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If you don’t have the time or capacity for a traditional home sale, selling to an iBuyer or another type of service that buys homes quickly may be just what you need. We Buy Houses is a company that works with homeowners all over the country to buy homes for cash. It’s a convenient option, especially if you really need to sell your home quickly, but how does it work? Here’s what to expect when you sell a home to We Buy Houses.
We Buy Houses overview
As the name implies, We Buy Houses is a homebuying company that has locations throughout the country. (The branding and name are licensed, so each branch will be different.) It will assess your home and make you a cash offer — after you reach out you’ll be contacted within 24 hours, and you’ll typically have an offer within 24 to 48 hours. There’s no need to make any repairs or prepare the home for showings, and you’re under no obligation to accept the offer if it doesn’t work for you. The process is typically much quicker and simpler than selling your home with a traditional listing agent.
One thing to note: We Buy Houses is different from the company often called We Buy Ugly Houses (its real name is HomeVestors). The two services are not affiliated, despite the similar names.
How does We Buy Houses work?
We Buy Houses buys homes of all types. The company purchases properties in as-is condition, meaning homeowners don’t have to do any repairs or maintenance before reaching out. (Although homes in better condition are likely to get higher offers, of course.) You sell directly to the company, with no need for real estate agents or listing the home on the market — which means there are no agent commissions or similar seller-related fees to be paid.
It will likely still be able to make you an offer even if your situation is unique: For example, according to its website it does not matter whether you still live there, if the property is vacant or even if it is currently occupied by a tenant. It can make an offer if you are behind on your mortgage payments, underwater or facing foreclosure as well. The homes it buys are typically turned around to investors, who fix them up for resale.
Selling your home to We Buy Houses
If you decide selling to We Buy Houses is the right decision, the process is fairly simple. Once a homeowner reaches out, whether by phone or by filling out a form online, the company will schedule an in-person visit for a representative to come and assess the property. This is different from some online services, which decide how much a home is worth remotely using online algorithms and available data.
Once the representative determines your home’s condition, you will receive a cash offer. This usually happens within 24 to 48 hours. If you accept, the company says it can typically close the deal in 7 to 14 days.
Keep in mind that this is a for-profit house-flipping venture. The company needs to make money on each transaction to stay in business, so the amount it offers for a home will likely not be as much as you could get in a traditional sale. They make it easy for you, but don’t expect to get top dollar on the sale.
Is We Buy Houses legitimate? Pros and cons
We Buy Houses is a legitimate homebuying company based in Texas. However, all its offices are independently owned and operated by individual licensees, so consumers may receive different levels of service from — and see different online reviews for — the various local branches. Here are some pros and cons of working with the company.
- Easy and convenient: We Buy Houses purchases properties as-is, regardless of condition — there is no need to make repairs, host open houses or even clean up if you don’t want to. It is able to buy a property even if the homeowner is behind on their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure.
- Quick process: Once you agree to an offer, the transaction can close in as few as 7 to 14 days.
- No Realtor commissions: In a traditional real estate sale, the seller is responsible for covering the agents’ commissions, which can total up to 6 percent of the purchase price. When you sell to We Buy Houses there are no agents involved, so there is no commission to be paid.
- Low offers: As with any buy-for-cash or iBuying company, We Buy Houses is a for-profit venture that needs to make money. The offer it makes you will not be as high as you’d be likely to get in a traditional on-market sale.
- No control of the process: The closing process will likely accommodate the company’s needs and timeline, not yours. If you need more flexibility, this could make the sale difficult for you.
- Lack of transparency: We Buy Houses is really a network of many independent contractors operating locally under the same brand name. This fact, combined with its fairly generic name, makes it difficult for consumers to research or perform due diligence on the company as a whole. Any online reviews you might find could be for branches other than your local one, or for competing homebuying companies with similar names.
We Buy Houses alternatives
We Buy Houses may have the most straightforward name, but there are many companies that buy houses out there. And enlisting a professional real estate agent is still the most common method of selling a house. Here are some home-selling alternatives to consider:
- National homebuyers: Other nationwide cash-for-homes companies, such as HomeVestors, work in a very similar way to We Buy Houses. These companies can assess your home and give you a cash offer, with a quick closing and no real estate commissions.
- Local homebuyers: Most markets also have similar locally based operations that might know the area better or offer more personalized service.
- iBuyers: Opendoor, Offerpad and other iBuyers operate completely digitally. These companies also provide cash offers within a quick turnaround time and no commission — though there could be service fees nearly equivalent to an agent’s commission.
- Home equity: If you need cash, home equity loans and HELOCs are an alternative that don’t require selling. These allow you to tap the equity you’ve built in your home to access a chunk of cash or a line of credit.
Where does We Buy Houses operate?
We Buy Houses doesn’t operate everywhere, but it has a presence in more than 200 markets, including many major U.S. cities. You can input your zip code online to find out if it is an option in your area. Licensees can be found in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
We Buy Houses vs. finding a local agent
Traditional home sales, with experienced local real estate agents, offer sellers the best chance to get top dollar for their home. It’s an agent’s job to get you the best deal possible. Agents can also provide much more personalized, one-on-one service and assistance throughout the home-selling process than an online company. The right agent will know your local market well, and can sell your home at a competitive price for your area.
We Buy Houses is a real home-buying company with licensed locations in more than 200 markets in 30 states. However, each location is independently owned and operated. Thus, it is difficult to do research on the brand overall: Each branch may offer varying levels of service, and garner very different online reviews.
Every home is different, and the amount you will be offered depends on your individual property. The location, condition and size of the home all play a part in determining its value. As with any homebuying company, We Buy Houses needs to make money on the deal, so whatever offer you get is likely to be on the low side. In exchange for a lower price, you get more speed and convenience than you would in a traditional sale.