Zillow has debuted a feature in Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina, that allows home sellers to simultaneously request a cash offer from Opendoor and an estimate of what their home might sell for in a traditional sale by a Zillow customer agent.
The new feature has been under development since last August, when Zillow, the no. 1 U.S. homes portal, and Opendoor, the country’s biggest IBuyer, announced a multi-year exclusive agreement to trade traffic for seller leads.
Sellers can use the feature by themselves or request guidance from a Zillow advisor, according to the Zillow announcement. They have the option of using the services as standalones or in a package with Zillow services for home buyers. These include financing through Zillow Home Loans and working with a Zillow-affiliated agent to find a new home. The company is also developing a purchase-closing service.
The seller-services feature will launch in additional markets nationwide in the coming months, the company said.
The product seeks to get Zillow back into the seller-lead game after the company announced the closing of its in-house IBuying business, Zillow Offers, in November 2021.
When Zillow made the traffic deal with Opendoor last summer, it seemed a canny way for Zillow to continue attracting seller traffic while following a conservative, asset-light business model.
But the arrangement looks much less promising today after months of decline in the IBuying niche. Opendoor posted a record loss in Q3 2022 of $928 million, and it has announced a pivot in its business model away from IBuying toward sales of buyer leads on exclusive home listings.
The company has drastically slowed down its home purchases, from about 5,000 in June 2022 to fewer than 1,000 in December, according to recently published data from real estate researcher Mike DelPrete.
Zillow is scheduled to announce its earnings later today, and Opendoor plans to release its own on February 23.