Zillow to Launch In-House Brokerage in 2021

Zillow Offers customers will now be able to work with licensed agents when they decide to sell through the online listing service.
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Shares of Zillow  (ZG) - Get Report got a boost Wednesday after the online real estate listing company said that in January it would open a brokerage firm that it says will streamline its e-commerce operations. 

Starting in January, customers in Atlanta, Phoenix and Tucson who sell homes through Zillow will work with a licensed employee of Zillow Homes, its new brokerage entity. 

"We're excited to add another important link in the Zillow Offers transaction chain to offer our customers greater choice and convenience when considering a move," President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement. 

Zillow Offers, available in 25 markets, launched in 2018 to enable customers to request instant offers and sell directly to Zillow.

Selling through Zillow Offers lets customers skip some of the listing documentation and processes that are standard in traditional home sales. 

"We look forward to working more closely with our agent, industry and [Multiple Listing Service] partners to efficiently serve our mutual customers," added Wacksman.

"Together, we will push to keep the real estate industry moving forward, and adapt to changing consumer preferences and virtual technologies."

Zillow has denied that it would open its own brokerage. And it has used partners to represent the company when it purchased homes through Zillow Offers. 

In a video circulated Wednesday, Zillow maintained that it did not want to push out local agents or to recruit agents from other brokerages. Instead, Zillow will ask current employees who work on Zillow Offers to get licensed.  

Shares of the Seattle real-estate-services company at last check rose 0.8% to $99.38.