Zillow shares (ticker: ZG) are up more than 54% so far this year, well ahead of the broader S&P 500 ’s 17% gain, boosted by investor optimism about the company’s foray into direct home buying and selling.

Zillow Offers, which the company is expanding to 20 cities by the start of 2020, lets homeowners request an offer on their property through Zillow’s website. The homeowner is under no obligation to accept Zillow’s offer, but if they take it, they can in most cases receive full payment in a couple of weeks, minus a fee that typically runs a bit higher than the standard 6% charged by traditional real estate agents. Zillow then works quickly to put in repairs like new carpeting or landscaping and aims to sell the house over the course of several weeks.

My thoughts

Small downtown Boston real estate companies need to prepare for major changes that are presently in the works. It took a while but it appears that the old traditional real estate sales model is in serous jeopardy.

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