Here is what you need to know when selling a home in Oklahoma City with Zillow's new tour request feature. Fast facts: A zillow user can be in your home within hours of visiting the site with or without the money to buy your home.
Last week zillow rolled out a feature in several of their markets including Oklahoma City. The new feature allows zillow users who have logged in with a free account to book a tour online for the property.
How it works
Once the button is clicked and the customers preferred time and date is selected, it is sent to a fancy phone routing system that calls Licensed Agents who have purchase leads in the zip code by order of lead allowance. The more you spend the more leads you get, if you don't answer the phone the lead goes to the next agent until the phone is answered and the agent can select to accept the tour. If so the potential customers contact information is release to the agent who will reach out to the person to schedule the showing time. Sounds easy right?
Why this matters to you the seller?
Traditionally realtors would meet a buyer through a referral, open house or marketing and build a relationship with that person see if they qualify for a mortgage and for what amount and then provide a list of homes that fit the persons needs. In todays world it starts in reverse , the could be buyer starts searching for homes online until they find a place they like and then calls the realtor or owner of the house. Big problem? Everyone thinks they are a qualified buyer easy right? Wrong, according to a 2017 study 86% of renters can't afford a house and in one ATTOM study of American home buyers 1 in 4 need a co-signer.
SOO... whats the result of these instant tours? More dead end tours in your home. More times cleaning up the house, removing pets and delaying dinner for a prospective buyer that never had a chance. Not to mention higher risk of items being broken and mud being tracked on the newly upgraded floors
Whats the answer?
Not sure exactly what the long term implications are for this new trend. The market is demanding instant service just like the many other services we rely on each day. My zillow rep says Zillow states did it largely because Redfin started doing it a year ago and they were taking market share. So can one blame Zillow for trying to provide what the customers are asking for? After all we as home seller are providing a product to a market so in a way we are providing a customer service right?
In the short term you can protect your property by very simply telling your listing agent to make it a requirement for buyers to be pre-qualified prior to touring. This insures you're not spending time vacuuming and polishing floors for hopeful instant buyer that may qualify in 10 years.