Zillow has resumed buying homes in five more Zillow Offers markets after initially pausing all buying in March due to the economic restrictions associated with COVID-19, it was announced Tuesday.
The company is buying homes again in Los Angeles and Riverside in California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Orlando, Florida, making the homebuying component live in 20 of 24 Zillow Offers markets.
“Home sellers want a more convenient, seamless and safe way to sell their home, and we’re excited to bring Zillow Offers back to more sellers around the country,” Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement.
“The rapid adoption of technology and virtual tools is creating a new and safer landscape for the entire real estate experience. With Zillow Offers, a homeowner can sell their house without any of the traditional hassles of open houses, home showings or prepping a house for sale, and can have more certainty and control than ever before — all on their own timeline. ”
Zillow, along with many of its iBuyer competitors, suspended the homebuying aspect of its iBuyer business, Zillow Offers, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged in March and states began shutting down in-person economic activity. After roughly two months of not buying homes, Zillow returned in May to a few select markets with Regina Benjamin, the former surgeon general of the United States, as a health and safety consultant.
The company also announced new health and safety protocols and a process designed to limit in-person meetings and contact, as part of its “Move Forward. Stay Safe.” initiative.
Even with the pause, Zillow Offers generated $770 million in revenue in the first quarter, which included the second half of March. Zillow sold 2,394 homes and purchased 1,479 homes through Zillow Offers in the first quarter. It ended the quarter with 1,791 homes in inventory, down from 2,707 at the end of the fourth quarter.