How to Know When Companies That Buy Houses for Cash are Legitimate

How to Know When Companies That Buy Houses for Cash are Legitimate

You need money.

And fast.

With no other source of capital available, selling your house for cash seems the best way forward. You’re not alone! Indeed, around 17% of all house sales are bought in this manner.

Unfortunately, though, some companies that buy houses for cash are far from scrupulous. In fact, many of them are out for one thing alone: Profit.

Your financial interests aren’t always taken seriously.

Thankfully, they’re not all bad. Many more of these companies are trustworthy, reputable and have your best intentions at heart. The trick is knowing how to tell one from the other. Let us help!

Keep reading to learn exactly how to know which cash buying companies to use.

1. Is It a Bonafide Company?

A good first step to establishing a cash buying company’s legitimacy is checking that it is, indeed, a company!

Many buyers out advertise their services with just a simple contact number alongside it. You won’t see any company logo, slogan or name. Be wary whenever this is the case.

Serious businesses almost always promote their name and brand alongside any marketing effort. After all, they want people to know about them, and not just their offer.

Be diligent in vetting any supposed company you’re considering working with. Verify the name (if you can find it) with the Better Business Bureau and/or the Chamber of Commerce, and trace the number provided too.

2. Does It Look Legitimate?

We all know that looks can be deceiving.

We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover.

It’s certainly possible for companies that look flash and professional to run illegitimate operations. Likewise, businesses that are amateur and low-class in appearance can work to the highest standards of professional conduct.

However, there’s still something to be said for paying attention to the cash buying company’s image.

A hand-painted poster full of spelling mistakes doesn’t exactly create an impression of trust-worthiness! By contrast, an aesthetically-pleasing ad in a prominent location sends better signals.

3. Does It Have a Website?

Modern companies know the importance of having a presence online.

After all, with so many people using the internet, it’s a key source of business.

Be sure to check if the company you’re going to solicit has a website. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a tell-tale sign of fraudulence. It should, however, raise alarm bells if there’s no website to be found.

Consider the quality of the site as well. Is it populated with content? Are there spelling mistakes and strange images? Is it formatted professionally, easy to navigate, and full of the information you’d expect to find?

Again, websites are an integral part of a company’s image. Thus, see it as a red flag if the site seems suspect for any reason.

4. What Does the Internet Say?

The internet is often a great source of information for validating a business.

Think of it like going to TripAdvisor before going to a restaurant! Reluctant to waste time and money, you want to see what other people have to say about the establishment first.

Take the same approach with the cash buying company. Look for reviews online to see what past clients have to say about their experience.

A mass of 5* reviews is a good sign that you’re in good hands.

Looking for more information on the cash buying process? This post has everything you need to know.

5. Is There a Sight-Unseen Policy?

Many scam companies employ a ‘sight-unseen’ policy.

Essentially, they’ll offer to pay for your house without even looking at it first.

That might sound appealing. After all, the property might be falling apart! Unfortunately, every legitimate business will want to know what they’re buying.

It isn’t in their financial interest to purchase a dud. Anyone saying they’re willing to take this approach is likely to be a con artist.

6. Is the Deal Verbal or Written?

People hoping to sell their house in a hurry tend to like the sound of a verbal contract.

It speaks to a lack of red tape and bureaucracy- it’s a deal based on trust, which can proceed with none of the time-consuming contract negotiations, and so on.

It’s also a recipe for disaster.

You need to know the deal you’re entering into. Rest-assured that the verbal contract you enter into will end up being altered to your detriment!

Only ever sign a contract that’s written down.

7. Have You Read the Contract?

Oh, and it goes without saying that you need to read the contract too!

We get it:

You’re in a hurry, which makes you feel disinclined to read a lengthy document full of legalese.

However, a common scam is for cash buyers to change the contract just before the seller signs it. People agree to a set of terms and the buyer goes away to write it up.

In the next meeting, the seller signs the document without realizing it’s been altered.

Failing to read the contract leaves you open to this eventuality. Always inspect and understand the terms you’re committing to.

8. What Does Your Gut Say?

Finally, it’s worth listening to your gut!

Always walk away if something doesn’t feel right with the company you’ve been in conversation with. These people will try and pressure you into using their service.

But stick to your guns. If you’ve done your due diligence and something doesn’t feel right, then be sure to look elsewhere.

Time to Find Legitimate Companies that Buy Houses for Cash

Houses are often a person’s most valuable asset.

