RALEIGH – National real estate technology brokerage Zillow is bringing a new tool and new functionality to the company’s application, but only for folks in Raleigh and in Atlanta.

As of Wednesday, Zillow’s application will now provide potential home sellers the option to receive a home value estimate from a licensed local real estate agent while simultaneously requesting an offer to purchase their home from Opendoor.

The company will launch the new technology offering in Raleigh and in Atlanta, it said in a statement.

The move comes after a survey conducted by the company showed that more than a third of those polled felt surprised by the emotional toll of selling a home.

“We want to simplify the process by providing sellers all their home-selling options in one place,” said Matt Daimler, Zillow senior vice president of product.  “Customers can now easily get both a cash offer from Opendoor and a market-price estimate to sell on the open market with a local Zillow Premier Agent partner on Zillow– and then make the decision that works best for their situation.”

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Zillow had previously partnered with Opendoor, after shutting down the company’s own instant offer program in October of 2021.

That partnership, launched in August 2022, provided a new solution on Zillow’s application for people to request an instant cash offer.

Now, Zillow’s move could streamline the process for potential home sellers.

“Selling a home can be stressful and full of unknowns for many people, but selling to Opendoor is simple, certain, and on the homeowner’s timeline,” said Brian Tolkin, Opendoor vice president of product in a statement.  “An Opendoor sale means no home showings, no home prep or making repairs and none of the hassle that can come with a traditional listing. With this new Opendoor experience on Zillow, consumers can explore their selling options and choose one that meets their needs.”

But recent data shows that Opendoor dramatically slowed the pace of acquisitions in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Analyst Mike DelPrete published a report about the iBuyer’s activity, along with an analysis of the company’s business model on Tuesday, noting that the firm’s “drop in purchase volume was rapid and extreme, but not dissimilar to changes in the past.”

That is, in fact, a feature of the company’s offering, not a bug, said DelPrete.  Instead, Opendoor’s largest challenge is selling the homes that it buys in such a way that the company profits upon the sale.

But what the company gains from its partnership with Zillow is, potentially, a way to better capitalize the acquisition cost of seller leads, a prior analysis of the partnership from DelPrete noted.

“This deal is both a confirmation of the relevancy of iBuying, and a continuation of that relevancy through Zillow’s promotion of instant offers across its massive platform,” DelPrete wrote.  “It puts Zillow back in the potentially-lucrative seller leads business, and gives Opendoor access to millions of potential customers. Win-win.”

And iBuying activity in the Triangle is far from dead, despite slowing sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 in the Triangle and disciplinary action taken against Opendoor by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission in April 2022.

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