“We just had a baby. It was going to take a lot to get us to move,” said Cosmos Onyeyiri. But, he said, a pie-in-the-sky offer of $600,000 or more would be motivating.

A few months later, that’s exactly what happened. The couple sold their home for $616,700 — without ever putting it on the market.

But it wasn’t a typical homebuyer who made them their dream offer. It was Zillow.

Known as iBuyers — Opendoor, RedfinNow and Offerpad are some of the biggest — these companies use technology and data about a home and its market to make a cash offer on a property. After buying the home directly from the homeowner, the iBuyer makes some minimal repairs and updates and then sells the home on the open market.

“IBuying is appealing to a surprisingly large amount of people,” said Mike DelPrete, an independent real estate technology strategist and scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. “The pitch is speed, certainty and…

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