For that reason, selling it for cash is often a useful last-resort in times of financial hardship.

Unfortunately, among the plethora of companies that buy houses for cash, a certain percentage of them exist only to take sellers for a ride. Scams are common, and desperate sellers can lose huge sums of money at their hands.

Knowing how to identify the bad apples is vital to avoid such misfortune. Hopefully, this post will help you do exactly that.

Are you looking to sell your house in Austin TX for cash? Click here to learn how we can be of service and give us a call today.

Questions to Ask When Selling Your Home to an Investor

Questions to Ask When Selling Your Home to an Investor

selling your home to an investor

Selling your home to an investor is a different process than selling it to someone who is about to move in. Investors are looking for a property that will increase in value. This means that they may never actually see the property or live in it – in fact, they may just be buying your house to tear it down and build on the lot!

However, that’s not to say that you should accept the first offer you get from a real estate investor with no questions asked. Read on for a few questions that you should always ask once an investor expresses interest in your home.

What Type of Investor Are You Selling To?

It’s important to keep in mind that real estate investment takes many forms. Different types of property investments come with different requirements on your end.

Buy and Hold Investing

If an investor is trying to buy your home to add it to a portfolio of properties that they manage, you will still likely need to pass inspections and do minor improvements. Someone will be taking residence of your property – just not the person that you are selling to. Selling to a buy and hold investor will likely be the same process as selling to potential residents.

Flipping

Companies and individuals may flip homes as well, which means that they will renovate the existing structure and sell it for a profit. This means that you won’t have to do as much work before you close your sale. There’s no point in redoing the kitchen yourself to get a higher price if the next owners are just going to redo it anyway!

Development

Similar to flipping, development investors will buy your house to tear it down. A new property will be built from the ground up instead. Of course, this means that the state of your actual home does not matter.

A development investor will usually purchase all of the homes in a single area. Holding out for longer can get you a higher price in some cases.

Wholesale Investing

Finally, wholesale investing is the process of buying up homes on a very large scale. Usually done by investment companies, wholesale real estate investing can be completed very quickly. This is because most of the time these investment companies have a list of buyers waiting for homes to become available, and will turn around and sell your home at a markup.

What Work Needs to be Done?

Though the answer to this question will likely depend on what type of investor you are selling to, it’s still important to ask. In most cases, you’ll have to do very little work to your property before selling it to an investor.

However, if they’re looking for a rental property to put on the market immediately, or will be living in the house while they flip it, they may want several inspections and repairs to be done. Keep this in mind while negotiating: if you have to do work on your home to close the deal, make sure that you see a reflection in the final sale price.

How Will Payment Work?

Always ask an investor how their payment will work, and how they came up with their offer. Most of the time, selling to an investor means that you will get a complete payment in cash. While this can be tempting (especially since you may not have to give a real estate agent a cut if you’re getting an offer), keep in mind that an investor wouldn’t make an offer if they didn’t think that they could turn around and sell it for more money.

Make sure you’re clear on how much you can expect to receive, when you’ll receive it, and how they determined that figure. It may also be worth asking them if they’re willing to cover your closing costs to expedite the process – like any taxes or insurance charges.

When Will You Have to Move Out?

Investment in real estate is different than buying a new home. The timeline moves much faster, and you can expect to close the deal in a matter of weeks. There is no waiting around for a loan, fewer inspections and no repairs to be done in some cases, and no holding the property in escrow.

With that in mind, you have to ask when you’ll have to leave the property. While getting cash in your pocket quicker is always a good thing, you also want to make sure that you have enough time to pack everything up and move into your new home.

There Are Many Reasons to Consider Selling Your Home to an Investor

There’s no one reason why you may want to consider selling to an investor. Maybe you inherited a house from a relative, are currently losing money on a rental property, or have already listed your home and didn’t have interest from potential residents.

Whatever the reason, you should always ask the above questions when selling your home to an investor. You want to make sure that you’re getting a fair shake.

Contact us today if you’re in Austin and want to sell your home quickly! We’ll offer you fair market value for your property, saving you the hassle of having to list your home and deal with real estate agents. Best of all, you’ll have the cash in your bank account in no time at all!

7 Reasons You Should Consider Selling Your House During Divorce

7 Reasons You Should Consider Selling Your House During Divorce

In the United States, there are about 277 divorces per hour, which equal about over 2 million divorces per year.

Since over 64.1 percent of Americans are homeowners, it’s safe to say many of the couples going through a divorce own a home together.

