Patricia Clark:

Unlike traditional home-flippers who bet they can make money on home appreciation, Zillow plans to profit by charging sellers a fee in addition to agent commissions. Wacksman said most owners who use Instant Offers wind up selling their homes the old-fashioned way, but that people like to have choices.

“What drove us here is the seller demand,” he said.

Zillow joins a field of companies using tech platforms to make fast decisions to buy homes. Opendoor and OfferPad have similar business models. To run its new operation, Zillow hired Arik Prawer, a former executive at single-family landlords Colony Starwood Homes and Invitation Homes.