Are any of the "we buy houses" companies legitimate and legal?

Asked by Kay Murphy, Memphis, TN Mon Feb 21, 2011

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Jimmy Thompson’s answer
Jimmy Thomps…, Agent, Memphis, TN
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Yeah Kay, they will only buy homes well below market value. Not as good of a deal as marketing your home and getting it sold at a much better price.

Always use a good real estate attorney, and it wouldn't hurt to talk to a few Realtors, and see what other options, and solutions you may have at your disposal.

Your objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers.

Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars. Remember: You're always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high

Prepare your home. Most of us don't keep our homes in "showroom" condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It's time to break out of that owner's mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions!

When you're ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: * The Internet * (over 180 websites!) Yard signs * Open houses * Media advertising * Agent-to-agent referrals * Direct mail marketing campaigns. In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.

Some negotiable items: * Price * Financing * Closing costs * Repairs * Appliances and fixtures * Landscaping * Painting * Move-in date. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract.

Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so. ;)
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Dustie Zvola…, Agent, Memphis, TN
Fri Jul 26, 2013
Some of them are legit but like stated before they are looking for houses below market value otherwise why put signs out. There are plenty of homes for sell so no need to put signs out stating they want to buy unless there is some kind of catch. I recommend working with a Real Estate Agent so you get protection through out the selling process.

Dustie Zvolanek
Fast Track Realty
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Mon Jul 1, 2013
A lot has changed in TWO YEARS!!!
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James Vasquez, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Mon Jul 1, 2013
Most "We Buy Houses" home buyers by AT market value, NOT Below market value. Most people think that these types of home buyers buy below the current market value, however, usually due to poor condition of the property, the value of the property has been severely diminished, hence also reducing market value.

There is an extreme amount of money that a home buyer has to invest into any particular property in order to bring it back up to market value and sell it quickly.
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Frank Dolski, Agent, Lahaska, PA
Mon Feb 21, 2011
If it is to good to be true, than it is! Beware of companies that promote this! Lots of red tape and loopholes. You are better off going with a Realtor.
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Belinda Spil…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hi Kay,

I had a seller who contacted one of these firms before listing their home with us a few years ago. The company was willing to buy her home for cash, but only at about 75% of the home's current value.

If you are in a hurry and just want out, this may be an option. In my opinion, it is better to put a little work into getting your home sold through a realtor and realizing the profit for yourself.

Hope this helps.

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Joe Spake, Agent, Memphis, TN
Mon Feb 21, 2011
I would suggest seeking the advice of an attorney before entering into any type of contract for a real estate transaction, if you are not represented by a licensed real estate agent.
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Jo Shaner, Agent, Memphis, TN
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Yes, many of them are legit, however most are not great deals for the seller. It is like selling your jewelry to a pawn shop. They are not going to give you even a reasonable wholesale figure in most cases. They are in the business of reselling at a profit.

With any large transaction, you should have an attorney look over your paperwork before signing anything.

Good luck to you,

Jo Shaner
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