Do you remember the last time you drove through Virginia Beach
, Newport News
, or Chesapeake
see a square, yellow “We Buy Houses
” sign with a handwritten phone number at the bottom sitting at your favorite intersection? By favorite, of course, we’re referring to the busy intersections where you might spend an annoying amount of time during rush hour— like Kempsville Road & Indian River Road or Battlefield Blvd & Volvo Pkwy.
The common, look-alike signs might catch your attention because you’re forced to see them every time you stop at just about every light or stop sign in Tidewater. Or, you may be one of thousands of homeowners across Hampton Roads
who are actively planning to sell your house. In this case, the bold, black letters attract your eye for one simple reason: you’re interested in what these “we buy houses” companies have to offer. Maybe one of them can offer a solution to your current predicament.
Here’s the thing, though. You’re smart. And you have questions, lots of questions. Questions like:
- Are all these “we buy houses” signs from the same company?
- Are these companies a scam?
- How does this cash for houses thing even work?
- How can these people afford to buy houses for cash, and what do they stand get out of it?
- Can’t these people afford better looking signs?
We get it. We’re here to answer some of these questions so that you can make wise, informed decisions regarding selling your house. Plus, some of this information may surprise you. Keep reading to learn more about this growing industry and whether it’s worth picking up the phone to call that handwritten number on the next sign you enounter.
First things first, are we buy houses companies in Hampton Roads a scam?
Before we go any further, let’s answer your most pressing question. The truth is that we buy houses companies are (mostly) legitimate and not a scam.
Listen, we had to add the “mostly” because there’s always a small handful of people in any industry who make everyone else look bad. It’s the nature of the game.
The business model practiced by we buy houses company is fairly simple. They buy houses for cash, repair or renovate them, then list them on the market to make a profit.
The quick and direct access to cash that these companies have enable them to do business. This is what directly appeals to many Hampton Roads homeowners who are facing a variety of house-related predicaments- they need quick access to cash.
For the right homeowner with the right amount of equity in his or her home, selling to a we buy houses company could be a viable solution to their problems.
Consider the young couple who inherited a property that’s $15,000 behind in property taxes and needs $23,000 worth of repairs.
Or the man who just got laid off his job, is thousands of dollars behind on his mortgage payments, and is facing foreclosure.
Or the family who is ready to relocate and just wants to skip the lengthy process of a traditional home sale so they can move on to better things.
These are all valid reasons why a homeowner might choose to sell to a we buy houses company- if that company can make a fair offer that puts the right amount of money into the homeowner’s pocket.
The upside is that most of these companies are able to makes these deals quickly- much faster than in a traditional home sale- without the hassles of appraisals, open houses and showings, or realtors’ fees.
Of course, in order for this to be a win-win scenario, a few keys things need to be in place:
- There should be enough equity in the house for all taxes and liens to be paid, repairs and renovations to occur (which the we buy houses company will take care of after they buy the house), and then some. The “then some” is what puts money into your pocket. So, if your taxes, liens, or repairs exceed the available equity in your home, you’re just not going to feel as if you’re getting a good offer from any home buying company. (A lot of times, this is what makes people feel like they’re being scammed, when in reality there’s just not enough equity for a fair deal to happen.)
- The seller should have the legal right to sell the property. Although most we buy houses companies work with reputable title companies to clear up any issues that may arise, the homeowner may not be aware of certain liens, co-inheritors, or long-lost relatives who may have legal claim to their property. These things can introduce roadblocks in the cash home buying process. If too difficult, the home buyer may decide to back out of the deal. Again, this is a situation where a seller may feel like they’re getting ripped off, when instead the issue is much more complex.
- Finally, the we buy houses company should be reputable, experienced, and actually have access to the cash their promising. This will happen in most cases; however, we’ve seen scenarios where deals falls through simply because funding falls through. Or, the home buyer is new to the business and hasn’t fully learned the ins and out of how it works. Identifying and working with a reputable title company, for instance, is an extremely important task that all home buyers should take very seriously. Therefore, it is important to work with a company who has demonstrated their ability to make these types of deals, particularly in Hampton Roads.
