Zillow’s New Short-Term Touring Contracts

Lisa Mailhot  |  May 6, 2024


Zillow’s New Short-Term Touring Contracts


In a significant shift from traditional real estate practices, Zillow has introduced a new type of touring agreement that promises to alter how buyers and agents interact. This initiative stems from the need to adapt to recent legal changes and evolving consumer expectations in the real estate market.

Understanding the Short-Term, Non-Exclusive Touring Contracts

Zillow's latest offering is a seven-day, non-exclusive touring agreement that allows potential buyers to view properties without any obligations regarding compensation or exclusivity. This approach not only accommodates the fast-paced nature of modern house hunting but also aligns with the new standards set by recent commission lawsuit settlements.

Key Features of the New Touring Contracts:

  • Duration and Scope: The contracts last only seven days and are strictly for touring, not tying the buyer or agent in any financial or exclusive arrangement.
  • Flexibility and Freedom: Buyers can engage with multiple agents and properties without the pressure of early commitment, fostering a more open and competitive environment.
  • Post-Tour Negotiations: Compensation and terms of service are discussed only after the initial tours, ensuring both parties are comfortable before making any commitments.

The Industry's Call to Action

Zillow's Errol Samuelson not only outlined these changes but also urged other industry players to adopt similar practices. This move towards non-exclusive, short-term contracts is seen as a step forward in making real estate more accessible and less daunting for new buyers.


Potential Impacts on the Market

By reducing the barriers to touring homes, Zillow aims to increase the overall activity in the real estate market, potentially speeding up transactions and increasing agent engagement with prospective buyers. This could lead to a more dynamic market where agents are motivated to provide exceptional service to secure client relationships.

Challenges and Considerations

While this approach opens up new possibilities, it also presents challenges such as managing the logistics of multiple short-term contracts and ensuring that agents are fairly compensated for their time and expertise. Additionally, there may be concerns about the depth of engagement and advice provided during such brief contractual periods.


Zillow’s introduction of short-term, non-exclusive touring contracts is a bold move designed to align with today's consumer expectations and legal landscapes. This innovation not only enhances flexibility for buyers but also encourages a more open and competitive market. If you're planning to navigate the evolving terrain of real estate and want expert guidance tailored to your needs, let's connect and explore how these new norms can benefit you.



Reference: "Zillow to offer short-term 'non-exclusive' touring contracts" by Jim Dalrymple II, April 30, 2024.

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