If you’re wondering what happens to the house in the event of a divorce, this article is for you. Read on to learn why selling your house during divorce is a good idea.

1. You Cannot Afford the Payments

Although you might be tempted to keep your house during the divorce, you have to think about whether or not you can afford the payments. Most things are easier when you’re dealing with two incomes.

Keep in mind when you own a house, you have to pay for more than the mortgage. Home ownership requires you to pay for insurance, taxes, utilities, and repairs.

If paying for the house expenses equals more than one-third of the price of the home, you might not be able to afford much else. When all of your money goes into paying for the house, it might not leave you money for groceries, entertainment, and savings.

Don’t rely on what you might get in child support to take care of the house costs. Remember, child support only lasts until your child turns 18.

If you’re on the fence about selling the house, make sure you won’t sacrifice your well being.

2. You Have to Pay More in Interest

If you’re planning on buying out your spouse, you may have to take many things into consideration. On top of paying for the interest of the refinanced new loan, you will have to pay for the equity their half of the house has accumulated. This means your new refinanced loan may be more than the original loan you both took out.

When you sell the home, on the other hand, you can split the equity equally.

Equity refers to the value of the house you own. For example, if you purchase the home for $300,000 and you have already paid $150,000 on the loan, then you and your spouse have $150,000 worth of equity.

If you see the home during the divorce, both of you can split the equity.

In these situations, you take into account the closing costs before you calculate your share of the equity. This means the costs will be split in two.

If you wait until you sell the house on your own, you will have to pay for the closing costs all by yourself. Also, it’s important to keep in mind the law of your state where you reside. Some states have specific tax laws in regards to the closing costs.

3. Think About All the Other Costs

As we mentioned earlier, you will have to pay for the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on the home. However, these are not all the costs you will have to pay for when you’re a homeowner.

Sure, if you are a renter, you will also have to pay for groceries and utilities. However, there are a few costs that are specific to homeowners.

When you have a newer house, you might not face some issues until further down the road. With an older home, you might have more bumps on the road.

You should take a good look at your finances and see if you can afford to pay for big repairs if something goes wrong with your house. Some of the most expensive home repairs include replacing the roof, appliances, HVAC system and others.

Those who own a condo or a townhouse also have to pay for homeowner’s association fees which can be quite steep depending on the place.

4. If You Sell You Will Know the Value of the House

On top of everything that is at stake during a divorce, the value of the home is a big one.

If one of the parties wants to keep the house, there might be conflict when it comes to deciding what the real value of the home is.

For example, the spouse who wants to keep the house might say that the home is worth a lot less than it actually is. This would mean they have to pay less money to buy their spouse out.

If the other spouse wants to sell the house and split the profits, it’s in their best interest if the house is worth more.

No matter if you want to buy or keep the house, the only way to get the exact value of the home if by selling it.

Although appraisals get pretty close, these are only estimates.

5. You Cannot Predict the Future

When it comes to real estate, no one can predict the future. If it’s a seller’s market when you’re going through the divorce, it doesn’t mean the market will stay the same.

There’s no guarantee the real estate market will stay in your favor when you decide to sell down the road.

6. Only Keep if You Can Refinance

During a divorce, you will want to take the name of your spouse off of everything you own. If your spouse’s name is on the mortgage, your best bet is to refinance if you choose to keep the house.

However, you should note if you refinance, you may or may not have to pay for a higher interest rate.

7. Consider the Pros and Cons of Selling

Aside from considering all of the financial aspects, you also need to consider the personal pros and cons.

If you have kids, it might be in their best interest to stay in the only house they know near their school and friends.

Conversely, selling the home might also mean a fresh start for the whole family.

Selling Your House During Divorce: The Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house during divorce, you should consider all of the financial aspects. Don’t keep your house if you won’t be able to afford the payments.

However, you also have to keep in mind other things such as refinancing and the real estate market.

Are you in a hurry to sell your home? Check out these 8 tips for selling your home quickly.

Selling Your Home to a Cash Home Buyer

Selling Your Home to a Cash Home Buyer

According to Zillow, the average home is on the market for approximately 68 days. In 2010, that number was 148 days. The time it takes for you to sell your home will vary based on its condition, location, and the amount of inventory (houses like yours) for sale.

There are situations when bad things happen to good people and you may need or want to sell your home quickly. In this case, you may want to explore cash home buyers as a solution.

Read on to learn how selling your house to a cash home buyer works to determine if this is the right solution for you.

