“We Buy Houses For Cash” Signs Are Everywhere, But Are They Legitimate?

You’re driving down the road and you get lost in overwhelming thoughts about your never-ending responsibilities. The devastating reality of drowning in bills and debt is sinking in. You realize how quickly your available cash is dwindling when a sign that reads “We Buy Houses For Cash” catches your eye. This peaks your curiosity, could I really sell my house for almost immediate cash? You’ve thought about how to sell your house in the past but the process seems so stressful. You think about calling but it seems almost too good to be true, what’s the catch?

Seeing flyers on telephone poles or signs that read in all bold “we buy houses” can be a bit off putting at a first glance but believe-it-or-not these companies are a legitimate part of the real estate market. The reality is, We Buy Houses companies aren’t for everyone, but can be extremely useful for those who are stuck in a predicament like the one that was just illustrated.

These companies buy houses at slightly under market value, make necessary repairs, and sell the property for a profit. If selling the home on the market isn’t an option, this can be a great way for distressed sellers to relieve themselves from the burden of having to sell the home.

So how exactly do these companies work?
Buyers from the We Buy Houses companies seek out distressed sellers who may be interested in selling their house below market value in exchange for an expedited and hassle-free selling process. When a seller indicates interest in selling their home for cash, they’ll work with the company to arrange a time for the buyer to see the property. The buyer will estimate the value of the home and create a no-obligation offer for cash. If the seller agrees to the offer, the buyer will then prepare a buyer’s contract without having to involve real estate brokers or commissions.

What type of homeowners are they looking for?
There are a variety of reasons someone might choose to sell to a We Buy Houses company. In most cases the seller is unable to sell the home on the market and is looking to close quickly. If a loved one unexpectedly passes away, someone might quickly inherit a home but not have the time or energy to make repairs and put it on the market. If a home has been damaged, in order to avoid massive repairs, a homeowner might choose to sell for cash.

Divorced couples needing to relocate quickly can benefit from selling the shared home through a We Buy Houses company. An unfortunate financial situation or unexpected bills may prompt someone to sell their home in order to get cash fast and make ends meet. Regardless of the situation, most sellers are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, which is why these companies help take that weight off of their shoulders by simplifying the process.

But how can they buy my home for cash?
House Buying companies are in the business of flipping homes, which means that they should have done enough business previously to have enough cash in their account to purchase the home. As with any industry, there will always be scams and people that are looking to take advantage of you. If you’re looking to sell your house fast for cash, it’s important to know which companies are looking out for your best interest and operating ethically. Trustworthy companies use cash that they already have sitting in their account to buy a seller’s home. This cash is often the proceeds from previous properties they’ve flipped.

The company may also have received a Hard Money Loan, which is a loan based on an asset. With Hard Money Loans, the loan is based on a piece of property being used as collateral rather than other factors like a credit score. The cash that the company uses to buy homes may also be from Angel Investors who have chosen to invest in the company. An Angel Investor will invest in a company that they deem to be profitable; the company continually has satisfied customers and is bringing in consistent business.

We Buy Houses Scams
Smart people can get tricked into We Buy Houses scams, which is why it’s important to do research beforehand and know which questions to ask. When you first see a “We Buy Houses” or “I Buy Houses” sign, you should look to see if there is a company name on the sign. If the sign only has a phone number, chances are it’s a shady practice. Many of these numbers are actually routed through Google Voice or other services that make them untraceable.

If they do have a company name, you should be able to easily access client reviews and testimonials when you look them up online. If a business has nothing to hide, you should be able to find information about the business owner and their business with previous clients.

Are you still not sure if you’ll be able to tell a legitimate business from a sketchy one? In real estate, social proof goes a long way. If a company has been doing deals for a long period of time, you’ll be able to find reviews online. Most reputable We Buy Houses companies will have been featured in various media outlets.

The company’s website should have client reviews and testimonials on their websites, although you have to remember that these reviews are sometimes bias as they are chosen by the company. If the business pops up on Google search with a valid address, there should also be numerous reviews of the company through Google. Looking at a company’s Facebook page is a great way to gage how much business they’ve done, and whether or not most business interactions have been positive. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great for getting honest reactions and reviews from customers.

If you’re unable to find any information about a company online, it’s possible that they’re running a scam that is illegal and untraceable. It’s simple to check through the Better Business Bureau and see if the company is an accredited business. The Better Business Bureau also features reviews and feedback. If you can’t easily access a website to learn about the company and the company is not a Better Business Bureau accredited business, it’s best to steer clear.

We Buy Houses Companies Aren’t For Every Seller
When a seller chooses to work with a “We Buy Houses” company, it’s most often for one of two reasons: because they are in a financial position where they want to get cash fast or because they don’t want to take on the stress and burden of selling a house. That being said, We Buy Houses companies are not for every seller. It’s important to first evaluate what your needs are when it comes to selling a home before making the decision to sell on the market or sell to a company that buys houses.

Not all We Buy Houses companies are the same, many will operate in a very different way than others and, unfortunately, some will try to take advantage of sellers. That being said, make sure to do the necessary research beforehand and trust your gut! If anything ever feels off, make sure to get clarification.

Contracts should never be signed if you’re unclear on what they mean. Unfortunately, many of these companies have sneaky ways of getting out of a contract. These contingencies include: needing approval from a lender, a specified number of days for a buyer to get financing, an appraisal for a certain value, a cost of repair contingency, and requiring a home inspection.

Just because someone has had a negative experience with a “We Buy Houses” company doesn’t mean that all of them have that same reputation. Many companies have an office, a qualified team, and will work with you to get the house sold in just days, all elements that lead to a trust worthy company.

Remember the beginning scenario where you were driving down the road feeling stressed and overwhelmed? You were questioning whether selling your house could ever be an option, and how to get started. Now, picture feeling happy and confident, knowing that you made the right decision to sell your house and that you worked with a legitimate house buying company.

Should you choose to work with a We Buy Houses company, you now have the tools and resources to find a reliable company to sell your home quickly and give you the money that you deserve. You have the satisfaction of knowing that it is possible to finally feel financially relieved by selling your home for cash. You can sell your house, We Buy Houses companies are legitimate, and you could easily have cash in your pocket in just days!

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