The real estate company said the decision to temporarily pause making offers to sellers comes after several counties and states, including California, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, New York and Nevada, have implemented emergency orders requiring people to stay home and all non-essential business activities, including some real-estate related activities, to temporarily stop.
On Friday, Zillow said it would temporarily stop purchasing homes in California via its iBuying outlet, Zillow Offers. “To comply with California’s ‘Stay at Home’ order, we are temporarily pausing purchasing homes through Zillow Offers in the state while the order is in effect,” the company statement said. “The safety of our employees, customers, and partners is our first priority, and while this is a drastic step, we understand the importance in following the guidance of local and state authorities in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
As of Friday, Zillow said it planned to continue operating outside of California. “Nationwide, we continue to operate Zillow Offers to serve those in need of buying and selling a home, and are doing so in a way to ensure we are able to accommodate a rapidly changing environment. These are unprecedented times and we are actively monitoring our communities, public health authority recommendations and local housing markets to adapt to conditions as needed.”
Now, that has all changed. The iBuyer said it was pausing home buying in response to local health orders related to the novel coronavirus in an effort to protect the safety and health of its employees, customers and partners, it said in a release.
“Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of our employees, customers, and partners. Given the concerns for public safety and rapid developments by governments that restrict local real estate activities, we determined it was prudent to pause our home buying to preserve our capital,” Zillow Group CEO and Co-Founder Rich Barton said in a statement.
“We plan to restore Zillow Offers full operations once health concerns pass and local health orders are lifted. In the meantime, we are working to support our customers and partners in these uncertain times when home has never been more important.”
Last week, Zillow also paused holding open houses in all of its markets, and all Zillow-owned homes include its Zillow 3D Home technology to make virtual home tours easier and Zillow’s local broker and Premier Agent partners offer virtual consultations.
“Zillow Group is well-positioned to navigate these unprecedented times,” Barton said. “We already slowed our pace of acquiring homes over the past month, while our pace of home sales in the quarter accelerated. We have a strong balance sheet and cash position, and are taking proactive steps to reduce spending to offset the important financial support we’re giving our industry partners so we may continue to best serve our mutual customers.”