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Zillow expanding direct homebuyer program to Atlanta

Home sellers in Atlanta will soon be able to sell directly to Zillow

Homeowners in Atlanta will soon have a new outlet when it comes time to sell their house – Zillow.

The online real estate giant announced Wednesday that it is expanding its direct buyer program to Atlanta.

Beginning in the fall of this year, Atlanta homeowners will be able to sell their home directly to Zillow, if they so choose.

The move into Atlanta is an expansion of Zillow’s direct buying program, Zillow Offers, which the company launched earlier this year.

Initially, Zillow was testing the direct buying program in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Atlanta will be the company’s third market for the direct buying initiative.

Starting later in the year, home sellers in Atlanta will be able to compare an agent’s comparative market analysis to offers directly from Zillow or from other investors. Then, if a seller chooses, they can sell the house directly to Zillow.

Zillow then makes the “necessary repairs and updates” and lists the home “as quickly as possible.”

According to Zillow, it is receiving highly positive feedback in its intimal testing of the direct buying program.

“Sellers love Zillow Offers, because it's a service that offers them more control and convenience – and less stress – when they sell their homes,” Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman said.

“Zillow has delivered that to sellers in our first two markets, and we're excited to expand into Atlanta,” Wacksman continued. “Once we launch the program in the fall, we will be able to provide Atlanta-area homeowners with more choices, greater control, certainty about price, and transparency when it comes to selling their home – whether they take a cash offer or sell traditionally with a Premier Agent.”

As Wacksman noted, what makes Zillow’s direct buyer program different from other companies that offer similar services, like Opendoor and OfferPad, is that it does not cut real estate agents out of the process.

In fact, Zillow believes that its direct buyer program ends up being an “excellent” source of leads for real estate agents.

As it did in both Phoenix and Las Vegas, Zillow will be partnering with local real estate brokerages, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, to serve as the designated real estate outlets for its direct buying program.

“The program gives real estate agents the opportunity to acquire new listings by connecting them with motivated sellers who have taken a direct action to sell their home,” Zillow notes in a release.

According to the company, homeowners who request a Zillow Offer, but choose to sell their house the “traditional” way with an agent, or do not receive a Zillow Offer for their home, will be connected with a local brokerage or Premier Agent.

Additionally, Zillow pays a commission to agents when it buys and sells a home, and says that agents “remain at the center of every transaction Zillow is a part of.”

Executives from both Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers said that their companies are pleased to partner with Zillow on the direct buying program.

“Consumers expect an experience tailored to their unique circumstances, especially when it's as significant as selling their home,” said Craig McClelland, vice president and COO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers.

“Zillow Offers gives consumers more choice, control and transparency with less stress and hassle, while providing local agents more opportunities to connect with consumers,” McClelland added. “We’re excited to partner with Zillow on this innovative program to serve consumers in Atlanta.”

Dan Forsman, president & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, shared those sentiments.

“At BHHS Georgia Properties, we are focused on doing everything we can to help consumers do what's right for them, and that means constantly innovating and being forward thinking to meet their evolving expectations,” Forsman said. “Zillow Offers is an opportunity for us to help consumers in a new way, working with a brand that consumers trust.”

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