In an about-face, Zillow is hiring real estate agents

by Kerrie Kennedy

Online real estate data company Zillow has decided it needs real estate agents after all.

Starting in January 2021, customers in Atlanta, Phoenix and Tucson who sell their homes through Zillow Offers will work directly with licensed employees of Zillow Homes, the company announced in a press release. Zillow-owned homes in these markets will be listed for sale by licensed Zillow Homes employees.

The company said it expects to expand these services to additional Zillow Offers markets later in 2021.

“We’re excited to add another important link in the Zillow Offers transaction chain to offer our customers greater choice and convenience when considering a move,” said Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman in a press release.

The move marks a shift away from the real estate tech company’s original iBuyer model, launched in 2018. Previously, a licensed local real estate agent represented Zillow Offers on both sides of the transaction through a brokerage partnership.

Under the new plan, all Zillow-owned homes will be listed in the MLS, and real estate commissions will be paid to all real estate agents representing buyers and sellers in the transaction, including Zillow agents, who will be salaried, W2 employees.

“We look forward to working more closely with our agent, industry and MLS partners to efficiently serve our mutual customers,” added Wacksman. “Together, we will push to keep the real estate industry moving forward and adapt to changing consumer preferences and virtual technologies.”

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