A few weeks ago we decided to move into one of my rental properties and sell our current home. When I started researching how much my house was worth, I noticed on Zillow that they are purchasing homes in the Tampa Bay area.
About a year ago I inquired with one of the companies that buys houses (maybe it was OfferPad, but I can't remember) and they offered $212,000 for our home. I paid $215,000 for it in August, 2018 and, while the offer wasn't enough to convince me to move, it made me feel good that our home was sustaining its value. I assumed that Zillow would lowball the offer like those "We Pay Cash for Houses" outfits. This wasn't the case.
So far this has been a very easy process:
- On January 23rd, I answered some basic questions about the home on the Zillow website. Things like square feet, number of bedrooms, and whether any updates had been made to the house.
- On January 26th, I received an email titled, "We've Calculated a Market Value for Your Home." When I clicked through the email, I discovered my house, according to Zillow, was now worth $266,700. This was justified by a list of other houses that had recently sold in my neighborhood, so it was easy for me to see that my offer was within the range of what houses are selling for.
- The next step was setting up an appointment for an inspector to evaluate the home. I had the option to be present, but I chose to sign a waiver allowing the inspector to come while we weren't home.
- In addition to the market value, Zillow provided a couple of line items detailing what they would deduct to come up with a net price. This included 4.9% in Transaction Costs (comparable to the 5% commission I would have in a normal transaction), 0.1% Selling Costs (described as the fee to let me select a closing date in the future), and Prep and Repair Costs of $2,490. There was a breakdown of the repair costs, which included replacing carpet and touching up paint, along with a couple of other minor repairs. I think the repair costs were reasonable.