Uncovering the Mystery of the “We Buy Homes for Cash” Websites

Whether you’ve just inherited a house that you can’t (or don’t want to) keep, you need to move quickly, or you’re in a financial hardspot, those we buy homes for cash sites may seem like a good option. However, in a real estate market that strongly favors sellers, you might be better off going with the traditional sale. 

Before contacting one of these sites, you should know the truth about them and read up on some top agent insights on the market.

Why are we buy homes for cash sites appealing?

Cash for homes sites are appealing because they give the homeowner a way out and receive a large sum of cash up front. Closing on these houses typically takes a fraction of the time it would take for a normal closing, which can take up to 45 days or more if there are roadblocks along the way. 

Also, when you sell a house using these sites, they’re typically bought as is, meaning you don’t have to make any repairs or worry about staging. You don’t have to worry about appraisals because the companies use local market data to come up with an offer. You don’t have to worry if the buyer’s financing goes through since it’s being paid by cash.

Who are the people that run these sites?

The people who run these sites vary. Sometimes you’ll find individual investors who flip homes or will turn them into a rental property. Sometimes you’ll find larger investors who buy nicer homes and sell them off pretty quickly to buyers looking for an easy experience.  Then you may have large companies who buy up all sorts of properties and either hold on to them as rental properties or to sell for large profits.

What are the risks of selling for cash?

People who use these websites tend to be in a financial situation where they need to get rid of a house they can’t afford. However, while these sites may offer a faster way to get cash and sell the home, you could lose a lot of money on the sale. Instead of getting the full value of the home if you were to go through a realtor, you could get somewhere between 65% to 94% of the value.

Watch out for the signs of a scam

Selling your house fast and for cash may seem like a dream come true, but there are people out there who will pray for people who are in a tough spot. They know that you’re desperate and they’ll offer you far less than your house is worth. 

Not only do you have to worry about getting less money than your house is worth, you could fall victim to a bait and switch type scam. These scammers will tell the buyer that they’ll take the verbal agreement between you two and write it up for you to sign. Since you’re in a rush to sell, they could present you with a contract that is very different than what you agreed to and if you don’t read it closely, it could be disastrous for you. 

Is this right for you?

If your area is experiencing a strong seller’s market and you work with an experienced realtor, you could get more than the market value for your house. Plus, when housing inventory is low, you could receive multiple offers (sometimes above asking) and the house may not even stay on the market very long before the offers come rolling in.