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Selling your house can be a time-consuming task. From finding the right real estate agent to setting up showings to negotiating with buyers, a lot goes into the traditional home sale process.
If you’re looking for a speedier alternative, you could work with one of Georgia’s many “we buy houses” companies. These businesses make all-cash offers and purchase homes in any condition, with deals often closing in just weeks. Of course, there is a downside: You’ll likely earn far less for this type of sale than you would on the open market.
Still, working with one of these companies can make sense in certain situations — particularly if you need cash quickly. Here’s what you should know.
Types of companies that buy houses for cash in Georgia
As a homeowner in Georgia, there are many cash homebuyers to choose from, including national and regional companies. Most will buy homes in any condition, so you won’t need to make any repairs, and all operate on a very fast timeline. You’ll have the most options if you live near Atlanta, but there are plenty of homebuying businesses that operate across the Peachtree State.
- We Buy Houses: One of the most well-known brands in the industry is actually called We Buy Houses, which operates in around 30 states, including Georgia. After submitting some information about your property, the company will extend an offer within 48 hours. Closing can happen in a week or two.
- HomeVestors: Also known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, HomeVestors operates in several cities across Georgia, including Athens, Atlanta, Macon and Savannah. It works in a similar manner: A representative visits your house and makes an all-cash offer shortly thereafter. If you accept, the deal could close in three weeks or less.
If you’d prefer to work with a local Georgia-based business, there are several to choose from, including:
- We Buy Houses Hotlanta: This family-owned business purchases properties throughout the Atlanta area with a “best offer guarantee.” Deals typically close within 60 to 90 days.
- Breyer Home Buyers: Based in Suwanee, this husband-and-wife team will give you an all-cash offer within 24 hours and close on your Atlanta-area home in as little as two weeks (or, in some cases, even faster).
- Christian Buys Houses: Founded by former college football player Christian Norman, this Woodstock-based company buys homes in metro Atlanta, with sales closing in 10 days or less.
If you’re in the Atlanta area specifically, you can also choose to work with an iBuyer, an online-only company that also buys houses quickly, for cash. Opendoor and Offerpad, two of the biggest iBuying businesses, both purchase homes in the Atlanta market. Keep in mind, though, that these companies typically have more restrictions on what kinds of homes they will purchase (and in what condition), and they may charge service fees.
How do ‘we buy houses’ companies work?
Selling to a “we buy houses” company differs significantly from the traditional agent-assisted sale process. Typically, these businesses will buy most kinds of residential properties, including single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and duplexes. Some won’t make offers on prefabricated or mobile homes.
Whichever “we buy houses” company you work with, the process will be fairly similar. You likely won’t have to make any repairs or do any prep work to get your home ready for sale, as cash homebuying companies typically buy properties as-is — even if significant work is needed. Their business model is to fix up the homes they buy and either resell them for a profit or rent them out to tenants. You won’t have to show the property to anyone but them, either.
After you contact the company and share a few details about your property, a representative will reach out you. Some will send someone to do an in-person assessment, some work exclusively online — in the latter case, they might ask you to send photos or videos of your home.
Once the walk-through or online submission is completed, you’ll get an all-cash offer fairly quickly. Depending on the company, you could receive this immediately, or it might take a day or two. You’re not obligated to accept the offer, but if you do, you then schedule a closing date. In most cases, the transaction can be completed within a few weeks. Don’t let the fast pace of this process make you feel rushed. Take the time to review all paperwork carefully, and don’t sign a contract until you’re sure you understand and agree with all the details of the deal.
Finally, while working with a homebuying company makes selling your house quick and easy, bear in mind that the convenience comes at a cost. These companies are not likely to offer you as much for your home as you could make in a traditional, open-market sale — they need to make a profit on the transaction, after all.
If you don’t think a cash homebuyer is right for you, consider one of the following alternatives:
- Work with an agent: There’s a reason why most home sellers follow the tried-and-true path of working with a local real estate agent. Not only do they have an in-depth understanding of your local market, but they also know how to negotiate with buyers to get the best price for your home. Redfin data shows that houses in Georgia spend about 34 days on the market before they’re sold, so going this route will definitely take longer, but having the marketing power and expertise of a pro in your corner is the best way to earn as much as you can in the sale.
- Sell it yourself: You could also put your home on the Georgia market without the help of an agent as a “for sale by owner” or FSBO listing. This will save you having to pay a listing agent’s commission — the median sale price in the state is $367,100, per Redfin, and a typical 3 percent commission on that comes to more than $11,000. But keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay your buyer’s agent, and FSBO is a lot of work.
- Rent it out: If you aren’t in a rush to part ways with your property, you could always rent it to tenants for a while. Becoming a landlord is a lot of responsibility, but it can be a good way to bring in additional monthly income: The median rent for a house in Georgia is $2,000, according to Zillow Rental Manager.
Enlisting a “we buy houses” company could make sense if you need to sell your home quickly — and don’t mind sacrificing some profit in exchange for that convenience. It can also be a good choice if your home is in very poor condition and you can’t, or don’t want to, deal with the repairs. Even if you’re just curious about the concept, it might be worth contacting a few of these companies since most provide free, no-obligation offers. But if you aren’t in a rush, you’ll likely earn a larger payout by working with a real estate agent.
Yes, most are legitimate real estate companies whose business model is to buy properties — typically properties in need of work — fix them up, and resell them for a profit. They’re able to move quickly because they buy in cash, with no financing or lenders involved. However, like anything else, it’s important to do your research before signing a contract with one of these companies. At a minimum, check out customer reviews online and look up its Better Business Bureau profile, and read all paperwork very carefully.
It varies depending on the condition and location of the home, among other factors. But your offer will typically be below market value because the company needs to make a profit on the home’s resale. However, you will get your money quickly and you typically won’t have to pay for any repairs, closing costs or commissions.