Zillow is getting a broker’s license in Arizona, but that won’t change the way the company does business, Errol Samuelson, director of industry development at Zillow, told Inman Monday.
Zillow is getting a broker’s license in Arizona, but he has no plans to start hiring realtors, and he will continue to rely on other brokerage firms to represent him as he progresses through the years. home buying and selling transactions, according to Errol Samuelson, the head of industrial development at Zillow Group.
Samuelson made the comments in an interview with Inman on Monday, regarding Zillow’s just announced acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, a mortgage lender that will help Zillow grow beyond its initial information and research goals. house and provide house seekers with more converting services. in Home Buyers, straight to Zillow’s popular namesake website.
The Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) contacted Zillow in April 2018 when it first launched Zillow Offers, the company’s direct-to-consumer home buying and selling platform, in the state. ADRE said Zillow must be licensed as a broker in the state to operate the program, according to Samuelson. The agency administers broker’s licenses for two-year periods.
“We went back to them and explained to them – and they understand – that we are not the official broker when we enter into these transactions,” Samuelson said. “We use local third-party brokerage firms to represent us when we buy, we use local third-party brokerage firms when we sell. “
Despite the explanation, ADRE said it felt there was a need for Zillow to obtain the license, so the Seattle-based company complied, Samuelson said.
“It won’t change the way we operate the Zillow Offers program,” Samuelson said. “We will continue to use local agents and brokers who represent us as official brokers. We will always use our representatives to list our properties.
“We’re not going to have Zillow employees listing properties, we’re not going to have Zillow employees representing buyers and sellers,” Samuelson added. “It is strictly a matter of putting documents in place. “
Zillow has actually held brokerage licenses in the past, Samuelson confirmed. When it acquired Trulia and RealEstate.com, those acquisitions were accompanied by licenses, and when the company started it had certain licenses. Over the years, Zillow has let them down. The company is licensed as a brokerage firm in Texas and possibly other states, Zillow spokeswoman Kate Downen told Inman via email. Inman asked where the Zillow is licensed as a brokerage firm and why the firm is licensed in Texas and will update this story when we have a response.
“Zillow has had brokerage licenses intermittently over the past 11 years and it hasn’t really changed our perspective in this regard – we don’t intend to become a brokerage in the sense of represent buyers, represent sellers, have agents that list, ”Samuelson said.
“As we expand Zillow’s offerings, if Zillow is to be licensed in other states, it will comply on a case-by-case basis,” he added.
Zillow just sent ADRE his letter informing the state agency that the company is now complying and Zillow is not sure how long the clearance process will take, Downen said.
Asked what exactly Zillow Offers does that Arizona says requires Zillow to obtain a real estate license and what policy or law the state agency cited that compelled Zillow to obtain a license, Zillow declined to comment.
“The laws on this are really broad. They asked that we get a license and we comply, ”Downen said.
Inman has contacted ADRE and will update this story when we have a response.
Inman’s deputy editor, Andrea V. Brambila, contributed additional reporting on this story.
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