Zillow, which famously flamed out of iBuying after losing its shirt, has entered a partnership with former arch-rival Opendoor that could radically alter the trajectory of both companies and change how homes are sold in America.
By partnering with the country’s largest iBuyer, Zillow says that home sellers can use its platform to seamlessly request an Opendoor offer to sell their home.
“At Opendoor, we’re working to turn what is often viewed as one of life’s most stressful moments — the home move — into an e-commerce experience that’s simple, certain and fast,” Andrew Low Ah Kee, the president of Opendoor, said in a statement. “By bringing together Zillow’s market-leading audience and Opendoor’s e-commerce platform, more consumers will have the option to sell to Opendoor and save themselves the stress and uncertainty of a traditional sale process.”
According to Zillow, Opendoor offers will be available on Zillow, and customers will be able to use the service as a standalone offering or package it with other Zillow home shopping services such as financing, closing and agent selection. In addition, the companies said that Zillow customers will be able to work with a “licensed Zillow advisor” to help them understand the different home selling options.
Zillow will receive a referral fee when a customer sells to Opendoor, and customers who opt to sell traditionally will be connected with a Zillow Premier Agent partner.
“We know choice is important for customers and they can make the best decision when they see all of their selling options up front — including selling on the open market with a Zillow Premier Agent partner and getting a cash offer from Opendoor,” Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow’s chief operation officer, said in a statement. “This exclusive partnership will pair Zillow’s audience and brand power with Opendoor’s selling solution in one easy place, so customers can evaluate their selling options and easily package it with other Zillow services to buy and finance their next home.”
This announcement comes just days after the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was fining Opendoor $62 million for deceptive trade practices, practices the iBuyer said ended in 2019.
Opendoor on Wednesday also announced the launch of a new product called “Exclusives,” which an Amazon-like marketplace where homes are listed on Opendoor 14 days prior to being listed on the MLS.
The properties listed on the platform are on a first-come, first-serve basis, eliminating bidding wars and price negotiations. Prospective homebuyers can reserve and fill out a contract for the home entirely online. Opendoor says that homebuyers may back out of the purchase at any time and receive a full refund on earnest money deposit.
Opendoor says that when a home is listed as an “Exclusive” it is offered at a cheaper price than what it will be listed for on the MLS if it does not sell in the 14-day window. The company will also match the appraisal.
Currently, the program is live in the Austin, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas.