If you’ve ever spent a few hours procrastinating on Zillow, you’ve probably noticed a feature called Zillow Make Me Move. Billed as a kind of preliminary listing service, Zillow Make Me Move is the company’s attempt to convince fence-sitting homeowners to pack up and sell their home.
To give you a better idea about how the Zillow Make Me Move feature works, we’ve put together the following guide to the Make Me Move program, what it means, how to use it, and whether it’s viable for you.
What does Zillow Make Me Move mean?
Zillow’s Make Me Move feature allows homeowners to create a pseudo For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing for their home. As long as these listings are tagged as Make Me Move listings, potential buyers will know that the home is not actually for sale.
But how is this even useful, you ask? Well, a Make Me Move listing is a great way to show buyers that you’re open to the idea of selling your home, but you’re waiting for a strong offer before proceeding any further. This not only takes the pressure off homeowners, it also gives buyers the time to make measured decisions about what their purchase requirements are and how much they’re willing to spend on homes that meet these requirements.
Agents Compete, You Win.
For participating homeowners, the level of engagement a Make Me Move listing receives can be a robust indicator of market interest in your property. If offers are rolling in at a steady rate, you’ll be able to compare the average offer price against the appraised value of your home.
Depending on the results of this comparison, you may decide that you need to put more work into renovations or repairs before listing your home for real. Alternatively, if the data from your Make Me Move listing shows that buyers are willing to pay above-market rates for your listing, it might be time to push your timeline forward on a formal sale.
If you’re looking for an up-to-date valuation on your home, get in touch with a full-service, local real estate agent or, if you’re short on time, just use an Automated Valuation Model like Zillow Zestimate or Redfin Estimate.
Why is FSBO Through Zillow Make Me Move a Bad Idea?
While selling your home on your own through Zilllow Make Me Move may seem like a great way to save money, the truth of the matter is that such FSBOhome salesare seldom successful. So why are homeowners having such a hard time marketing their own homes, even in today’s heating-up marketplace?
Fail #1: Over or Undervaluing the FSBO Home
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Blue Book for homes? All you’d need to do to come up with the right price is to look up your home’s make, model, and general condition, and voilà! The price is right.
Sadly, all most sellers have to go on is comparisons to other local properties, but this is hardly a foolproof system. Your neighbors may be listing their homes around $500,000, but how many homes are actually selling for that amount? Overpricing your home is, in fact, one of thebiggest mistakes home sellers make, ensuring that the property takes forever to sell (or worse, won’t sell at all).
You’ve also got to be wary of underpricing your property. If you sell your own home for less than what you could get selling through atop selling Realtor, then you haven’t really saved any money after all.Agents Compete, You Win.
Fail #2: Expecting the FSBO Home to Sell Itself
Many home sellers today purchased their homes in the boom years of the early 2000s, when it seemed that homes sold within minutes of putting up a “For Sale” sign in the yard.
While that may have been true 10 years ago, these days you have to compete if you want to attract a buyer. And by “compete” we mean market, which means you’ve got to come up with a sales plan and devote plenty of time to your marketing efforts. One top Realtor in Tallahassee, FL,estimates he and his associatesspend over 10 man-hours per day just promoting their listings.
Fail #3: Skimping on the FSBO Home Details
So you’ve got a sign up, made some fliers, maybe you’re even advertising your home online. Good for you! Do not, however, make the rookie mistake of thinking that all you need is a picture and the words “for sale”.
Most would-be buyers won’t even consider your home unless you’re up front with an asking price, and of course you need to provide full contact details, names as well as numbers. When it comes to fliers and online advertising, the more details the better. A good listing provides square footage, lot size, number of rooms and bathrooms, age of home, a floor plan and as many pictures as possible.
Fail #4: Specifically Targeting Buyers
Wait a minute – don’t you want to attract buyers? Isn’t this what selling your home is all about? What you have to realize is that88% of buyers work with agents, and the homes they’ll see are the homes their agents steer them towards.
So how do you make buyers’ agents aware of your FSBO offering? Well, that’s a tricky one. You could hand-deliver your flyers to every realty office in town, or you could pony up the fee to get your home listed on the MLS. Even if you do these things, though, there’s a good chance many buyers’ agents aren’t going to want to bother working with a FSBO seller, so you’re limited right off the bat to just a small share of the homebuyer market.
Fail #5: Refusing to Play Nice with Buyer Agents
One reason that many buyer agents won’t steer their clients toward FSBO listings is because the FSBO seller hasn’t made it clear from the outset that he’s willing to pay the buyer’s commission out of the proceeds. A typical buyer’s agent can expect to receive about 2.5-3% of a home’s selling price, and without that incentive, there’s no reason to show your home.
In fact, if you really want your FSBO home to move, you’ll need to offer a similar commission to transaction brokers as well as buyer agents. So, it’s not just as simple as listing your home yourself in order to save the full 5 to 6% of the listing agent’s fee.Agents Compete, You Win.
Fail #6: Slow Response Time on An FSBO Home
How long do you think you can wait before you get back to someone who’s called about your home after seeing your yard sign, flyer, or online ad? Is it okay to get back to them the next day, or at least wait a few hours?
You may be shocked to realize that according to a study conducted by an MIT professor, your odds of contacting a lead drop 100 times if you wait as much as half an hour instead ofgetting back to them in the first five minutes. Yep, like that Tallahassee Realtor (the one from #2) said, selling homes is a full-time job, and if you snooze, you really do lose.
Fail #7: Nobody’s Home
Okay, maybe you’re Fast Freddy and you answer every call on the first ring. Awesome. But are you actually going to be available to show your home when the prospective buyer wants to see it? If you have a full-time job other than home sales, chances are the answer won’t always be yes.
One thing you could do is purchase a combination lock box in which to leave your door key, and this will work just fine if there’s a buyer’s agent willing to show your home to her clients. If there’s no agent involved, though, you probably don’t want to let just any random stranger into your home when you’re not there.
Fail #8: Underestimating the Complexity
Many times, homeowners will choose to go FSBO because they “just don’t want to deal with the hassle” of going through an agent. It seems straightforward enough – you have something to sell, other people have money and want to buy. Just like selling a used car or granny’s antique armoire, right?
When it comes to a home sale, though, there’s so much more involved than a simple exchange of goods for money. There’s financing, inspections, offers, counter-offers, contracts and closings. The list goes on and on, and if you aren’t prepared for all the steps (and the paperwork), you may soon find yourself with absolutely no clue how to proceed.
Fail #9: Trying to Go it Alone on FSBO Home
Ok, so you know you’ve got to spend time and money marketing your home, respond to every inquiry ASAP, be home to show your home whenever a buyer wants to see it, deal with home inspectors, negotiate financing, and then navigate your way through the tricky waters of closing.
Do you really have the time and the know-how to arrange for all of this on your own without completely losing your sanity? You can’t play every part in the symphony if you’re just a one-man band, after all. Even a super-Realtor will not carry out every aspect of the home-selling process all on her own, but she doesn’t have to. Instead, she’ll leave it up to the qualified experts (mortgage broker, home inspector, real estate attorney) she’s already got on speed dial.
Why should you not use Zillow?
While Zillow is the biggest player in online real estate, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best. Many Zillow listings are incorrect and they have holes in their listing database that would be found on local MLS systems. On top of this, you can’t necessarily trust their Zestimate service for getting an accurate estimate for your home’s value. The best solution is to get a comparative market analysis from a top agent, which will usually be provided for free before signing a contract to list your home.
How do you set up Zillow Make Me Move?
Creating a Make Me Move listing on Zillow is a fairly straightforward process. To make things as clear as possible, we’ve compiled the basic steps below:
1. Visit zillow.com and navigate to the Make Me Move webpage.
2. If you do not already have a Zillow account, you’ll be prompted to create one. If you do have a Zillow account, you’ll need to log-in here.
3. Enter the address of the property you’re thinking of selling.
4. Check the map prompt and select the “Yes, it’s a correct location” or “No, let me change it” icons to verify that the pinned address is the correct location of your property.
