IBuying Is Really About Selling

Investors fell in and out of love with online real-estate agents’ iBuying initiatives last year and the business briefly ground to a halt due to the pandemic. The recent rebound in their share prices—Redfin and Zillow are up by 135% and 80% quarter-to-date, respectively—may be more than a relief rally. The automated home-flipping business is beginning to look strategic rather than speculative. Last year, nearly half of Zillow’s total revenue came from its Homes segment, which houses iBuying, while Redfin did just under a third…

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