Searching for, “We Buy Houses Houston?” If so, keep reading. We’ll show you some of the top homebuyers, the selling process, and how to avoid being the victim of a bad apple.
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- Searching for “We Buy Houses Houston?”
- Selling Your House to a Cash Buyer
- We Buy Houses Houston Companies
- Avoiding Buyer Scams
Searching for “We Buy Houses Houston?”
If you’re in the Houston, TX area, you’ve probably heard about a few We Buy Houses Houston companies. These companies advertise that they’ll pay cash for ugly, distressed, or hard-to-sell houses, often closing on your house in a matter of days.
You might be wondering if it’s a scam or if there are any legitimate cash homebuyers in the metro area. Many of the We Buy Houses Houston companies are well-known and trustworthy.
The best of these companies formulate fair cash offers based on your home’s condition, the location, repairs needed, and the average price of other homes nearby.
They purchase your house at a price below the fair market value. Then they cover the cost of any needed repairs and renovations themselves.
Once your house is renovated, they’ll list it for sale or rent it out to earn a profit from it. But unfortunately, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch.
Avoiding Bad Apples
Some cash buyers are nothing more than con artists that ask you for upfront money to cover bogus fees and never intend to buy your house.
Some will back out of the purchase contract at the last minute – but not until they’ve collected a handful of non-refundable fees from you.
You may come across fly-by-night “cash buyers” who try to lock your home under contract not to buy it themselves, but to shop around to other investors who may or may not be interested.
There’s only one way to be sure the home buyer you’re considering is reliable. You need to know the red flags that indicate you’re dealing with a We Buy Houses Houston scam.
Keep reading to learn about the process of selling to a cash buyer, finding legitimate We Buy Houses Houston companies, and the red flags that scream “Scam!”
Selling Your House to a Cash Buyer
Selling your house to a cash buyer is much different from the traditional selling process. You won’t work with a real estate agent to list your house for sale. In fact, the house won’t be listed for sale at all.
When you sell to a cash buyer, you won’t need to prepare your home for showings, open houses, or even photos. Cash buyers are in the business of buying homes “as is.”
They don’t care if it’s messy, severely damaged, outdated, or just ugly. Cash home buyers look for homes they can get at a price below the current market value.
If a house needs repairs, has sustained damage, is in danger of foreclosure, is vacant, or needs a facelift to appeal to buyers, it’s probably of interest to a “fix and flip” investor (which is what most cash buyers are).
This is because they know they can purchase the house in cash for a good deal, then make repairs and sell it for a profit.
How ‘We Buy Houses’ Companies Work
Here’s how selling to a cash home buyer typically works:
- You’ll contact the cash home buyer and give basic information on your home’s condition and location, or they may contact you to get information if your property fits their criteria.
- The company will independently research and initially analyze your home from your answers and public data. At this point, they may send you a preliminary cash offer. Most will try to accommodate move date preferences.
- The company will schedule an appointment or visit to inspect your home in more detail. Then, they’ll make you a no-obligation finalized cash offer. The offer won’t be good forever – usually around 30 days.
- If you choose to accept the offer, the company will meet with you at a local title company to close on the house and give you the cash payment. Many cash home buyers can do this in as little as 7 to 10 days. It can take up to a few weeks if there are other issues, like liens on the house or a lengthy title insurance and underwriting process.
A reliable cash buyer will allow you to take control of the process. They won’t pressure you to accept an offer you’re not comfortable with and they’ll never harass you.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to sell the home, if their offer is fair, if the conditions they’ve proposed are agreeable, and if the process will work on your preferred timeline.
If you don’t like the offer, you’re free to walk away without paying any fees or moving forward with the sale. There’s almost no downside to at least entertaining an offer.
It’s Like Winning the Lottery
Selling your home can be compared to winning the lottery. When you win, you get to choose if you’d rather get one lump sum payment or regular annuity payments.
The lump-sum means you get a large amount of money right away, but it will be less than the amount of your actual winnings.
A $228.4 million lottery winner would receive a $134 million lump-sum payment. Similarly, the cash offer you get for your home from a Houston We Buy Homes company gives you a large amount of money right away.
But it will be less than your home’s actual market value. The lottery annuity payments option gives you yearly payments that increase by 5% each year for 29 years.
It takes longer to get the money, but by waiting, you get the full amount by the end. A $228.4 million lottery winner would get $228.4 million by the end of the 29 years.
