Realtors are Trying to Stop Zillow from Competing with them

They are the ones who should be stopped

Realtors are feeling threatened these days by a growing number of technology companies who are challenging their cozy lock down on residential real estate transactions. And, like any cartel, they are fighting to keep it that way.

Zillow enters the fray

In May, Zillow unveiled Instant Offers, which is being tested in Orlando and Las Vegas before a national rollout. How does it work? Enter your address into a search box and you will instantly be provided offers by investors willing to buy your property. No real estate agent required.

Step 1: type

Step 2: offer

Realtors respond

Naturally, Realtors flipped out, even going so far as to create Greg Hague, a real estate attorney and the site’s creator, worries, “[that] Zillow’s Instant Offers demeans the role of a Realtor” and demands “…Zillow discontinue Instant Offers or risk losing Realtor listings and advertising.” There is even a half hearted attempt to claim that more choice “damages homeowners.”

Don’t Stop Zillow…Stop the Realtors

Realtors though are really the ones who should be stopped. Instead of working to improve the home buying experience, Realtors have spent the last few decades working to stack the deck in their favor.

  • Realtors routinely embrace anti-competitive practices by boycotting for sale by owner homes or homes with reduced commissions.
  • Realtors might compete fiercely to get new clients, but they do not compete on price. The average commission for a home sale has remained around 5% since the 1970s. Commissions are half as much in Britain, as the Economist points out in The Great Realtor Rip Off. Yet British realtors make no less money — they sell twice as many homes as their american counterparts.
  • The National Association of Realtors is the 2nd most profligate lobbyist in the United States, spending $65 million in 2016.

One day, Zillow might build its own monopoly, but today they are working to bring technology to the aid of the consumer. The realtor cartel is interested only in self perpetuation, which is why Realtors should be stopped and not Zillow. So feel free to visit and sign our petition ;)

p.s. There are lots of other companies besides Zillow leveraging technology to aid the consumer in selling their homes much more quickly including (1) OpenDoor (2) Redfin’s new house flipping subsidiary, Redfin Now (3) OfferPad. Sorry Realtors, even if you stop Zillow, your days are still numbered…