As you may have heard, Zillow, one of the most popular real estate portals for consumer home searches in Maplewood, South Orange, West Orange, Montclair and Millburn/Short Hills, NJ, just announced it was closing the door on “Zillow Offers”, the “iBuyer” program that it launched in 2019. The program promised sellers an instant cash offer from Zillow without the “trouble” of preparing a home for sale and interfacing with a typical buyer. Zillow’s plan was to make light repairs and re-sell the properties for a profit. 

Read more here about why the program proved more complicated and less profitable than the company predicted. The company announced hundreds of millions in losses in Q3 with more Q4 write downs to come. Zillow is laying off 25% of its workforce. “We’ve determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated,” said Zillow CEO Rich Barton.

For a company that is known by consumers for its “Zestimate” feature, an algorithm that projects a home’s market value, this is quite an admission. Realtors have been trying to explain to consumers for years why the Zestimate feature does not accurately correlate to a home’s market value. Now, this may be a little easier to explain. If Zillow cannot accurately predict prices for itself how can it predict them for you? The viewpoint of an expert who has viewed comparable properties in person and understands the nuances that feed into market value are key.

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials here.