Zillow announced Thursday a new partnership with roughly a dozen homebuilders in Zillow Offers markets across the country. The new program will allow consumers to sell their existing home to Zillow, but wait up to eight months to close on the sale of their home while the new one is being built.

With the new partnership, Zillow is hoping to eliminate a lot of the uncertainty surrounding the sale of a new home and the subsequent move into a newly constructed one. It’s aimed at eliminating the prospect of having to carry multiple mortgages or the stress of timing the sale of the home just right.

“One of the last things buyers want to deal with when searching for a new home is the stress and hassle that comes along with selling their existing home,” Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement.

“With Zillow Offers, we are allowing homeowners a quick and efficient way to sell their current home and buy a brand new house — all on their timetable — so they can focus on what really matters: getting settled into their dream home.”

Zillow Offers is the Seattle-based real estate tech company’s direct homebuying and selling platform. When a consumer sells their home to Zillow Offers, they do so without the traditional path of having to prep the home for listing or an open house. They do, however pay a service fee which averaged 7.5 percent of the home’s sale cost, in the second quarter of 2019.

Despite the involvement of the homebuilder, Zillow is still being represented by a local agent in each market for its homebuying transaction, a spokesperson for Zillow confirmed to Inman. The spokesperson also confirmed there’s no referral fee being paid out by Zillow to the homebuilder companies involved.

The new program will be marketed on all new-construction listings on Zillow.com, as well as in the showrooms of partner homebuilders. Homebuilders frequently report the need for clients to sell their existing home at the same time they are purchasing the home to ensure that the offer sticks and that they don’t have to deal with a canceled sale.

Over the past 12 months, public builders reported cancellation rates of about 16 percent on average, according to the Burns Home Builder Analysis and Forecast.

Zillow homebuilder partners are: Ashton Woods, Brookfield Residential, Fischer Homes, H&H Homes, Hartford Homes, Kerley Family Homes, M/I Homes, Mattamy Homes, Oakwood Homes, PulteGroup and Shea Homes. The company will add more, as it scales up to different markets. It’s currently live in 17 markets and plans to be in 26 in 2020.

“For our M/I Home buyers, whether they’re downsizing or moving up, the hassle of moving and coordinating showings for the sale of an existing home can be tiring,” Kathy Delgado, M/I Homes’ Houston vice president of sales and marketing said in a statement. “Not to mention the insecurity that can surround a contingent sale of your existing home.”

“Building a new home should be an exciting time in your life, and services like Zillow Offers are the perfect fit for our busy homebuyers who understand the value of their time,” Delgado added.

Email Patrick Kearns

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