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— by Greg Schwartz

Zillow Group Acquisition News & An Update on Zillow Offers

As agents who deal every day with helping clients secure financing, you know that home shoppers often find the mortgage process to be the hardest – and most complicated – part of buying a home.

We want to make this process easier for buyers who purchase a home through Zillow Offers (formerly known as Instant Offers), so we set out to do something about it. Zillow Offers provides sellers with a streamlined way to sell their properties to Zillow, and it’s becoming an important source of listings and transactions for Premier Agents.

Today we’re announcing that Zillow Group has entered into an agreement to acquire a national mortgage lender, Mortgage Lenders of America, LLC, based in Overland Park, KS. This acquisition will allow us to better serve buyers who purchase homes through Zillow Offers, which is now expanding into Atlanta and Denver.

Simplifying transactions not only creates a more seamless home-buying experience for home shoppers, but also opens the door (literally) to more wins for agents and brokers. Agents and brokers will be able to partner with Zillow Group to offer their clients a faster and easier way to buy homes while earning their traditional commissions.

Rest assured, this move will not impact Premier Agents and lenders who participate in our agent and lender co-marketing program.

The Zillow Mortgages marketplace remains an important part of our business with 23 million loan requests from home shoppers in 2017, and our mortgage partners are vital to continuing to fulfill those needs. We will continue to invest in tools for our mortgage advertising partners and brokerage affiliated lenders.

I also want to provide you with an update specific to the Zillow Offers program in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Real Estate has asked us to get a broker’s license and we will comply with the request.

We’re taking a look at the laws in other states where we plan to expand our programs. If we need to get licensed in other states, we’ll do so on a case-by-case basis. We’ll take great care to review and examine each step of the regulatory process.

Moreover, we want to be clear in our message to you: We will not begin recruiting agents or operating a real estate brokerage that competes with you, our partners.

We won’t make changes to the role of real estate professionals in our Zillow Offers program. We’ll continue to use local, third-party brokers and agents to represent us in Arizona and everywhere the program exists.

We can’t wait to embark on this new direction together.

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