If you sell your home traditionally by listing it with a real estate agent, it takes longer sell but you’re more likely to get the full market value for it.
Cash Buyer Pros
- Less hassle – No repairs, staging the home, showings, open houses, photo sessions, or searching for the right real estate agent when you sell to a cash buyer.
- Lower cost to you – The seller traditionally pays closing costs and covers the real estate agent commissions for both the listing agent and buyer’s agent (typically 6% of the purchase price). But selling to a cash buyer usually means you don’t pay any closing costs and negates the need for a real estate agent.
- No negotiating with buyers – Listing your home for sale on the MLS often means you’ll be negotiating with buyers, especially in a buyer’s market. When a buyer has cash in hand, they’ll make a serious, fair offer the first time.
- Faster sale process – Your home could sit on the market for weeks or months before attracting a buyer. And if your buyer’s financing falls through at the last minute, you’re right back to square one. Since cash buyers don’t need financing and make an offer with the cash already available, the process moves much faster.
- Accommodates sudden changes – Unexpected things happen. If you’re facing foreclosure, are relocating for a job, or are experiencing a life change like divorce or the death of a family member, selling to a cash buyer allows you to sell the house and move quickly.
Cash Buyer Cons
- Lower offer – Cash buyers make money by purchasing houses below market value, fixing them up to sell, and keeping the profit. This means they have to pay less than the ARV – the after repair value – for your house. They’ll subtract the needed repairs and renovations from the actual market value of your home to determine how much they’ll offer you.
- No room for negotiation – With very few exceptions, cash home buyers won’t negotiate with you. A traditional home buyer’s offer is based on how much they like the house and think it’s worth, so it’s usually negotiable. Cash offers from investors are based on earning a profit from fixing and flipping the house, and how much they know it’s worth. That’s why cash offers are usually “take it or leave it.”
- Lack of third-party guidance – In a traditional real estate transaction, your real estate agent is there to answer any questions you may have or offer recommendations when you’re unsure. They guide you through the sale and closing process and prepare you for upcoming steps. Some cash buyers can be very helpful and supportive during the sale and closing process, but they don’t work on your behalf as an agent would.
Selling your house to a cash buyer has many more pros than cons for the right homeowner. If you’re okay with a lower offer, selling to an investor who pays with cash can be hugely beneficial.
We Buy Houses Houston: 4 Legitimate Cash Buyers
WeBuyHouses.com Houston, TX
We Buy Houses Houston is the local arm of this well-known nationwide network of cash home buyers. You can visit their website or call the Houston office to give basic information about your property.
After reviewing the information, they’ll decide whether or not your home may meet their criteria.
If it does, they’ll set up a time to come and inspect your home in person. After the inspection, they’ll make a cash offer with no obligation. Closing takes as few as seven days.
- Phone: (832) 688-4566
- Website: https://webuyhouses.com/TX/Houston/
Houston House Buyers is another respectable house buyer to consider. This company allows you to choose the closing date. They also cover all costs associated with selling your house, including closing costs.
You won’t need to make any repairs to sell to Houston House Buyers. As long as your house meets their buying criteria, they’ll schedule an appointment to learn more about your home.
Next, they’ll provide you with a written cash offer with no obligation to accept. If you accept it, you’ll meet with an agent at a local title company to close. Closing takes as little as seven days.
- Phone: (832) 900-7288
- Website: https://www.houstonhousebuyers.com/
You may want to check out Sunrise House Buyers based in Houston, TX. This company purchases houses with cash to renovate and sell or rent it out.
With a small, local team and experience buying and selling homes, Sunrise has a good reputation in the area. You’ll fill out a form on their website or call them to share a little information about your house.
If it meets preliminary criteria, they will schedule an appointment to come and view your home on a day that’s convenient for you. While they’re there, you’ll be able to ask questions and address any concerns.
At the end, you’ll be presented with a fair cash offer for your home. If you choose to accept, you’ll meet with the agent at a local title company to close and receive the cash for your house.
- Phone: (281) 306-5191
- Website: https://www.sunrisehousebuyerstx.com/
WeBuyUglyHouses.com Houston, TX
We Buy Ugly Houses is a national franchise with locations all over the nation. They’ve been in business since 1996, have bought more than 100,000 homes, and call themselves America’s #1 Home Buyer.
