Considering selling your house to a real estate investor?
Homeowners have several options for selling property, including listing on the MLS with a realtor, flat-fee listing, selling to friend or neighbor, and “For Sale By Owner” websites (For Sale By Owner, Craig’s List, and Zillow).
Home sellers often haven’t considered that selling to a real estate investor can be fast, easy, and profitable. This blog discusses how investors differ from regular buyers, the pros and cons of selling to a professional buyer, and how verify a trustworthy company.
House Heroes is a premier real estate investor. Call us at (954) 676-1846 whether you want to sell or just learn more about how investors operate!
What Is A Real Estate Investor? How Are Investors Different?
Real estate investors buy property to earn a profitable financial return. Just like people purchasing stocks and bonds, investors take financial risk to gain a profit. Real estate investing includes fix-and-flips, rentals, and acquiring property for appreciation.
There are multiple advantages to selling to a real estate investor compared to the “traditional” real estate agent process:
- No Realtor Commissions. Selling listing on the MLS pay upwards of 6% realtor commission. Real estate investors never charge fees.
- “As-Is” Sale. Investors buy “as-is”. The seller makes no repairs. Real estate investors “earn their profit” by acquiring houses that need renovations that the owner didn’t have the willingness or ability to fix. Regular home buyers haggle about repairs which substantially delays home sales.
- Offers in 24-Hours. Cash home buyers make offers daily (if not hourly!). It takes investors just a few minutes to put together an offer. Unlike regular buyers, there is no lengthy deliberation to figure out what the investor will pay.
- Cash Buyers. One hallmarks of real estate investing is acquiring houses for cash (not mortgages). Mortgages take months for approval and banks may decline mortgages on homes in poor condition or an event to disqualify the buyer such as job loss or bankruptcy.
- Fast Closing. Investors close in days. The Mortgage Reports found conventional mortgages take 43 days to close. FHA and VA loans even longer. Since investors control their cash reserves, once there is price agreement, all it takes is the time for a wire transfer to your bank account. Professional buyers also close quick because there is no negotiation about condition on “as is” sales. Fast closing saves you on-going expenses for taxes, insurance, daily maintenance, and utilities.
- One Showing/Inspection. Realtors listing on the open market schedule many showings to generate as many offers as possible. Hundreds of people might walk through your living space. Open houses attract “tire kickers” with no plans to submit an offer. Trulia reports one out of 10 showings gets an offer. Investors just need a single walkthrough to inspect and even buy site unseen. Professional buyers offer on all kinds of property so are unlikely to decline to make an offer.
Selling to a real estate investor has some downsides.
Owner occupants offers can be higher. An investor’s goal is to earn a profit, while a regular owner occupant’s goal is to find a place to live. Investing large sums of private cash comes with a premium. Buyers utilizing a “traditional mortgage” may offer more because it’s not their money/risk. Read our blog Sell to Investor or List on MLS to learn the ideal situations to sell to an investor or list on the MLS.
Buyers of Hard to Sell Property
Have you been trying to sell a house and buyers keep backing out?
Difficult to sell property can be a headache . . . and every month expenses pile up higher and higher.
Real estate investors pride themselves on buying homes that just can’t be sold via other channels. Here are the common circumstances where a professional buyer can help complete a challenging sale:
- Problem Tenants. Tenant stop paying rent? Destroying the property? Real estate investors have the skills and finances to buy the rental property for cash, hire an attorney for eviction, and repair the property to its former glory.
- Foreclosure. Behind on the rent? Bank threatening foreclosure? Delinquent mortgages ultimately lead to property foreclosure and bank re-possession. Investors have cash ready to close fast if foreclosure is looming. Investors also frequently allow owners to stay after closing, so you can pay off your mortgage entirely, make profit on the sale, and not need to move.
- Probate/Inheritance. Inherit old and unwanted probate property? Elderly struggle to maintain houses and may fall behind on mortgage and taxes. Inherited property requires lengthy litigation and court approval. You need a buyer not afraid of the long haul. Investors are suitable probate buyers.
- Violations & Repairs. House need lots of repairs? Monthly violations? Real estate investors specialize in repairing property and paying fast cash before violations pile higher.
Locating Real Estate Investors
Finding a real estate investor to make a cash offer on your property is simple.
