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Popular real estate website Zillow plans to enter Charlotte’s hot housing market

Starting Monday, Dec. 10, you’ll now be able to begin your search for a new home through your Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice assistant.
Starting Monday, Dec. 10, you’ll now be able to begin your search for a new home through your Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice assistant.

The popular real estate website Zillow plans to launch “Zillow Offers” in Charlotte this winter, allowing sellers to request a cash offer from the company to buy their home.

Similar startups Knock.com, Offerpad, Opendoor and Ribbon already allow homeowners to sell their house for cash online.

Zillow’s offer tries to be competitive to a price sellers would get, had they sold their home through traditional means, according to Zillow. The offer includes a fee that depends on the house and market.

Once Zillow buys the home, it then re-sells the house.

“The program is designed to give consumers more choices and control, tailoring the home-selling experience to their unique circumstances, regardless of how they ultimately choose to sell their home,” said Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman, in a news release.

The program aims ”to remove the hassle and uncertainty of selling a house,” according to the news release.

Zillow Offers is also planning a winter launch for Raleigh and already operates in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta. The company is launching in Denver later this month.

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Here’s how it works:

Potential sellers plug in their address on the Zillow Offers website. “Answer a few questions and snap some photos... We’ll review the information and calculate your offer,” the website says.

A few days later, Zillow will give a cash offer, which sellers can accept or reject. If sellers accept, then they can pick a closing date while Zillow sets up a home inspection.

Zillow partners with local real estate agents for each transaction, paying them a commission when it buys and sells a home, the company said.

Charlotte’s housing market has been tight for months. August sales decreased 6 percent compared to the same month last year, according to data from Carolina Multiple Listing Services, the most recent available.

Inventory has been plummeting as potential sellers fear they can’t find a comparable house to move into. That low supply, paired with high demand from buyers, means prices keep rising.

In August, homes in the Charlotte region sold on average for $294,107, up 8.8 percent from a year earlier.

Cassie Cope: 704-358-5926, @cassielcope.
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