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The Florida housing market is both complex and extremely popular. And the Tampa area is one of the state’s top markets — Tampa Bay increased its population by 2.2 percent in just one year between 2021 to 2022, gaining more than 70,000 new residents, per Census data. That means a lot of people who need places to live, and if you have a Tampa home to sell, it could be a lucrative time to join the market.
But what if your Tampa home is not in great shape and needs more repairs than you can manage? Or you need to sell ASAP and don’t have time to wait around for the right buyer? Selling to one of the many companies that buy houses in Tampa might be a good solution. They pay in cash, operate with remarkable speed and typically buy homes in any condition, no matter how poor. Here’s a closer look at “we buy houses” companies in Tampa.
Types of companies that buy houses for cash in Tampa
If you’re considering selling to a cash homebuyer, Tampa offers a lot of options, with both big national names and small local companies to choose from.
We Buy Houses and HomeVestors (you may also hear it called “We Buy Ugly Houses”) are two of the most well-known homebuying companies that operate nationwide, including in the Tampa area. These firms are not just similar in name; they work similarly, too: You contact the company, give them some information about your home, and schedule an in-person assessment. They will make you a cash offer, typically within 24 to 48 hours, regardless of the home’s condition. (Though the more work that’s needed, the lower the offer is likely to be.) You’re not under any obligation to accept the offer, but if you do, closing can happen quickly, typically in one to three weeks.
Just as there are national companies, there are local ones, too. Most buy homes in as-is condition, no repairs required, and most charge no fees.
- Revival Homebuyer: This family-owned, Tampa-based company only buys in the Tampa Bay area and does not charge any commissions or fees. They make cash offers within 24 hours and can close in as little as seven days.
- Home Buyer Tampa: With this company, which also buys in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and a few other Florida markets, you’ll have a cash offer within 24 hours of their in-person evaluation. They say they can close the deal in just three days.
- Florida Cash Home Buyers: Based in Ft. Lauderdale, this outfit buys homes all over the state, including Tampa. They specialize in inherited homes and can deal with (and pay for) the probate process for you, if needed.
Tampa is also a big market for iBuyers, which are online homebuying companies that conduct their business digitally. Opendoor and Offerpad, the two biggest players in the industry, both buy homes in the Tampa area. These options operate with similar speed to other companies, and also make cash offers, but they may charge steep service fees and typically do not buy homes in serious disrepair.
How do ‘we buy houses’ companies work?
These companies are typically fix-and-flip operations, meaning their business model is to buy low, renovate quickly and then re-sell for a profit. That means you aren’t likely to get a top-dollar offer from them — they need to make money on each deal.
However, in exchange for the lower profit margin, you get a much higher level of speed and convenience. These companies typically buy properties as-is, which means you don’t need to make any repairs or even clean the home out. They handle all of that for you. And the speed can be key for sellers who need the cash fast: According to October 2023 Redfin data, Tampa homes typically spend a median of 24 days on the market before selling, and then you have to wait weeks or even months for the home to close. So cash in your pocket within a few weeks can be a godsend.
The process is generally simple:
- You contact the company, either by phone or an online form, with basic home information.
- The company will calculate your home’s value using an online algorithm or an in-person evaluation (or sometimes both).
- The company will make you a cash offer, which you can choose to accept or decline.
- If you accept, you will move on to closing, which happens much faster than in a traditional home sale. Be sure you take the time to read all the paperwork carefully, though — make sure you understand everything you’re agreeing to before you sign anything.
Not sure if a “we buy houses” company is right for you? Here are a few alternatives to consider:
- Traditional agent sale: A local real estate agent will have their finger on the pulse of the market in your specific neighborhood, and opting to sell with one is the best way to make top dollar for your home. However, it will take longer, and you’ll have to pay a commission fee.
- For Sale By Owner: A FSBO sale is also an option, and it will save you the listing agent’s fee. But you’ll have to do everything a Realtor would do on your own, which involves a lot of time and effort — as well as at least a baseline knowledge of how real estate transactions work.
Rent it out: If you don’t need the proceeds from a sale right away, you can always opt to become a landlord and rent out your Tampa home instead of selling it. The rental income potential can be significant: According to ZIllow Rental Manager, homes in Tampa bring in a median rent of $2,500 per month.
When you work with a “we buy houses” company, you don’t have to worry about a stream of strangers viewing your home or even cleaning up before you move. These companies take most of the hassle out of the process, and they get money in your pocket much faster than the traditional process. Compare offers from a few companies to see who can offer you the best price.
However, if your main goal is to make as much money on the sale as you possibly can, your best bet is to work with a local real estate agent. While this will take longer, it will almost certainly earn you a higher price for your Tampa home.
A cash homebuying company can be an excellent choice when you need to sell fast — most make cash offers in 48 hours or less and close within a few weeks. Tampa residents have many options to choose from, including national franchises, small local businesses and online iBuyers. However, keep in mind that these companies are likely to offer you less than you might make on the open market.
Yes, for the most part these companies are legit real estate investors and house-flippers. But of course there are bad apples in every bunch, so be sure to do your research before you commit to working with one — and never sign a contract without reading it thoroughly first.