You’ve probably seen the signs on the side of the road that read “we buy houses for cash” or “we buy houses” that are on street corners on signs stuck in the ground or nailed to telephone poles. You may have gotten something in the mail that states that an investor will buy your house, in any state and for all cash. Often these pieces of marketing are in bright colors with very bold print encouraging you to hurry and call to get an offer. Now you may be asking yourself “Is this for real? Will they really buy my houses fast and pay all cash? There must be a catch!”. If you are among the people wondering about this, keep reading 🙂
Companies That Buy Houses For Cash
First, Yes, most of these companies are for real. Notice that we said “most“. There are a lot of legitimate real estate investors out there who will buy your home quickly, and for all cash. These companies can really be a “God send” for a lot of homeowners who are in a bind. However, it’s not for everybody. If you are not in a hurry to sell your house, if your house is only a few years old and you can wait for months to find a buyer, then listing your property the regular way with an agent is probably your best option.
In a previous article “Should I Sell My House As Is“, we talked about whether or not homebuyers want to purchase a house that needs small repairs vs. major repairs. For people whose house needs a new roof, or new HVAC or even a house that needs to have all of the plumbing replaced because it has Polybutylene in it (a grey pipe that was installed in the South East in the late 70’s that is notorious for breaking), investors are a great option.
There are also a few other reasons why someone may choose to sell their house fast to an investor, which one of our favorite blogs covered:
“We Buy Houses for Cash” Ads Target Certain Types of Home Sellers
Companies that pay cash for homes prey on home sellers who are in distress or need to quickly sell. The cash-paying buyers often advertise the types of situations they are searching for in hopes that you will recognize your predicament and call them. They look for:
- Sellers who can’t sell or whose listings expire
- Sellers who are divorcing
- Homes in probate
- Homes in foreclosure
- Sellers whose employers transfer them
- Owners who are evicting tenants
- Vacant homes
- Trashed or damaged homes
Okay, we are going to “vent” for a second here. Notice in the above article that they use the word “prey”, which we kind of take offense to. Now yes, we stated above that “most” investors were legitimate. Unfortunately there are some out there that will try and scam you, which we will cover in a little bit. But to lump all investors as bad – no. We can tell you that we have helped hundreds of sellers that were in a bad situation, and an investor was the only, or best way out. One in particular was a family that inherited a property. There was still a mortgage on the property and the heirs didn’t have the money to continue making payments on the property that was in need of serious repairs. They had the property listed, but nobody wanted to buy it. Instead of letting the bank foreclose on the property and let the bank get all of the money, we were able to purchase the property so that the heirs could split the equity that was in the house. So tell me, is that all that bad?
There is another way that you need to look at this. The investor is also taking a lot of risk. If you sell them your property that is in need of major repairs, or whatever the reason, the investor has to get the property ready for resale, which takes time. Does anybody remember the crash back in ’08? If the market were to dive again while an investor is holding onto a house, then they are going to lose a lot of money. Plus there may be things that were not discovered that need to be repaired before reselling the property.
Okay, we are done venting 🙂 . Now we will move on –
What To Look For When Selling To A Company That Buys Houses
Again, not every real estate investor is credible. There are some out there that will try and take advantage of you. Some may say they are going to buy your house for one price, only to try and lower the price at the last minute. Others will give extremely low ball offers.
To protect yourself and make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company that buys houses, check the following:
1. The company name is on their website
One thing that you’d know if the home-for-cash buying company is legitimate is if their company name and logo are displayed on their website. Beware of those that don’t have their company names on it, as they might be hiding their identity so they can be difficult to trace when conflicts and issues arise.
2. The contact information is displayed
Their contact information must, too, be displayed on their website, and their address. That is for easier navigation and inquiry. Businesses usually post their business address for their clients, and if you see that they don’t display their contact information and address, there must be something not right about that company that offers cash for a house.
That’s good info, especially about their address. Some investors, like us, run their companies from their home. If they are running a legit business, even if it is from their home, why won’t they list their address? There are also other things to look for, like who the people are on their site ( we don’t always drink or own cool aid, but in our defense this site is still new and our “About” page is coming!). You should also be able to find multiple company profiles on the web, especially places like Facebook and Twitter.
Summing It Up
Yes, there really are companies out there that will buy your home quickly, and for cash so that they can close quickly. But seller beware, make sure you are dealing with a legit company and won’t try and lower the price at the last minute or something else. Fortunately in the state of Georgia you must close with an attorney, which lowers the risks of getting scammed.
If you are in the Metro Atlanta area and you are looking for a company that buys houses, be sure and visit our website at www.MandichPropertyGroup.com. We would be more than happy to make you an all cash offer on your property. And hey, if you don’t like our offer – you don’t have to accept it, but we think you will 😉