Zillow has unveiled a new feature on its listings that will help connect buyers with programs that can assist with a down payment on a home.
The Seattle-based portal giant on Wednesday rolled out the new information as part of a partnership with Down Payment Resource, an Atlanta-based company that tracks these assistance programs.
The new feature is now active on all Zillow for-sale listings nationwide, according to a news release announcing the move.
These programs, largely aimed at lower-income households that might have trouble scraping together enough up-front cash for a home purchase, are intended to help overcome barriers to entry in the home market, according to Grace Chung, Zillow’s director of social impact.
“Down payment assistance programs provide a viable pathway to homeownership, which can help build generational wealth and economic opportunity for many that may not have been able to imagine it for themselves,” Chung said in a statement. “Information is power, and Zillow is proud to partner with Down Payment Resource to shed more light on these important programs.”
The vast bulk of counties in the nation have multiple homebuyer programs, with forms of assistance ranging from help with down payments to closing costs and taxes.
Some may not be aware that this type of program exists at all, Down Payment Resource CEO Rob Chrane said in the statement. Chrane founded Down Payment Resource in 2008, to make it easier for homebuyers and real estate professionals to access hard-to-find information about homeownership programs. Today, Down Payment Resource integrates data about program benefits and eligibility criteria with multiple listing services (MLSs), lenders and agents.
“Millions of people may be more qualified to buy a home than they realize, and partnering with Zillow is a great opportunity to help guide these individuals from dreaming to reality,” Chrane said in the release.
For those that qualify for down payment assistance, the average benefit is approximately $17,000, Down Payment Resource reports.
From a Zillow listing, buyers are told the number of programs they might qualify for in that specific area. They are then prompted to enter their information to see which specific programs might apply to them.
Zillow’s Social Impact Product team initiated these efforts, according to the release. They are meant to coincide with other efforts to promote positive trends in the market, the company said. Other initiatives from this team include the company’s LGBT local legal protections and housing connector tools.