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Zillow won't expand its homebuying program during COVID-19 crisis

by Steve Randall on 24 Mar 2020

Zillow has announced a pause on its homebuying service across all 24 US markets in which it operates.

The Zillow Offers service provides eligible homeowners with a cash offer for their home, removing the need for showings or open houses. But with several after several counties and states - including California, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, New York and Nevada – bringing in emergency orders requiring people to stay home and all non-essential business activities, including some real-estate related activities, to temporarily stop.

The move follows Redfin’s decision to suspend its iBuying program, RedfinNow according to a Wall Street Journal report.

"Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of our employees, customers, and partners. Given the concerns for public safety and rapid developments by governments that restrict local real estate activities, we determined it was prudent to pause our home buying to preserve our capital," said Zillow Group CEO and co-founder Rich Barton.

Although the firm intends to reinstate the service once the public health emergency dissipates, it has also paused expansion of the service into new markets.

Existing homes
However, marketing of existing inventory of homes – around 1,800 - will continue.

"Zillow Group is well positioned to navigate these unprecedented times. We already slowed our pace of acquiring homes over the past month, while our pace of home sales in the quarter accelerated. We have a strong balance sheet and cash position and are taking proactive steps to reduce spending to offset the important financial support we're giving our industry partners so we may continue to best serve our mutual customers," added Barton.

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