Internet. Professional cash buyers often have an online presence to connect with home sellers. Type “sell my house fast” and the name of the city on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. A list of local real estate investors to buy your house for cash appears. Click the website, and either call or fill out the online form to get the offer.
Direct-Mail. Watch your mailbox for letters and postcards. Investors send mail to homeowners that need to sell, such as old houses, foreclosures, evictions, back-taxes, violations, probate/inheritance, or vacancy. Looking to sell for one of these reasons? You may receive investor correspondence via mail.
MLS or “For Sale By Owner” Listings. You can use MLS or “for sale by owner” listings to find professional cash buyers. The key is to accurately write the property description and offer terms. Offer terms should be “CASH ONLY”. Include phrases like fixer-upper, investor, cash, repairs, renovations, or handy-man in the description. You don’t want entice regular home buyers who will waste your time – so be honest about property condition.
Local Real Estate Agents. Although this has the downside of realtor commissions, local real estate agents keep “cash buyer” lists of investors that buy houses “as is” for cash. If you’re struggling to find an investor in your area, a local agent can direct you.
“Vetting” Real Estate Investors
Selling property is a significant financial decision. Not all investors are created equal. Working with a professional, experienced, and honest real estate investor is critical for a successful transaction.
How to determine if a professional cash buyer is legitimate? Our blog Are Florida Cash Home Buying Companies Trustworthy delves into this topic. Indicators to weed out scam artists or purported “cash buyers” without the cash, skill, and experience to close include:
- Local Investor You Can Meet and Talk To. There are “national” companies that offer to buy houses. However, those companies don’t actually buy houses. They act as a “middle man” to local investors. The national company pretends to be the buyer, but unbeknownst to you, brokers to a third-party. This is called “wholesaling”. Even in today’s fast paced world of technology and hands on communications, there are risks when you never meet or see a person. A good way to confirm a trustworthy investor is to meet and discuss the sale.
- Business Organizations/Directories. Legitimate investors are connected to local real estate and professional organizations. For example, in Florida, there is the Dade County Real Estate Investment Association, Broward County Real Estate Investment Association, and Palm Beach County Real Estate Investment Association. Other places you can expect to find a trustworthy cash buyer is the Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
- Video Testimonials. Anybody can tell you they buy houses. It’s another thing to see video testimonials from satisfied home sellers. Video testimonials are the highest form of social proof demonstrating the trustworthiness of a real estate investor. Only happy client is willing to go on Youtube!
- Bank Statement Proof of Funds. You want a cash offer right? Unscrupulous “investors” claim to have cash to get you to sign the contract. Ask for proof of funds bank statement. The bank account should have enough cash to cover the purchase and be in the buyer’s name. Watch out for “letters of credit”: a “letter of credit” means the buyer doesn’t have cash but rather is relying on someone else to pay for the property.
- Social Media Presence & Website. Every serious business has a website and social media accounts, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. Companies with no online visibility may be hiding something.
Creative Home Sales Solutions
Real estate investors solve home sale problems – and the biggest challenges require creative solutions. Professional cash buyers are skilled at purchasing property that can’t seem to sell. Here are a few ways investors can work with everyday home sellers:
- Joint Venture. A homeowner and real estate investor can “partner” on sale. The investor provides money, experience, and management, and the homeowner brings the property. The works well where there is an “underwater” mortgage and renovation is needed to build equity. Homeowners also hire professional home buyers to complete renovations since they are experienced with teams in place.
- Brokerage Services. Not all houses need a “fast cash sale.” Sellers often have houses in great shape and don’t mind waiting for top dollar. Real estate investors offer brokerage services (listing on the MLS) to help sell those properties to regular owner occupants.
- Lending. Real estate investors can use their cash in a few ways, including making a loan to rehab a house. If you started a rehab project and ran out of money, an investor can loan the remaining repairs to complete the project.
- Staying Post Closing. Homeowners can end up in a situation where it is necessary to sell but they either can’t or prefer not to move. Investors often buy houses and allow the prior owner stay on post-closing for free for a brief period, or long term as a tenant.
- Wholesaling. Wholesaling is when a real estate investor enters a purchase and sale agreement with you, and then reaches out to the investor’s buyer network to find a buyer that will own the property upon conclusion of the sale.
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