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I have heard from several of our Brokers/Agents here at The Cascade Team worried about the new Zillow "Make an Offer" tool, along with similar offerings from other companies.
Did most of you know that The Cascade Team has featured this same ability since October of 2013???? That's right! From the personal property website we create for each of your listings people have the chance to contact you directly to "Make an Offer"! That's one of the biggest reasons why it's so important for you to get out there on Social Media, to have your Marketing Boards out, and to e-mail those Personal Property Websites to everyone you know!

We are ahead of the curve!

I'll address some tips farther down in the blog about how to deal with the Zillow Instant offer and those from other companies, but before that here is a run down of how our system works.
1) A buyer simply clicks the (Make An Offer) button; "This button disappears once a home goes pending"
2) The system collects their information, offered terms and conditions AND even provides a link to the Real Estate Law Pamplet
3) You receive an e-mail notification of the offer.
4) You can log in and see the offered terms.
5) Contact the buyer...
6) Sell the home!

Make an Offer E-Mail

Review in Backend:

In select markets today, the competition isn’t just from other neighborhood brokerages. It’s also from companies like and, with attractive online platforms that promise sellers a quick, hassle-free, cash sale. This week, Zillow joined the fray, introducing its “Instant Offers” platform in two test markets, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla. The platform enables sellers to receive and compare cash offers from selected investors, as well as obtain a CMA from one of Zillow’s paying customers, a Zillow Premier Agent.

For many real estate agents, these online marketplaces feel like a threat to their role in the transaction and their livelihood. Zillow, which makes a significant share of its revenue providing tools and services to real estate agents, has moved to dispel that concern, saying it will encourage, but not require, sellers to connect with an agent to close the transaction.

It remains to be seen whether Zillow will be successful enough to expand Instant Offers to more markets. If it does, the promise of a quick sale may capture some consumers’ attention. But many professionals say they relish the opportunity to compete and communicate their value as a real estate professional.

Read more: Why You Should Never Let A Website Tell You Your Home’s Value?

What would you say to sellers who are considering the option of a direct, cash sale? Here are six talking points.

  • I work in this market and know the community better than any website could.
  • I will help you get your house ready for sale.
  • I will market your home to the widest possible audience, not just investors seeking to make a profit on your home.
  • I will aim to get you the best offer possible, and I have the skills to help you negotiate the terms of the sale.
  • One of the best parts of my job is helping you find a buyer who will love your home the way you do.
  • As a Real Estate Agent you are bound by law to represent all parties with honesty and integrity. When you represent a client in a transaction you have their best interest in mind and are legally bound to disclose any and all material facts you know about the property. With “Instant Offers,” unless you choose to work with an agent, you’ll be on your own handling the details of the transaction.

If past performance is any indicator of the future, sellers will continue to gravitate your way. The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that 89 percent of sellers worked with a real estate professional to sell their homes. Only 8 percent of home sales in 2016 were FSBOs, a form of which is direct sales.

Still, direct sales may pose other challenges to the industry.

In addition to competing for sellers’ attention, these online investor sales may exacerbate the already tight inventory situation many of your buyer clients are facing. Instant Offers, for example, connects sellers with a small group of investors who are partnering with Zillow. Sellers who go that route are taking their home out of the inventory for the average buyer.

Also, sellers who choose direct sales aren’t listing their property on the MLS. How will that affect the reliability of MLS data? Not just real estate professionals but also economists and governments use that data to spot market trends, determine fair market values, and make plans.

John Mosey, president of Northstar MLS, which serves more than 16,000 real estate professionals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, sees no cause for concern on that front. “We’ve dealt with things like the ‘coming soon’ phenomenon and off-MLS activity, and we’re seeing that these trends aren’t shifting FSBO numbers,” he says. “Our transaction volume in 2016 was $19 billion, and we’re in the Midwest, where market values don’t come close to the coasts. So you don’t need the off-market activity to get a true picture of what’s going on. I think the potential harm with these off-market listings is that a lot of them have never been market-tested, so it’s hard to get an accurate appraisal.”

If nothing else, Mosey adds, direct-sale platforms are yet another innovation that should make both MLSs and practitioners think more deeply about how to communicate their value.

Denee Evans, CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, lives in Las Vegas where Instant Offers is being tested. She draws a correlation between real estate and her previous work in the financial industry. “Even when people began doing their own online trading, there was a healthy industry for financial planners. You need a professional to help you with that. There are too many little things to keep track of,” she says.

 “Even with my real estate knowledge, I don’t buy and sell houses myself,” Evans says. “There’s no replacement for a professional who does this every day and knows the ins and outs of the market.”

The Cascade Team Real Estate is a company like no other because of the marketing, service and home seller savings we provide. We understand that in today’s real estate & home selling environment, we need to provide a high level of real estate service and wide spread marketing of the home for sale, utilize technology to keep our home seller clients in the communication loop and provide added value to both buyers and home sellers in the real estate transaction. The effective use of technology tools allows our local Seattle & San Diego real estate agents to focus more of their time on servicing our clients and finding buyers for your home, all the while providing the most comprehensive real estate marketing program available. In the end, you get the perfect combination of online real estate tools and personal service in the home selling process.

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