Should You Write a “Love Letter” to a Home Seller?
Dan S | Apr 26, 2022
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By Olivia G on Dec 17, 2021
Have you driven by a "we buy houses" billboard or yard sign recently and wondered who is behind them? They’re often accompanied by the mention of “we pay cash now” and “for any condition home” and “call now!" They're catchy and get your attention.
And are they a legitimate way to get cash for your house fast or are they a scam?
The first thing to understand if you're looking to sell your home is that these "buy fast" offers are not the same as an all-cash offer that you may receive when you list your house. So, what’s the difference?
The “we buy houses” companies are often run by investors and real estate moguls who want to flip houses. They have the leverage to pay in cash and turn their investments around quickly.
Let's quickly walk through the difference between investors promising quick cash for ugly houses and an all-cash offer from a homebuyer.
Understanding the “we buy houses” business model
Also known as quick house sale companies, these buyers aren't buying houses to live in.
So, are the “we buy houses fast” offers a scam?
Not necessarily. But while a reputable quick house sale company may not be trying to scam you, they are certainly not going to offer you top dollar for your home.
Sellers who call these companies usually receive an offer quickly, within 1-3 business days. While they do promise to pay cash, they pay below market value for homes. Their goal is to flip your home and sell it for profit.
According to a CNBC report from December 2020, the gross profit for house flipping is over $73,000.
This is money that could've ended up in the seller's pocket, instead.
So, why would someone opt to sell to a company like this?
It boils down to personal circumstances. But if you can avoid it, there are better options to sell your house for what it is worth.
Understanding a “cash offer” from a homebuyer
A cash offer for your house from a prospective homeowner is one of the most attractive offers you can get. Your agent will advise you that homeowners prefer all-cash offers because of the speed and certainty that the deal will close quickly.
Accept.inc is an innovative lender making it possible for any buyer who qualifies for a mortgage to make a cash offer in Denver or Portland, Oregon -- an offer as good as cash, no strings attached, proof of funds in the bank. That means you're not just waiting around hoping your house attracts the attention of the small number of buyers who have enough liquid cash laying around to pay for a whole house out of pocket at current sky-high prices. Nor are you pressured to sell to a house flipper who will only offer a fraction of what you could get in a more competitive market.
What does that mean for you, the seller? You can sell your house quickly, not subject to any financing or appraisal contingencies, at a sale price that makes everyone happy.
Pros and cons of both types of buyers
The real estate market in many cities across America was hot, hot, hot in 2021. Buying a house in a popular city, like Denver, Portland, D.C., Austin or Oakland, for example, required making an even more competitive offer than in previous years. In Colorado Springs, houses sold 2.8% above asking price in the month of June with an average sale price of $492k. Also according to the Denver Market Trends Report, the metro area housing market is similarly competitive with close-to-list prices, in the month of July, around 104%.
For homeowners looking to sell, it continues to be a great time to be a seller. And as the seller, it’s important to have all the information you need to make a smart decision about what offers to entertain.
Selling to the right buyer could easily equal many tens of thousands of extra dollars in your account at the end of the day. Plus, it can determine how smoothly the process goes from start to finish.
So what's the catch? Let's compare.
Quick house sale (“we buy houses”) companies:
For people trying to sell their homes quickly due to a job change, a potential repossession, needing to sell an inherited home out of state, or other emergency life circumstances, quick house sale companies can seem attractive.
No pressure to do repairs or make improvements
No house staging, showings or real estate agent required
Fast sale and access to cash
Selling house way below market value
High potential for getting scammed by a con artist preying on desperation
Hidden fees and contractual agreements
Homebuyers with all-cash offers:
Selling your house to a buyer who is actually interested in a primary residence is still the more traditional scenario -- but more often, these can also be cash buyers.
Whether you're weighing your options in a multi-offer situation (also known as a bidding war) or you only have a single offer, here's what you want to know about an all-cash offer from a homebuyer.
No risk of buyer finances falling through
No appraisal contingency
None, really! As a seller, you can refuse or accept any offer.
How to sell your house fast … the right way
The key difference between (1) companies that promise to “Buy your house now!” in Denver and (2) homebuyers coming forward with cash offers boils down to who benefits from the transaction.
With quick house sale companies, they’re the only ones benefiting. The seller is getting bottom dollar, and the company walks away with a massive profit margin.
With all-cash offers from a homebuyer, everyone benefits. It's a win-win-win. The buyer gets all the advantage of having cash on-hand when entering the housing market to buy. And the seller is guaranteed a much-faster-than-typical closing process. And agents don't deal with the hassle of deals that don't close and houses that need to be relisted.
Know the difference between “we buy houses for cash” and cash offers
It’s important for Colorado sellers to know that who they’re selling to is legit. The differences between “we buy houses for cash” and a homebuyer with a cash-offer are significant.
Learn more about the benefits of accepting an Accept.inc-backed offer.
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