Understand: iBuying changing how people buy and sell their homes

There are no limits when selling online, and now you can sell your home, too.

"There's a lot of homeowners that just don't have the time or maybe the resources to get their home ready or the patience," said Levi Rodgers, broker partner for Zillow, an online real estate company.

That's where Zillow Offers comes in handy. The company recently launched the new program in San Antonio, and it's available in 18 other markets.

"What Zillow is doing is they're opening up to all the consumers in San Antonio, in which they can go to Zillow.com and request an offer on our property. And within 48 hours, Zillow will give them an offer on their property, and they can close as soon as seven days or as late as 90 days," Rodgers said.

The practice is known as iBuying. Zillow said its initial offers are based in part on an algorithm that considers recent comparable sales in the neighborhood and any data, records and owner feedback that Zillow has on a home. It also works with the broker partner's team to make sure their offers are at fair market value.

Zillow isn't the first to offer this type of homebuying. Ricardo Luna Rodriguez said he used Opendoor's program. He originally planned on selling his home the traditional way.

"A lot of the times, the realtor had showings and you had 30 minutes to get out," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez decided to take a different approach.

"You go online and put the particulars of your home. Approximately 24-72 hours later, they come with an offer. If you accept the offer, the next process is an inspection team," Rodriguez said. "They gave us the offer, and after the offer was accepted, they allowed us anywhere between six and nine months to build your forever home."

Opendoor said since launching in San Antonio in March 2018, it has served more than 1,800 local buyers and sellers. Once Opendoor buys your home, it makes minor renovations and sells it.

Opendoor currently has 149 homes on the market to sell and is expecting to add 82 more homes.

KSAT spoke with the San Antonio Board of Realtors to find out what this means for real estate agents.

"The programs are actually relatively small in terms of the usage. Less than about 5% of sellers actually use the program, so for the majority of agents, it's really not going to have very much impact at all," said Kimberly Bragman, chairperson-elect of the San Antonio Board of Realtors.

Bragman said these programs may work for some people but they're not for everyone.

"They can be very effective for some people if you have a lot of equity in your home. It can be a very useful product, especially if you are short on time. So it's really a convenience factor," Bragman said.  

About the Author: