With yesterday’s launch of Zillow Home Loans, Zillow made official something we’ve been talking about all year. Zillow has become the Netflix of homes and they’re now all-in on mortgages.
This serves you in two ways:
1. You can get a mortgage from Zillow’s new Zillow Home Loans division.
2. You can use Zillow to hook you up with a lender in your local area.
Yesterday’s Zillow Home Loans launch is the latest in a series of steps Zillow has been taking to become a one-stop shop for home buying, selling, and financing.
Here are the most important things you need to know about working with Zillow to buy, sell, or finance a home:
You can sell your home to Zillow as of last April. It works like this:
-Go on Zillow and fill out a quick form about you and your home.
-They make you an offer to buy your home.
-If you accept, you close in days.
-You’ll pay about 7% instead of 5-7% you might pay a realtor to list it.
-And if you’re buying a new home, Zillow Home Loans can pre-approve you.
-If you reject their offer, they can hook you up with a local realtor to list it.
-You’re covered either way. And the realtor pays Zillow for that intro, not you.
-So once you’re hooked up with that listing agent, it’s all business to sell your home.
You can buy homes Zillow owns. It works like this:
-Go on Zillow and find a house you like.
-If Zillow owns the home, you can buy it from them and get financing from them.
-Zillow views mortgages like Uber views payments.
-It adds time and inconvenience to get out your wallet when you leave an Uber.
-Same with trying to find a separate lender if you’re buying a home from Zillow.
-So Zillow Home Loans’ primary goal is to lend to you when buying a Zillow-owned home.
-But you don’t have to use Zillow Home Loans if buying a Zillow-owned home.
-And if you want to be connected with a local lender, Zillow can do that for you.
-The local lender pays Zillow for that intro, not you.
-By the way, if you want to buy a home Zillow doesn’t own, they’ll connect you with the realtor listing or promoting that home.
Now let’s come back to those two ways Zillow can get you a mortgage.
Zillow can be the lender as described above—and their main lending priority is to try to win your loan when you’re looking to buy a home they own.
Despite receiving requests for offers from sellers every five minutes, Zillow only bought 686 homes from sellers from its April 2018 launch date through the end of 2018.
This means most sellers reject their offers in these early days of Zillow buying homes, and then Zillow connects them with a real estate agent.
But they plan to ramp up to buying 5,000 homes per month within 3-5 years.
They also hope Zillow Home Loans will make 3,000 loans per month in this same timeframe — largely to people buying these Zillow-owned homes.
For the rest of you just shopping for a mortgage that has nothing to do with a Zillow-owned home, Zillow will introduce you a local lender in your area.
In 2018, Zillow received 25 million requests from mortgage shoppers asking to be paired with lenders.
In the next 3-5 years, they want to double this business of connecting you to lenders (and realtors).
So even while they’re looking to serve you as a realtor and lender in the new ways described above, they also want to connect you to local realtors and lenders if you just want to research mortgages and properties on Zillow but don’t want to work with them directly.
It’s a win for you either way.
And it’s a win for realtors and lenders too, since 157 million of you visit Zillow per month, and many of you want to get introduced to a local pro after you’ve researched mortgages or properties on Zillow.
Hope this clarifies how Zillow can help you directly or hook you up with friendly neighborhood lenders and realtors to help you—and if you need more clarity, please enlarge the picture above!
Don’t forget about the rent-to-own options if you want even more choices.
Lots more details below if you want to dive deeper.