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Zillow Partnering with iBuyer Opendoor

Zillow canceled its own iBuying program but just announced a new iBuyer affiliation that combines Zillow’s audience with “Opendoor’s selling solution in one easy place.”

SEATTLE and SAN FRANCISCO – Zillow and Opendoor Technologies announced a multi-year partnership so that home sellers can “seamlessly request an Opendoor offer” through Zillow’s real estate listing website.

According to a joint media release, homeowners interesting in selling can request an Opendoor offer directly thorough Zillow’s website. The owners can then consider Opendoor as a standalone offer, or they can package it with “other Zillow home shopping services, such as financing, closing and agent selection.”

Zillow says they can also work with a “licensed Zillow advisor” who can be a “helpful guide” as they try to understand all their options.

From Opendoor’s marketing perspective, it gives the company access to homeowners in the very early stages of listing their home – the first research to see asking prices for similar homes in their area.

“Zillow is the most visited brand in online real estate. As we bring the housing super app to life, we’re empowering our millions of visitors to understand all their options and transact in the way that best meets their housing needs,” Zillow COO Jeremy Wacksman said in making the announcement. “We know choice is important for customers and they can make the best decision when they see all of their selling options upfront – including selling on the open market with a Zillow Premier Agent partner and getting a cash offer from Opendoor.”

Up until about a year ago, Zillow operated its own iBuying program, Zillow Offers, but it shut the program down and recorded a loss. At the time, Zillow said its reason for leaving the iBuying market was the difficulty of predicting future home prices, even if just a few months’ later.

However, a partnership with Opendoor, an outside company, would likely lower operating risks for Zillow.

Opendoor has also faced recent challenges. On Aug. 2, the FTC alleged that it used “misleading and deceptive information,” and its sellers “made thousands of dollars less” than they could have via a traditional listing. Under a proposed administrative order, Opendoor must pay $62 million and stop its deceptive tactics.

“Opendoor promised to revolutionize the real estate market but built its business using old-fashioned deception about how much consumers could earn from selling their homes on the platform,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in announcing the fine. “There is nothing innovative about cheating consumers.”

Opendoor said it strongly disagreed with the FTC’s allegations but decide to settle the complaint so it could resolve the issue and “focus on helping consumers buy, sell and move with simplicity, certainty and speed.”

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