Why Zillow is Free and How It Earns Money in Detail?

Jul 15, 2022 By Susan Kelly


Zillow is the leading rental marketplace and real estate, guiding its users and customers with its knowledge and data about the place we call home. It provides information and connects its customers with the best local professionals who can help them greatly. Visitors related to real estate visit Zillow most for several reasons; it offers mobile and online search tools and a smartphone app that makes it easy to view and find the estimated value of the property.

Zillow was founded back in 2005. Its headquarters is situated in Seattle. Zillow is the first online real estate website in America. About 236 million people visit Zillow to seek the best property every month.

What does Zillow Have for Buyers, Sellers, And Rentals For Free?

For Sellers

Zillow offers three things to the sellers on their website:

  1. Sellers can directly list their properties like homes for sale on the Zillow website. It offers a tool named Zestimate to their seller; by it, they can thoroughly assess the best price for their property without missing any profit.
  2. Zillow offers Zillow's Agent Finder feature to sellers, which can help them to find expert real estate agents, photographers, property managers, professionals for home improvement, or many homes or property-related services.
  3. Through the Zillow Offer program, they can directly sell their properties to Zillow.

For rentals

Zillow offers many features to help users find a new good place to live or stay. Like they can use the affordability calculator of Zillow to find a house according to their budget or can use the Zillow platform to pay online directly.

For buyers

Through the Zillow Premier Agent program, buyers can find professional real estate agents to help them find the best house or any other property.

Now Come to the Main point, why Zillow is free and how it earns money? So, let's find;

Zillow is a leading online real estate marketplace where buyers and sellers can list their properties for rent and sale for free. Zillow aims to provide free productive data and information about real estate so sellers can sell their properties for the best price and buyers can find a dream place to stay. That is why many of the features of Zillow are free.

Even Zillow offers its services to its users for free, but its annual revenue of Zillow is $3.3 billion. So, the question which arises here is;

How does Zillow Earn Money?

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So, in August 2015, Zillow split the shares of its company, and the purpose behind this was to establish a way for further investments and to access new revenues. Zillow Group also owns StreetEasy, Naked Apartment, HotPads, Moretech, Showing Suite, and Postlets. These all are the source of earnings for Zillow.

It makes money through the interest that Zillow charges for home loans. Zillow also makes money by enhancing and advertising the profiles to real estate agents through Zillow Offers and by reselling and offering mortgages.

Here are some detailed methods have been given through which Zillow earns money:

Through Selling Ads

Zillow charges property management companies to run their listing ads on Zillow Rental Manage, including the websites from HotPads, Zillow, and Trulia. As this is considered an excellent marketplace for real estate, these property management companies pay many dollars to Zillow.

By Buying And Selling Homes

Whenever Zillow sells a house, it charges various fees to sellers while it is buying a house. Fees include 6% selling cost, which is actually the transition cost, real estate agent charge about 6-7%, 1-2% closing cost, which includes transfer tax, and the last fee that Zillow charges is the service charge which is about 2.5 % which includes maintenance, utilities, and taxes.

The home selling process gets completed in a few hours. When a seller submits a survey about his house, he receives an estimated house price through Zestimate. Through this home segment in 2020, Zillow has earned about $1.7 billion.

Through Premier Agent

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Zillow also generates revenue through the Premier Broker program, Zillow Group's Premier Agent. Both of these tools are SaaS tools. These tools allow real estate experts, professionals, agents, and brokers to advertise their services, organize work, and track leads on the platform Zillow.

It's free for agents to make profiles on Zillow, but real estate agents pay Zillow to advertise and enhance their profile which helps agents. Through Ads, Zillow targets the customers in the local agent market that helps him get new clients. Zillow has earned $1.04 billion through Premier Agent.


Zillow has its leading name in online real estate because of its valuable services to its users, including agents, buyers, sellers, rentals, brokers, and many more. It is not earning money directly from its users while generating revenue through Ad selling, iBuying, Premium Agent, or other services. Due to these features, it is the leading online real estate marketplace.

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