Looking to sell your home quickly in Chicago? One option is to explore the many cash-homebuying companies that operate in the area. Selling to a “we buy houses” firm is fast and convenient — they make cash offers with lightning speed and can usually close just as fast. In addition, they often buy properties as-is, meaning you don’t have to make any repairs or even clean up if you don’t want to.

This can be a great option for people who need to relocate ASAP, those who need cash in a hurry, or sellers whose property is in poor condition. But there’s a financial downside: These companies will not offer you as high a price as you’d likely get in a traditional home sale with a Realtor. Here’s more about how “we buy houses” companies in Chicago work, and the pros and cons of working with them.

How do ‘we buy houses’ companies work?

These real estate companies purchase properties directly from homeowners, with no real estate agents or go-betweens, and they pay in cash. They position themselves as a swift and hassle-free alternative to the conventional method of selling, which is certainly true: Chicago homes typically spend 68 days on the market before even going into contract (much less closing), according to December Redfin data, while homebuying outfits can often close the entire deal in just a couple weeks. And the fact that they pay cash means there’s no need to wait on a buyer’s mortgage loan to be approved, or to fear that their financing might fall through.

Speed is the greatest benefit of working with a cash-homebuyer, but “hassle-free” is another big one. The only step you need to take to set a sale in motion when you use this option is to reach out to them, typically online or by email. They will send a representative at your convenience, make you an offer within 48 hours (or faster), and close a couple weeks later (again, or faster). You don’t need to allow a string of strangers into your home to view it, and you usually won’t have to pay any fees or commissions (check the contract carefully to be sure, though). If the home is in disrepair or filled with junk you don’t want, you don’t have to deal with that either — the homebuying company will handle it all for you.

The reason “we buy houses” companies so often buy homes in as-is condition is that they are typically fix-and-flip operations: Their business strategy is to acquire lower-priced distressed or outdated properties, renovate them, and then resell them for a profit. That brings us to the biggest downside of working with them: They need to make money on the transaction, so the offer you get will be on the low side. These companies operate within narrow profit margins, limiting their capacity to provide top-of-the-market prices.

One thing to note about cash offers from these companies: You are not obligated to accept once the offer is made, and you may want to reach out to more than one company to see who is able to offer you the best price. However, don’t take too long — the offers typically expire fairly quickly, and while you can always request another one, there’s no guarantee it’ll be for the same amount.

Types of companies that buy houses for cash in Chicago

The iBuying industry works similarly to “we buy houses” companies, paying cash and moving quickly. However, neither of the industry’s two biggest iBuyers, Opendoor and Offerpad, operate in Chicago. There are still plenty of options to choose from in the area, though, from big national names to small locally-owned firms. Here are a few to consider:

National options

  • We Buy Houses: Yes, that’s the company’s real name. When you reach out to a Chicago branch of We Buy Houses, a rep will evaluate your home in-person, and soon afterward you’ll get a cash offer, usually within 24 to 48 hours. If you accept, the deal can usually close within 14 days.
  • HomeVestors: HomeVestors (sometimes known as the “we buy ugly houses” company) operates in much the same way: A rep will assess your home in person, shortly after which you’ll get a cash offer. Their closing process can usually be completed in as little as three weeks.

Local options

  • Sell My House Fast Chicagoland: This family-owned company buys homes in any condition all over the metro area. They make offers within 24 hours and can close in as little as seven days.
  • We Buy Houses Chicago: Similarly, this company makes same-day offers and can close at your convenience, from a week up to six months if you need more time.
  • Cash for Chicago Houses: Buying throughout Chicago and the surrounding area, this firm operates in much the same way and is run by a lifelong Chicago native who also coaches local high school baseball.
  • Windy City HomeBuyer: A third-generation, family-owned business — the current owners are still operating out of the same Cicero building that their grandparents started working in 60 years ago.


If you’re not sure whether a “we buy houses” sale is for you, consider the following alternatives:

  • Traditional agent-assisted sale: Listing your home with an agent in the traditional way will take longer, but if you make sure they understand that speed is important, they can do their best to expedite the process. And it’s still the best way to earn top dollar on your sale.
  • For sale by owner: You might also think about taking a hands-on approach and selling on your own, without an agent. This lets you avoid the cost of paying a listing agent’s commission, but it’s a lot of work to accomplish without help, so be ready for a big commitment.
  • Rent out your home: If you don’t need the money from a home sale right away, consider hanging on to it and renting it out to tenants instead. This has the potential to be lucrative: Houses in Chicago rent for a median of $2,200 per month, according to data from Zillow Rental Manager.

Next steps

Carefully ponder the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to sell your home to a “we buy houses” company. If speed is of the essence, if you need the cash ASAP or if you just want to get the property off your hands with the least amount of work possible, it might be a great choice. But if making the most money possible on the sale is more important to you, a traditional home listing is probably a better option.

If you want to go the traditional route, be sure to find a local real estate agent who’s familiar with your specific neighborhood in Chicago. And if you decide to work with a cash-homebuying outfit, conduct thorough research and do your due diligence on the company first. And read all the paperwork very carefully before signing on the dotted line.


  • Selling the typical way, with a local real estate agent, can take a while. Chicago homes spent a median of 68 days on the market before going into contract in December 2023, according to Redfin data. Working with a cash-homebuyer or “we buy houses” company goes significantly faster, often closing the entire deal within a week or two. But in exchange for speed and convenience you will almost certainly get a lower price for your property.
  • Yes, the majority of “we buy houses” companies are legitimate real estate firms who specialize in flipping houses — buying them, renovating them and reselling them for a profit. However, as in any industry, some operators may engage in dubious business practices and even scams, so it’s crucial to thoroughly research a company’s history, reputation, online reviews and Better Business Bureau rating before entering into any transaction.