zillow Offers?

Zillow claims they make their best offer upfront to simplify the process and speed things up for sellers. Because of this, you can't really negotiate since Zillow's offer factors in the costs that they anticipate having to pay to resell the home.

Does Zillow buy homes at market value?

In some cases, Zillow may pay close to market value for your home — but there's no simple answer to this question. To establish a price for your home, Zillow evaluates 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

Is selling your house to Zillow worth it?

It really depends on your situation. If you need a fast, predictable sale, then selling to Zillow Offers might be worth it. The best way to find out is to request an offer from Zillow.

What is a Zillow cash offer?

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

ARTICLE SOURCES
[1]

Zillow. "The Cost of Zillow Offers vs. a Traditional Sale." Accessed February 24, 2021. Updated December 4, 2020.

[2]

Mike DelPrete. "Do iBuyers Like Opendoor and Zillow Make Fair Market Offers?." Accessed February 24, 2021. Updated November 12, 2019.

[3]

Mike DelPrete. "iBuyer Market Share Plummets, With Measured Recovery Ahead." Accessed February 24, 2021. Updated August 17, 2020.

[4]

Mike DelPrete. "Realtor.com's slow descent to irrelevancy." Accessed February 24, 2021. Updated August 14, 2019.

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