Selling Your House

Updated on April 11, 2011
M.H. asks from Midlothian, TX
14 answers

We are thinking seriously about putting our house up for sale to get something bigger. I have seen online companies who call themselves home investors who will buy your house directly. Has anyone had any experience with these type businesses? Are they legitimate?

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answers from Dallas on

My good friend's husband got a job out of state and she was desperate to sell their house but with the economy no one was buying or even looking at her house. She contacted 2 different house investors who both gave her an offer that was such an insult that she's still laughing about it till this day. She finally did sell her house after it was on the market for a year. She did reduce the price and just broke even by not having to owe but yet not making a profit but she said it was better then the offers the investors gave her. Best of luck to you!

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answers from Omaha on

I would suggest putting your house on the market with an agent. I am in Omaha. Our community wasn't hit as hard as other parts of the country by the housing crisis and economy, but there has been fear so that halted buying and spending just the same. It seems to be easing up a bit now. We put our house on the market on March 1 and it sold in 3 weeks. Here is what worked for us:
1)The advice Catherine C. gave is absolutely correct. Normally we would have sold our house on our own, but due to the current state of the economy we felt we needed the extra exposure an agent could give us. We interviewed 4 agents. The one we went with is a rock star. You see her listings in the local paper,home show, magazines and website. She really aggressively marketed our home through these outlets and also conducted open houses. (the second one was actually canceled because the house sold!) She really did her homework and negotiated the sell of our home well as well as the home we purchased. So look for an agent that has a lot of experience and is willing to go the extra mile for you.
2)We de-cluttered our home a lot. We sent many things to the Goodwill or just threw it away. We staged our home as similar as we could to model homes currently on the market. We have neutral color walls and carpet throughout and added fresh flowers or inexpensive flower arrangements and greenery around to add pops of color and coziness.
3) We hired a cleaning service to deep clean the house. This was money WELL SPENT in my opinion! I have two children, ages 2 and 3, so it really helped give me a huge head start in regards to keeping the house in show place condition.
4) Be realistic about your listing price. We new we were going to take a bit of a hit on our house to get out of it because it is truly a buyer's market right now. We looked at the prices of the other homes in our neighborhood and started with a list price in the middle of them. The upside though is you will more than likely make up for it on the other end when you purchase another home, so it kind of all comes out in the wash when you look at it from that angle.
5) We always plant a St. Joseph statue in the yard and pray for a quick sell. We have always done this with all of our homes and they do sell within 4-6 weeks. The last two homes have sold in 3 weeks.
I hope this information helps you. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My husband is a real estate broker, and we have had experience with both these online companies (total scam, don't do it) and also auction companies (again, expensive for you with no guarantee of a sale). The best thing you can do is drive around your neighborhood and if you see one realtor's sign over and over, call that realtor and ask them to make a listing presentation to you. They will pull up comparable sales in your area, tour your home, and then tell you what they feel your home is worth, and what they'll do to sell it (their marketing plan). It's best to go through a listing presentation with several different real estate agents (ask family, friends and co-workers for recommendations). You can ask the realtors questions and get a feel for how they work. Pick the agent you feel you get along with best, and who has a plan you feel will work when selling your home. The 5-6% that you will pay to your agent/the buyer's agent is money well spent, believe me. This is one of the biggest transactions you will make in your life, why not interview and then hire the best professional you can to represent you?

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answers from Washington DC on

OH HECK NO!!! They may be legitimate - but they will buy your home for rock bottom price and you will get the short end of the stick.

Find a real estate agent - use Angie's List - better business bureau and find a reputable agent.

Make your home ready to sell in order to get the most money for it.
make sure your finances are in order and your credit report is good to go for a new mortgage - you don't want to be caught off guard if your home sells quick and you can't buy a new place!!

Before you sell - find an inspector and have them come and inspect the home to see what needs to be done BEFORE you sell - this will make things much easier when you do get a contract on the house and they have their own home inspection - you don't have to worry about what they will find or say needs to be replaced, etc.

