Zillow Instant Offers: What State and Local REALTOR® Associations Need to Know
Some association executives have received calls or emails from members asking what NAR is doing about Zillow’s new online investor sales program, called Instant Offers. Here's some background information.
- The Instant Offers program, announced in late May, is a pilot test currently limited to three markets, Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas, and Phoenix (as of August 9, 2017).
- As a publicly traded company that has yet to show a profit, Zillow will always be experimenting with ways to generate revenue as it must placate its shareholders. The company was not created to protect the interests of real estate professionals.
- NAR’s mission has always been and will remain focused on REALTORS®’ business success.
- Many years ago, as part of that mission, NAR aligned itself with realtor.com to ensure that at least one portal available to consumers would recognize and promote the true value that our members bring to the real estate transaction.
- NAR cannot sponsor or encourage a boycott of Zillow. It would be unlawful for NAR to discourage members from using any product or service provider. Those decisions are made independently by MLSs, brokers, and agents. Likewise, it would be unlawful for local or state REALTOR® associations to encourage members to withhold listings or business from any third party, such as Zillow, or adopt policies that would preclude members from doing so.
- What NAR can do is the same thing we’ve always done, and will continue to do, in the face of a long line of business models offered to consumers to sell their homes without the use of a REALTOR®: Undertake renewed efforts to remind the public, and to encourage and help members inform their clients and customers, of the value they bring to the real estate marketing and sales transaction, and the problems and risks sellers may encounter in marketing and selling their home without using a REALTOR®.
If your members are asking for guidance on controlling how or where their listings are being used, we encourage you to review and share the following resources:
- Your Answer to Zillow’s ‘Instant Offers’ (from REALTOR® Magazine online)
- A checklist of issues for MLSs and brokers to consider before they sign a license agreement (from www.nar.realtor)
- A webinar explaining the data requests and potential licensing terms (from www.nar.realtor)
- A helpful article providing more detail about licensing terms (from REALTOR® Magazine online)