If you’ve been driving around in my market, chances are you’ve seen some billboards advertising companies that buy houses.
Often times they say things like “We Buy Houses!” or “Cash For Your House”.
Are These “We Buy Houses Companies” Credible?
How do I know if the local house buying companies out there are honest and credible?
Well… sometimes they all look the same at the start… but below we’ll walk you through some things to look for in a local house buying company before you should work with them.
Buying and selling houses is a valid and respectable profession that can help communities and house sellers in many ways. But just like any other line of work – a minority of house buyers in any market are the ones who make the rest of us look bad.
There are people who are really great, ethical folks who improve their neighborhoods one property at a time.
And then there’s shady, dishonest people who put money ahead of the well being of their clients and who would sign the contract to sell their own grandmother with one hand while stabbing you in the back with the other – as long as they were making enough money.
Yes, they are out there.
We’ll help you avoid these “shady house buyers” so you can work with honest, ethical, and reputable local companies who can buy your house for a fair all cash offer and close on your schedule.
But let’s not focus on the negative – at least not yet.
First, let’s cover exactly what the best house-flippers are doing.
What Reputable House Buyers Are Doing
- Helping folks improve their lives by accessing the money they needright away. People often need the cash in their house to cover unexpected medical expenses, or to relocate to be close to a relative. We can make that happen in just a few days, and we deliver peace of mind.
- Helping sellers get rid of a burdensome property without the hassle of having to list it with a broker and wait months and month for a sale.
- Creating local jobs. We hire plumbers, contractors, electricians, brokers, title reps, loan officers, administrators and many other folks along the way. The average real estate transaction involves 86 people from start to finish. Our investments help create real jobs for people around.
- Buying US products. We spend tons of money on materials that are made right here in the USA – that creates jobs in our timber mills, factories, supply shops, distribution centers and more. The US economy depends on steady improvement, and that requires investment from folks like us.
- Increasing the value of neighborhoods. When we improve a house, we’re helping to increase the value of the entire community. We often repair abandoned and neglected houses, turning them into beautiful homes for families. That activity strengthens the city.
- Increasing the tax base. When a new buyer takes over one of our properties, they’ll pay a higher tax rate based on the new and improved value. Those taxes go to pay for our schools, fire, police, libraries, streets and other valuable pieces of infrastructure. Again, improving our neighborhoods.
Pretty cool stuff, right?
Lots of people think of house-flipping as a get-rich-quick scheme. That’s fueled by silly “reality” shows that amp up the drama because the reality of what we do on a daily basis is actually pretty boring.
Most of our work is coordinating with lots of people to make sure things are happening on time. We have to keep track of lots of moving parts.
So let’s get back to how you can use this information to find out if someone is a credible investor, and not just pulling a house buying scam.
How To Ensure You’re Working With A Reputable Local House Buyer
When you talk with a local house buyer to potentially buy your house… ask them some of the questions below to ensure they’re reputable, knowledgeable, and honest.
Ask open-ended questions like:
- How do you help your clients?
- What do you do for people?
- Can you tell me more about your services?
- What aspect of your business makes you the proudest?
- How would you describe your investment philosophy?
- How can I know that you’ll close on my house when you say you will?
Second, look for tell tale signs of tactics that those few shady operators tend to use.
- “Kitchen table closings” – If a property buyer tries to get you to sign the deed (ownership) of your house over to them at your house, rather than a professional place like a closing attorney or title company… be leery. Most reputable house buying services will perform the actual closing of the sale at a neutral 3rd party place… like a title company. This ensures everything is done right and on the up and up.
- Pressuring you into a fast closing – If a house buyer tries to pressure you into selling your house and says that you have to make the decision today, be leery. Most reputable house buying services will make you and offer and that offer will be on the table for at least 2-7 days (minimum) for you to make a decision. The reason reputable house buying services like ours do place deadlines on our offers is because the market changes and values can change week to week depending on other sales in the area. We buy houses multiple times through a month, which means we are a credible company. When we make you an offer we’re assuring you that the cash to purchase your house is ready and we’ll reserve that cash for several days so if you do want to sell your house, we can close on your schedule. If you feel the offer isn’t a fit for you, then we’ll assign those funds to help another seller with their home sale.
Most scammers are looking for a quick score, and not an in-depth interview.
Chances are good that they’ll find excuses to get off the phone and move on to someone who doesn’t ask too many questions.
True investors who run honest and ethical house buying services, however, are building long-term businesses based on relationships and community development.
So when you’re looking at one of the “we buy houses companies“… never be afraid to ask questions!