Zillow flipping at least 6 Las Vegas area homes

Zillow executives may say they’re not in the house-flipping business, but based on its first batch of deals in Las Vegas, that’s exactly what the company is doing: buying and then quickly selling homes.

The Seattle-based listing service — whose website lets people find a house to buy or see what homes are worth — has closed at least six purchases in the Las Vegas area since July 12, property records show.

As of Thursday, five homes had already been listed for sale on Zillow, and one was about to be. Among the group, one had a pending offer, the website showed.

More deals are expected, too.

“It’s just kind of opening up now, but there’s a lot of activity,” said GK Properties owner George Kypreos, a Las Vegas Valley broker who handles Zillow’s transactions.

Zillow announced in April that it would buy and sell homes in Phoenix and Las Vegas starting this spring, and that when it acquires a place, it will “make necessary repairs and updates and list the home as quickly as possible.”

At the time, Zillow’s now-president Jeremy Wacksman said the company planned to own houses for up to 90 days each, eventually even fewer days, before it sold them. But he added, “I wouldn’t use the term flip,” preferring instead to say that Zillow would prep a house for sale.

“We’re not intending to make money on flipping homes,” he said Thursday.

The listings show that. None of its Las Vegas homes are priced more than $10,000 above what Zillow paid, a razor-thin margin.

By comparison, Las Vegas flippers on average sold homes in the first quarter for more than $53,000 above what they paid, according to Attom Data Solutions, which defines a flip as selling a home within a year of buying it.

Zillow, however, aims to buy and sell in high volume and make money off sellers’ fees.

Wacksman said the company might charge sellers a few percentage points more than a traditional real estate agency would, but in exchange, homeowners can sell quickly. v

It’s not a unique business model. San Francisco startup Opendoor typically makes a cash offer to sellers within 48 hours (“Get an offer on your home with the press of a button,” its website declares) and doesn’t wait long to sell its homes.

But Opendoor wants to come out even on the deals and instead make a profit by charging fees and slashing its transaction costs, CEO Eric Wu told the Review-Journal in June.

At the time, Opendoor was under contract to buy more than 100 homes in Las Vegas and had 60 on the market. Nationwide each month, Wu said, the company was buying around 1,300 to 1,400 homes and selling almost 1,000.

Gilbert, Arizona-based Offerpad (“Tell us about your home and receive an offer within 24 hours,” its website says) also operates in Southern Nevada. Spokeswoman Cortney Read did not disclose exact deal volume but said the company, which launched in 2015, has helped “hundreds of people in Las Vegas” buy and sell homes.

Zillow is under contract to buy a couple dozen more homes in Las Vegas, Wacksman said, but it’s unclear exactly how many properties it plans to acquire here.

Kypreos, the broker, said purchase volume will be based on “sellers’ appetite” but added he didn’t have a tally he was “comfortable sharing.”

Still, the company can afford to buy more – and likely wouldn’t mind bigger paydays for itself.

Parent company Zillow Group Inc. generated more than $625 million in revenue in the first half of the year, a securities filing shows. But amid even higher costs, it lost nearly $22 million for the period.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

Business
Auto repair shortage affects Las Vegas
The auto repair industry is facing a national shortage of workers.
Franchising industry booming
Experts say Las Vegas is a hotbed for the franchise industry.
Africa Love owner talks about his store in Las Vegas
Mara Diakhate, owner of Africa Love, gift and decor store, talks about his store in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Developer gets approval to build homes at Bonnie Springs
The Clark County Planning Commission has approved a plan to build 20 homes on the site of Bonnie Springs Ranch. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing