iBuyers: Did COVID-19 disrupt the disruptors?

Since the iBuying industry launched in 2014, billions of dollars have poured into companies created to disrupt the real estate industry and transform the way consumers buy and sell houses. These companies promise homeowners a hassle-free experience – one that’s simple, convenient and avoids the uncertainties often inherent in real estate transactions.

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Robyn A. Friedman
HW+ Columnist

But as COVID-19 put a damper on real estate markets throughout the nation, it also impacted iBuyers, which paused their purchasing operations to re-assess local housing market conditions and establish new safety protocols.

Now, iBuyers are back to purchasing homes again, albeit in fewer markets and at a slower pace than before, despite increased demand from homeowners anxious to sell but hesitant to allow strangers into their homes in the middle of a pandemic.           

The response to COVID-19     

Zillow Group, which launched its iBuying arm, Zillow Offers, in April 2018, was active in 24 markets prior to COVID-19. It paused its operations on March 23 due to housing market uncertainty and public health concerns.   

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