We Buy Ugly Houses Houston pays for your closing costs and allows you to choose when you want to close.
First, call the company or use the form on their website to give information about your house. Then, they’ll review the information to see if your house might meet their purchase criteria.
If it does, they will quickly get in touch with you to set up an appointment to inspect the house. While the agent looks over your home, they’ll be able to answer questions you might have.
Next, you’ll receive a finalized cash offer that you are free to accept or reject. As one of the largest homebuying companies, they’re sure to give you a fair deal.
- Phone: (866) 200-6475
- Website: https://www.webuyuglyhouses.com/houston/
We Buy Houses Houston: Avoiding Scams
While many cash home buyers are trustworthy, legitimate companies and individuals, scams are out there. And knowing what to look for helps you avoid being their next victim.
Before you share information about your home online or over the phone, you should be familiar with red flags that may indicate you’re dealing with a scammer, not a real cash buyer.
Homeowners without real estate knowledge or experience can be taken advantage of by crafty con artists.
Still, knowing the signs of a We Buy Houses Houston scam will keep you from getting involved with a questionable company.
Say No to Admin or Processing Fees
Being asked to pay administrative or processing fees is a sign you’re dealing with a scammer. Usually, an unsuspecting homeowner will pay a fake company a fee anywhere from $200 to $1,000 upfront.
After the fee is paid, the homeowner won’t hear anything else from the company (sometimes they’ll change their number, delete the website, or remove social media pages).
They may take the fee, then tell the homeowner that they’re not interested in buying the home after all.
Remember: Cash home buyers want to pay you, not the other way around. Avoid any company that charges upfront fees of any kind.
Ask If They’ll Put Up Earnest Money
Some of the cash buyers aren’t technically scammers, but don’t use traditional buying tactics. Instead of looking for homes they can buy with cash and flip for a profit, they’re just looking for homeowners who are willing to accept a lower cash offer.
They won’t actually buy the house from you. Instead, they’ll give you a cash offer. If you accept it, they’ll draw up a purchase contract with clauses that allow them to back out of the deal.
They’ll then try to get another investor to buy the house and take over the contract, which may not happen. If it doesn’t, you’ve wasted weeks or months with your house under a purchase contract that ends up being void.
You can quickly find out if this is the situation by asking a cash home buyer to put up earnest money once they’ve made an offer that you’re willing to accept.
Earnest money isn’t an additional cost – it’s just a small percentage of the total paid to you a little sooner than the remainder of the cash payment.
One exception to this rule is dealing with an investor who tells you upfront that they’re a wholesaler.
This means they’ll find a buyer for your house at an agreed-upon price and collect an assignment, or finder’s, fee from the purchase price for doing it. To learn more, read our complete guide on wholesale real estate contracts.
Reject Offers from Buyers Who Don’t Inspect Your House
You wouldn’t buy a house without seeing and inspecting it first – why would a serious investor? If a company makes a cash offer on your house without seeing it, take it as a big red flag.
Wire fraud scams typically start this way. The “buyer” makes an offer, you accept it, and a check is sent to you for more than the amount of the offer.
They contact you about the mistake, apologize, and ask you to wire the overpaid amount back to them. After you do, you’ll find that the original check has bounced – and you’ve already sent the scammer thousands of dollars.
It’s not entirely uncommon for companies to consider remote viewing, like video walk-throughs, an adequate inspection of a house, but it’s not the best practice.
Even in the best-case scenario, where the buyer really does want to buy your house sight unseen, you risk getting the short end of the stick.
Without viewing and inspecting your home, the buyer doesn’t know the true condition of the home. Your home could be worth much more than their generic cash offer.
Can You Trust Houston We Buy Houses Companies?
With these potential scams in mind, can you trust any of the We Buy Houses Houston companies? Absolutely, but you need to do your homework before getting involved. Look for reviews. Ask around.
Steer clear of companies that display red flags. And be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau. You should get any cash offer in writing and handle closing paperwork at a local institution you know and trust.
As long as you work with a reputable cash buyer, the process will run smoothly, and you’ll have the payment in as little as seven days.
Selling your house in Houston for cash can enable you to move quickly, avoid foreclosure, cut losses on a failing rental property, or avoid paying for expensive repairs.
Once you’ve sold your home, you’ll be free to start fresh somewhere new – and put down a hefty down payment or become a cash buyer yourself!