5. Next up, homeowners will be taken to a property details page to describe their home and set a mock-up listing price. While on this page, Zillow encourages homeowners to upload photos and relevant facts about their home (i.e. the age of the house, property square footage, number of bedrooms).
7. Once you’ve posted your listing, it can take up to 72 hours before it’s actually visible to potential buyers. If there are any issues with your listing, you may be contacted by the Zillow Make Me Move verification team.
Editor’s Note: At this point in time, it appears that Zillow’s Make Me Move feature has been suspended. Upon navigating to the Make Me Move page, visitors will see the following message:
“Thanks for your interest in Make Me Move. Unfortunately, Zillow is no longer accepting Make Me Move listings.”
It is unclear if the suspension of the Make Me Move service is temporary or permanent.
Does Zillow pay well for houses?
If you’re looking to sell as soon as possible and want to skip the listing and pseudo listing process, you might be more interested in Zillow’s instant buying service: Zillow Offers.
While Make Me Move is a listing feature, Zillow Offers is an active cash buyer. This means that when you submit a sale inquiry on Zillow Offers, they will review your property and use sophisticated algorithms to generate a free, no-obligation initial offer. If you choose to move forward with this offer, Zillow Offers will organize a home inspection and, depending on the outcome of this inspection, make an adjusted final offer that includes the anticipated cost of repairs and refurbishments.
But will Zillow Offers pay a fair price for your house? Well, customer experiences have been mixed. While customer testimonials on the Zillow Offers website speak glowingly about receiving a fair market price on their home, it’s clear that these reviews are carefully curated by Zillow for marketing purposes.
Outside of Zillow’s manicured reviews, it doesn’t take long to see that Zillow Offers has a mixed reputation, with many sellers accusing the company of lowballing them when it comes time to deliver a final offer. Check out this forum exchange on Reddit for a first-hand account of one user’s less-than-stellar experience with Zillow Offers.
Can you set alerts on Zillow?
Yes, Zillow supports a wide variety of alerts. Here’s three key alert features you can set on Zillow:
- Saved searches: To save a search preference, simply open up the search customization options, set your preferences (i.e. location, car spaces, number of bathrooms), and hit save.
- Virtual tour support: In the age of the pandemic, virtual tours have gone from an occasional novelty to a public health necessity. To set an alert for virtual tours, simply select “virtual tour availability” before submitting a tailored search query.
- Custom regions: Do you only want to see homes around your favorite bakery or green space? You can use Zillow’s “draw borderlines” function to set an alert for new listings within a very specific area.
Ready to Sell? We Can Help!
If you’re thinking of selling your home but you’re still on the fence about using Zillow Make Me Move or Zillow Offers, it might be time to get in touch with one of our professional UpNest partner agents.
When you sell with UpNest, whichis owned by parent companyRealtor.com, you’ll be put in touch with several top-rated agents in your local area. In addition to reviewing and comparing commission proposals, you’ll also have the opportunity to interview potential agents and pick their brains about staging strategy and local market dynamics. Whether you’re looking for a digital marketing expert or a well-connected local Realtor, UpNest will match you with an agent that perfectly meets your needs.
On average, UpNest network agents also charge 0.8% less than the industry standard 6% commission. Now, while this may not seem like a lot at first glance, it can mean significant cost savings come closing. For a $500,000 home, that’s instantly equal to $4,000 worth of commission savings.
Agents Compete, You Win.
Does Zillow still have “Make Me Move?”
Zillow is no longer accepting Make Me Move Listings. They are instead pushing customers to access their Zillow Offers iBuyer service. They are not equivalent, but Zillow is trying to take a bigger slice of the iBuyer market. While Zillow Offers is not available everywhere, you can also utilize a Zillow Premier agent to help sell your home.
Are Make Me Move prices negotiable?
While Make Me Move is no longer functional, parts of the program were negotiable. You would save on a listing commission and you could vary the buyer’s agent commission. It was essentially similar to a FSBO listing and a way to gauge interest in your home. When Make Me Move was functional, it also only showed listings on Zillow, so your home wouldn’t get the exposure a traditional listing would get on a local MLS, realtor.com, and other locations.