How Do Cash Home Buyers Work?

There are situations when selling your house for home makes sense. You may have a rental property that is sitting vacant and you want the capital for something else. Sometimes you inherit the real estate from a loved one and want to sell quickly to settle the estate.

Often times you may have repairs that you don’t have the funds to address, or you have tried to sell your house and it has failed. All of these are common reasons to seek out a cash home buyer.

Below describes the typical process.

Consultation

Regardless of your situation, you are the customer and you should feel like you are treated fairly and with respect. Reputable cash home buyers typically speak with you over the phone to get all the basic information and then do a walk through of your home. The goal is to find the right solution for your unique needs.

The Proposal

After the initial consultation, you will be presented with a proposal. This will include the offer for your house and the speed of the house closing process. It typically 1 to 2 weeks to finalize the sale at which point you will receive the cash for your home’s sale. Reputable investors use title companies and standard sales contracts.

The Next Phase of Your Life

The next part is relatively easy. You will close on your house and get the cash you need to start the next chapter of your life.

Click here for some Frequently Asked Questions about how cash home buyers work.

Benefits of A Cash Sale

Below are some of the benefits that are associated with a cash sale.

No Fees

When you sell a house there are closing fees, title fees, survey fees, realtor fees, etc. When you sell your home to a cash buyer, they typically cover all the fees.

There May Be an Option To Rent

In some cases, you may have the ability to rent the home from the cash buyer after it is sold. This is called a lease-back and is for a predetermined amount of time. Lease-backs typically provide enough time for you to arrange movers and find a new place to live.

Sell The House As-Is

If for reason, your house needs significant repairs, this may be the right solution for you. Home repairs can be expensive and take time to complete. Selling the house in its current condition eliminates the hassles and costs of managing the repairs.

Speed

Selling your home on the real estate market can take time. If you are pressed for time, selling your home for cash is a much quicker route.

This may be important if you are facing financial hardship or if you need to relocate quickly and want the equity in your house for your move.

Convenience

In a traditional sale, you will spend time with real estate agents, financial companies, title companies, and the list goes on. In a cash sale, the entire process is managed by the buyer.

What to Look For In a Cash Home Buyer

Cash house sales are rising in popularity, so do your homework before you sign on the bottom line. More and more people are skipping the hassles of the “traditional selling process” and opting to work with investors instead of realtors. The following are things to investigate and red flags that should cause you to pause.

The Company’s Reputation

Check out reviews of the company online. Ask to speak to previous customers. do research with the Better Business Bureau. Although cash sales are often used because they are quick, take the time to do your research on the company you are working with. Just because you see a billboard or hear an ad on the radio doesn’t mean you’re dealing with a reputable person or business.

Unless you’re facing a pending foreclosure date, a reputable investor won’t rush you and their offer doesn’t expire at midnight. Foreclosure means you HAVE to act quickly and you must keep in mind that time is of the essence. Outside of foreclosure, a reputable investor won’t rush you into signing a contract. They will follow up with you from time to time, but they won’t pressure you into selling your house.

Red Flag – Buyers that Don’t Want to See Your House

This is a red flag. A reputable cash home buyer always wants to visually inspect the property.

Red Flag – No Worries, We Can Do All this by Email

This is a common scam run by individuals out of the United States. While it is common to talk to a cash home buyer over the phone or email as you finalize the deal. You should meet them in person before you sign on the bottom line.

Red Flag – An Offer That Sounds Too Good to Be True

We all know the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” This saying still rings true today. If someone is paying top dollar or their offer is significantly higher than everyone else’s, there is probably a reason. Often there are hidden fees, costly repairs or other reasons you may get a “too good to be true” offer.

Also, many investors shop the deal around once they’ve gotten you under contract. They don’t actually have the funds to close on your property so they look for someone to assign the contract to. If they can’t find someone, they will back out of your deal or try to negotiate a last minute price decrease. This often leaves the seller in distress and in a position where he/she can’t start over with someone else.

Trust Your Gut

Ever get a bad feeling about someone or something? Have you ever made a decision and then felt like you should have trusted your gut? Trust your gut when deciding on an investor. If they are fast-talkers or focus more on taking your house rather than solving your problem, it may be a red flag. Trust your gut and feel good about your decision.

Is A Cash Home Buyer the Right Solution for You?

You should be honest with yourself about your current situation. You should also take some time to do your research on all the options you have available.

