Zillow to Buy Mortgage Lender to Help With Its Home Flipping

(Bloomberg) -- Zillow Group Inc. started buying and selling homes this year. Now it plans to write mortgages, too.

The home-listings website operator is acquiring Mortgage Lenders of America, an Overland Park, Kansas-based lender, Zillow said in a statement Monday. The terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

Zillow, whose shares tumbled in after-hours trading Monday following forecasts reflecting pressure on its core business, has been building out a program in which home sellers can upload information to its website and solicit an offer for their home. After Zillow buys a house, it makes any repairs and lists it on the open market. Offering mortgages is intended to “streamline the process for people who buy a Zillow-owned home,” Greg Schwartz, president of media and marketplaces, said in the statement.

The move to extend mortgages mirrors earlier efforts by startups Opendoor and Offerpad, which also use information gathered online to make rapid offers on homes. Both companies are working on ways to make home loans.

In its second-quarter report, Zillow lowered its forecasts for full-year sales and Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

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