Have an old roof? Expect potential buyers to want credit to replace it.
Same with heater/AC - especially in Texas!! :)

Clear out the clutter. Yes, I know - but really - it will sell faster if people don't have to walk around toys - and can see themselves there.

Have open houses - PLENTY of signage and advertising!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Unless you currently own your home out-right you will not make enough to pay of your mortgage loan. They buy cheap and flip. It really works for older folks who own their homes, but don't have the money or know-how to fix up their homes and to get out fast and easy with a lump sum in their pocket. Also, it's good for those that are looking to get out due to financial reasons quickly and at least pay off a portion of their loan.
Find a good realtor and put it on the market. It's not as bad out their as it was a year ago. Still rough, but not as bad.



answers from Dallas on

Maybe you could call a realtor's office and ask them if they are legitimate.



answers from Dallas on

Home Investors are legit but they are probably not for you. They do not pay market value; they buy below market value and then re-sell at market value hoping to make a little profit. Unless you are desparate to sell, do it the old fashioned way. The good news is that the spring and summer are the best selling months. So get your home ready to list with a Realtor before school's out.



answers from Chicago on

You have to be very wary of a company that buys homes. I looked into them a few years ago to find out exactly what they did. They can be legit but the way they work is they pay a below market amount-sometimes way below. And then sell to someone else at a much higher amount and get thier profit. They usually have a list of people or companies looking to buy homes or buildings. and unfortunately, you do have to watch out for some realtors because there are a few that connect to these companies and get a $$ for their trouble. Be wary if your realtor brings someone to see you house and offers within a few days. The best thing to do is know your neighborhood and how much homes are selling for around you.



answers from Eugene on

I have not dealt with a company like this. But I'd be careful of an online company that offers to buy your house. There is alot of money at stake and a company that was online and dishonest could quickly disappear. If they are located in another state, it hampers your ability to go after them if something goes wrong.

Talk to a reputable realtor first. Or two or three. It doesn't cost you anything and they can create a report with a list of comparable homes for sale and sold in your area.



answers from Dallas on

If you don't have to sell now, I'd wait. Unless you can get a really good deal on a new house. I am trying to sell my house right now and it's a nightmare. The market is so overloaded with homes, everybody is just waiting for a bargain, new homes come on the market almost every week and there are no buyers out there. I've had only 4 showings since January and it's very frustrating. I have never dealt with those cash "investors" but I'm pretty sure they just buy houses for a quick turnaround, taking advantage of homeowners who are desperate to get out. In order for them to make money they probably pay way under market price. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I am a REALTOR, and I agree with a lot of what has been said by others. Some of these companies are legit, but they will ofer you investor type money, which means you end up with less in your pocket than you could have gotten on the market.

I am in Denton County, but know agents I could refer you to closer to your area. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Good Luck!
K. M.



answers from Dallas on

If you are up to date with your payments, then the real estate/ home investor group isn't for you. They are a legitimate group but they specialize in helping people who are in trouble in their house. They can negotiate with the bank to help avoid foreclosure. Your best option is probably to sell it traditionally.

Many of those investors do get distressed properties at a great price though so they may be able to help you find something bigger at a good deal. You may want to call and see if they are sitting on a property that they may be willing to negotiate on.



answers from Dallas on

Most of these companies offer to purchase your home for LESS than Market Value. Contact a Licensed Real Estate Agent (like me) :)
Ask for a Market Analysis for your home..Good Luck



answers from Dallas on

Several years ago, we traded up in housing to a new home. The builder agreed to buy our old house at closing at a set price (slightly less than our asking price) if we had not sold it on the market (with a realtor) prior to closing. When we wrote the realtor contract (on the sale of our our house), this was specified, so the builder did not pay any real estate fees when he purchased our old house. I know the real estate market has changed quite a bit but if you are trading up in size and value, talk to the builder of the homes you are interested in - they want to move inventory. This would probably not work if you are buying a resale.

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