Then grab a piece of paper and create a pro and con list for all your options. Cash home buyers are the solution for many people. However, before you sell your home to one, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Are You Ready to Sell your Home to A Cash Buyer?

We are cash home buyers – Veteran owned and a member of the BBB. We have great referrals and are happy to spend as much or as little time with you as needed. There are many reasons that you may need to sell your home quickly. Contact us, we would love to help you find the right solution for your needs.

How Home Equity Works: The Ultimate Guide

How Home Equity Works: The Ultimate Guide

equity works

There are a lot of reasons to own a home. But one thing that people forget about is their home equity.

With home values rising, there’s no better time to take advantage of your equity. But before you do, it’s important to understand what equity is and how home equity works. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Home Equity?

Before you learn what home equity can do for you, it’s essential to understand what it is. The good news is, it isn’t complicated.

Your home equity is the amount of your home you own vs. how much you owe on your mortgage. Take a home that is worth $100,000. If you owe $40,000, then you have $60,000 in home equity.

You can’t base your home value on the amount you paid for your home. Home values typically increase in value over time. If you want to get the real value of your home equity, make sure to have an assessor examine your property to figure out how much your home is actually worth.

What Can You Do with Home Equity?

The amount of home equity you have isn’t only a number that shows you how much of your home you own. It also gives you financial options. Below are a few things you can use your home equity for.

1. Consolidate Debt

It isn’t good to hold a lot of high-interest debt. If you have high balances, you usually end up paying more in interest than you do on your principal balance. Unfortunately, a lot of people have this problem.

You can use your home equity to get yourself out of this situation.

Your interest rate for a home equity loan will likely be at a much lower interest rate than your high-interest loans. Take out a loan to cover your debt and focus on repaying your home loan. You’ll end up spending much less in interest in the long run.

2. Home Repair

Is your house starting to fall apart? Repairing things can get expensive. You can use your home equity to pay your bill.

If you have a lot of improvements to make, a home equity line of credit may be the answer. It allows you to draw only the money you need. You’ll only need to repay the amount you borrow and not have to worry about a large lump sum.

3. Cash-Out Refinance

You have options if you’ve built up a lot of equity in your home. It’s time to see if you can get a better deal.

When you refinance your home, you take out a second mortgage. You can take advantage of lower interest rates and better credit to get a better deal. Most of the time, you will end up with lower monthly payments and a better interest rate.

If you’ve paid off a lot of your mortgage, you can also end up with a lump sum after you refinance. You can use this money in whatever way you wish.

4. Fund Your Next Home

Not everyone to live in one place for the rest of their lives. The good news is you aren’t out of luck when you have equity in your home.

You have two options when you decide to move. You can either sell your home or continue paying on your current mortgage while renting out your house.

When you sell your home, you’ll get a lump sum if you have a large amount of equity in your home. You can use this money as a down payment for your future home.

If you decide to rent out your home, you can use your home equity as collateral for your new mortgage. Doing this will allow you to get favorable rates with your mortgage company.

Keeping a rental allows you to retain and continue building your equity in your old home while building equity in a new property.

How Does Your Home Equity Increase?

As you can see, having home equity can increase your financial options. The question is, how can you improve how your home equity works for you?

1. Pay off Your Mortgage

Your monthly mortgage payment can be broken down into two categories: your interest and your principal balance. While your loan interest won’t do anything for your equity, every penny you pay on your principal balance will increase your equity.

If you want to increase your equity faster, you’ll need to pay off more of your principal. Consider paying a little extra on your mortgage every month.

2. Renovate Your Home

Making improvements to your home doesn’t only make it more pleasant to live in. It can also increase the value of your home.

If you decide to renovate to increase your equity, pick your projects carefully. Only take on projects that provide more equity than the project cost. Doing this ensures you can recoup your investment whenever you decide to draw on your equity or sell your property.

3. Market Increases

Do you live in an attractive or up and coming neighborhood? The good news is you can use this to your advantage. Up and coming areas usually see home values increase.

As the value of homes in your area goes up, so does your equity. If you plan on your equity increasing because of a rising market, then plan on holding onto your property for a long time.

Now You Know How Home Equity Works

Now that you know more about how home equity works, you should have a better idea about the things you can do with it. It’s much more than how much of your home you owe, so figure out how you can best make use of your equity in your home.

Are you using the equity in your home to buy a new house? You need to find a reputable buyer to sell your home to after you find your new home. Click here to learn about our process and set up a time to speak with us about selling your home.