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Tech: Real Estate Website Zillow to Replace Brokers, Sales Agents with New "Instant Offers&quot

• By Christopher Boyle

This month, Zillow – an online real estate database company that was founded in 2006 – launched a pilot program called "Zillow Instant Offers" in two American cities, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida. The program is aimed at property owners who, for whatever reason, are looking to sell quickly for cash and avoid as much red tape as possible – something that typically bogs down transactions. However, since Zillow is not a brokerage but a media company, they are simply serving as the middleman connecting the investor with the seller.

Zillow Instant Offers boasts of the possibility of selling a property within a week; how this is done is via an elite group of specially-selected Wall Street-based investors (licensed as brokers or utilizing a third-party broker license) picked by Zillow, who are willing to quickly offer 100 percent cash deals for homes. Along with this opportunity, Zillow's service also offers a comparative market analysis by one of their agents situated in the area to offer the seller an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of the deal they're getting. This aspect is encouraged by Zillow, although it is not an unbreakable rule.

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