Zillow: Unprecedented housing market shift has had little impact on sellers

by Lindsey Wells

While the past year has been unprecedented in terms of economic change and a global pandemic, most U.S. home sellers’ experiences were similar to past years, according to Zillow’s latest consumer housing trends report. 

Consistent with the past three years, the typical seller received two offers on their home in 2021, although a significant share received many more. Nearly one quarter (24%) of sellers reported getting four offers or more this year, up 14% from 2020.

The report, based on data collected by Zillow Group Population Science through a national survey of more than 2,000 sellers, found that the median number of offers that fell through remained at zero for the fourth year in a row. 

Most sellers (74%) received at least one offer that was all cash or did not include a financing contingency. This is slightly higher than the 68% of buyers who reported purchasing a home without a mortgage, suggesting that buyers who need financing can still compete with cash offers.

In 2021, 65% of sellers said they received at least one offer that waived an inspection. However, 88% of successful buyers reported getting an inspection before finalizing their home purchase. Only 16% of homes sold underwent no inspections from potential buyers, according to the report, a clear sign that buyers who insist on an inspection are still competitive.

Rising digital options like remote viewings, 3-D tours and instant offers appear to complement the services offered by real estate agents, not replace them. The report found that 82% of sellers are more likely to use a real estate agent to sell their home than any other resource. 

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