Redfin and Zillow take Texas

The direct-to-consumer buying and selling platforms from 2 real estate giants are launching in Houston and Dallas

As direct-to-consumer home buying and selling platforms continue to rise, Seattle-based companies Zillow and Redfin are taking their iBuyer programs to Texas. Zillow Offers is live in Houston and Redfin Now is operating in Dallas, company executives announced separately on Monday.

Houston is the seventh market for Zillow Offers, which currently operates in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte and Raleigh. Through the program and with their capital, Zillow buys homes directly from consumers, undertakes some light sprucing up of the home and then re-lists it for sale.

“Texas is home to some of the largest and most vibrant housing markets in the country, and we’re thrilled to bring Zillow Offers to Houston today,” Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement. “In just nine months, Zillow Offers has already helped thousands of homeowners sell their home in a simple and stress-free way.”

In every Zillow Offers market, Zillow works with local brokerages for both the buying and selling transaction. In Houston, Zillow is working with the Mark Dimas Team of Mark Dimas Properties.

It also generates leads for its Premier Agent customers when the homeowner opts not to take Zillow’s offer and instead list it more traditionally.

For Redfin Now, Dallas marks the first time the platform is expanding outside California, where it currently operates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire and Orange County.

“Redfin Now can be a lifesaver for homeowners who want a faster and easier way to sell a home, like the guy who just sold to us because he landed his dream job in Europe,” said Mark Riede, Dallas market manager for Redfin Now. “We recently bought from a busy family that didn’t have the time to get their house ready to go on the market and another family who needed the cash from their first home to buy their next.

“I’ve found many homeowners will gladly pay a slightly higher fee for the convenience and peace of mind of a cash offer and guaranteed closing date from Redfin Now,” Riede added.

Redfin Now charges consumers a 7 percent service fee and also offers full Redfin listing service for a consumer that opts instead to list their home on the open market with a Redfin agent. If a consumer opts to sell with a Redfin agents instead of selling to Redfin, they pay just a 1 percent listing fee and typically cover the buyer’s agent commission of 2.5 to 3 percent.

In conjunction with the launch, Redfin is also expanding brokerage operations, mortgage and title services to Dallas to serve those consumers that opt to list on the market or want to buy a home through Redfin.

“Our rapidly growing presence in Dallas will have engineers working alongside our agents and mortgage and title teams, to bring together technology and service to deliver a complete home-buying and selling solution,” Adam Wiener, Redfin’s chief growth officer said in a statement. “As Redfin Now gets more efficient at buying and selling homes by integrating our mortgage and title services, we can lower the overall costs of a real estate transaction and pass additional savings on to our customers in the form of lower fees.”

The iBuyer space in Texas is already crowded, with Opendoor and Offerpad both operating in Houston and Dallas and Knock operating in Dallas. Zillow Offers will also launch in Dallas in 2019.

Email Patrick Kearns