CEO’s Take: What does ‘Instant offers’ mean?

In a move that was sure to rile Zillow haters and be defended by Zillow lovers, the company announced a new advertising and seller lead generation product, ‘Instant Offers’. This follows the model that the brokerage ‘Open Door’ has been doing for a year or more now. Essentially, Instant Offers offers sellers a discounted price to sell now instead of listing their home on the open market. In Zillow’s case, they have enlisted 15 investment firms in two trial markets, Orlando and Las Vegas. They are also giving Premier Agents an opportunity to do a CMA to pitch to the seller why they should list with the agent instead of taking the offers. Zillow has traditionally been really good at seller lead generation – after all, that is what the Zestimate was all about. And there are a bunch of other vendors right now trying to get master seller lead generation, i.e. Cloud Attract, Offrs, and Smart Zip just to name a few.

Is it innovative?

My initial takeaway is no; however, they are making something that’s been around awhile easier with technology and the power of a brand. It is very similar to the brokerage model that exists that Opendoor and others employ, and all those ‘Sell your House in 30 days guaranteed’ marketing. In my view, it is a way to get more seller leads. Is this a further decline in the relevancy of the agent in the transaction? I don’t know; I don’t think we have that answer yet. A lot depends on ensuring agents know and can articulate their value in a transaction. No matter how well the technology works, the ultimate bottom line is this: Will your seller take less money to sell today?

Zillow also gave REALTORS® a built-in response when sellers say “but the Zestimate says…” by launching a competition to improve it. You can remind them you are more accurate than an algorithm that needs to pay $1 million to be fixed. It’s about knowing your value in the transaction and articulating your value to the consumer — and having the power of the R.

For some takeaways on Zillow’s Instant Offers and to read the wide variety of the opinions out there:

But, first, the actual news and what the program is: Zillow to test out ‘Instant Offers’ in Las Vegas and Orlando

Zillow fever strikes again with insecure agents

Zillow Instant Offers….Finally

The REALTOR®’s answer to ‘Instant Offer’



  1. Sean Donovan May 26, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Yep, Zillow hater. It still amazes me that we ‘out source’ our MLS data to an un necessary “tool” placing many fine agents at a competitive disadvantage. CCIAOR has gone to great lengths requiring the fair practice of displaying the contact information of our members on company IDX or other MLS data displays, but Zillow is and remains a platform of intentional deception by having the consumer perceive the professional ‘show cased’ as someone related in some way as an “expert” in the are or connected to the listing solely by purchasing ad space. Shameful.

  2. Ryan Castle May 26, 2017 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    CCIMLS does not “outsource” data or anything of the like. We provide a transport ability for the companies who do not have the resources to provide their own transport and only for those who wish to display their data on any syndication site. Our policy is we will send the listing to and only where a listing brokerage wants it sent. We give full control to the agent and brokerage on whether they want to send the listing to any syndication site. If you need help removing your listings from sites, contact and they can help. However, we also have negotiated where the listing agent is always identified and has many built-in attributes on the listing for those agents and companies who choose to present their listings on syndication sites.

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