Zillow Make Me Move Tool: Does it Actually Work?

By Home Bay

Posted on March 21st, 2016

We recently told you about the Zillow Make Me Move (MMM) tool, which allows homeowners to publicly “name their price” – aka say how much a buyer would have to pay in order to get them to move. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at consumer opinions about the tool, discuss industry reactions and offer you some sage advice.

Before you dive in, if you haven’t read our original post yet and want to learn more about the Make Me Move Tool, check it out. If you’re already familiar with the tool, keep reading!

Aerial view of home in California

Opinions from across the internet

Not surprisingly, consumer opinions on the MMM tool are strong and varied. Here are a few success stories and gripes from forms on Houzz and Reddit:

“We had our house listed as a MMM for about 6 months before we actually listed it for sale (FSBO). We weren’t in a rush but I figured it couldn’t hurt to just post it. I actually got a number of inquiries, but most were from people who were also not in a rush to buy. I did price it slightly higher than market value, but then listed it for just 20K less when we were ready to sell.

Our area was very high demand for tear downs/cash buyers/etc and we had a prime location, so my thought process was that if someone really wanted the house they’d know we were open to offers. We did get several cash offers, but [they were] from builders who wanted to pay significantly less than we wanted.” (Houzz)

“I listed my house as a Make Me Move a couple months ago. We were finishing a few things and I wanted to see what kind of interest there was in our neighborhood before it was ready to list. I took good pictures, wrote up a good description and set a price slightly above what we were planning to list it at. It got quite a bit of attention and a couple dozen people saved it. I would change the featured picture once or twice a week and whenever I did this I saw spikes in the number of views for a couple days.

My guess is that whenever there’s a change, Zillow send out an email to people who have saved similar homes. After about 6 weeks, we listed our home and had an offer in about two weeks. We didn’t get a single potential buyer inquiry during the Make Me Move period. One thing [we did have that] was incredibly annoying was the cold calls from random realtors asking to list the house for us.” (Reddit)

“The one success story I know of in my local market was a person in a nice subdivision who put their house up on Make Me Move with a price that was about 10% under market value. They took the first offer from the first person who emailed them and saw the house. Should have let people bid it up but they honestly thought their price was high. Didn’t look for any comps and the neighborhood was stable with very few sales in the last year.” (Reddit)

“My experience with MMM is the the people have a severely inflated opinion about their home. I’d never pay cash for a price significantly above what a bank appraisal will assess the home to be worth. Unless there were some very unique property features, or the home had a sentimental type attachment like it was your grandparents. Even then, it would be foolish to pay so much more for a property than the open market would have it bring.” (Houzz)

“I sold my last house make me move. Cleaned the house up, took some decent pictures and put it up on Zillow. After about 3 weeks, [I] found a buyer who was very interested [and] showed them the house a couple times. After some back and forth we reached an agreement on terms.” (Reddit)

Now that you’ve got an idea of various consumer’s experience with the tool, let’s take a look at what the real estate pros think of the idea.

Real estate professional’s reaction to MMM

Agents and brokers agree that the biggest benefit of the MMM tool is that it affords them an opportunity to find potential business. Soon-to-be sellers are difficult to come by, so a public list of people raising their hands, saying “I’ll move if you’ll pay me enough for my home”, presents an exciting opportunity for real estate professionals. If you’ve used the tool yourself, chances are you’ve been contacted by local professionals offering to help you get the best price for your home.

That said, it appears that most real estate professionals have a negative perception of the tool overall. Most argue that if you want to sell your home, you should go all out and list it. Others warn that putting your house on a list that essentially tells buyers that you’re willing to move, but only if the buyer is willing to overpay can hurt you in the long run. How? When you list, buyers may try to research your home by typing your address into a search engine and can stumble across your MMM listing. If that happens, your potential buyer may be concerned that you’re not serious about selling your home.

Now let’s take a look at an example of what not to do with the MMM tool…

Talk to your spouse before you list your house

One of the executives at Zillow learned this lesson the hard way. He said that he listed his house with the MMM tool a decade ago, without discussing the idea with his wife. The home wasn’t technically for sale, but then he got an offer that simply couldn’t be ignored! Excitedly, he told his wife about the offer, but she was not happy that he had listed the home on MMM without talking to her first.

Our take

So what’s our take on the tool? The risk is pretty minimal, so if you’re curious, go ahead and try it out. Maybe someone will make you an offer you can’t refuse! If they do, consider listing with Home Bay. Not only will you sell your home for a great price, you’ll save the 3% commission that you would have paid to a listing agent!

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Posted in Real Estate & Technology