The bottom line is that we buy houses companies are, in fact, credible companies that buy houses for cash in Hampton Roads. Although scams can happen, they are not common. Doing your research is important, and a simple Google search can reveal a lot about the company you’re considering working with.
Are all these “we buy houses” signs across Hampton Roads from the same company?
Now’s a good time to break down exactly who “we buy houses” is. The most important thing to know here is that there is not one, singular company with that official name.
There is, in fact, one national home buying company called WeBuyHouses[dot]com (yes, the .com is officially a part of their name), and they’ve tried really hard to brand themselves as the super official “we buy houses” company, but they’re not.
Instead, they are just one of dozens of national and local home buying services who brand themselves as we buy houses companies, relying on a term that, in 2022, nearly everyone has become familiar with.
So, you can safely assume that each sign you see with a different phone number represents a different we buy houses company or individual operating in Hampton Roads.
To make things just a little more confusing, these companies don’t just refer to themselves as “we buy houses” businesses. Some other terms you may come across when researching we buy houses companies include:
Essentially, these companies all offer the same service: to buy your house for cash. In a bit, we’ll explain exactly what they get out of this deal, and how this might create a win-win scenario for both you and the buyer.
It’s worth nothing here that a handful of fast cash home buyers are full-fledged companies with employees and contractors on staff, while others operate more like freelancers who outsource much of their work.
Wholesalers, for example, will offer to pay you cash for your house, but it’s not their cash that they’re paying with. Instead, they make their money by selling their contract with you to an investor or homebuying company who actually has the money to pay for the house. In essence, they’re just getting a finder’s fee for negotiating a deal with you.
Whether you prefer to work with an established company or the couple who just started “flipping” houses a year ago is totally up to you. Our simple advice is that you do your research, read reviews, and ask questions as you seek out the right homebuyer for you and your family.
Who are the best we buy houses companies in Hampton Roads?
If most we buy houses companies are legitimate, then how do you choose the best company to work with?
In our experience buying houses for cash throughout Hampton Roads for the past decade (and working amongst dozens of competitors throughout that time), we’ve found that there some non-negotiable traits that homeowners should look for when shopping around for the perfect homebuyer:
- Clear communication– for any deal to work, it is essential that your fast cash home buyer communicate honestly and clearly at all point of the process. From the moment you first contact the representative on the phone, you’ll get an idea of what their communication style is like. Do they seem like they’re in rush to get your information? Are they hestitant to answer your questions? Are they able to explain their process clearly and confidently? And here’s the kicker: what do they say when you ask them for references or reviews? Furthermore, an integral we buy houses company will never pressure you to visit your home, sign the contract, or rush through other important paperwork. If you’re getting this treatment from your home buyer, run.
- Clear timelines– Chances are, time is an essential factor for you if you’re considering working with a fast cash home buyer. You need cash fast, and you also need to know you’re getting a fair offer. An integral home buyer will clearly communicate timelines with so that you know what to expect. This includes how soon they can come and visit your property for a site inspection, how long it will take them to prepare their offer, and how long the closing process takes. Most importantly, they should be able to communicate a realistic timeline for you to receive your money. Be mindful of promises that seem too good to be true, like “cash in your pocket within 48 hours.” In most cases, the title company needs a minimum of one week to do their job and ensure that the title is clear. Maybe you’re not in a rush. In this case, you’ll want to know whether your homebuyer is capable of closing at a later date, say, 30 or 60 days later. In other cases, a home buyer may allow you to stay in the property up to 30 days after your closing (and after you get paid) while you complete your moving arrangements.
- Great reviews– Reviews are often the best indication of a company’s record. If a we buy houses company boasts great reviews online, then these should be taken into fair consideration. At the same time, beware of companies that have no reviews online. They may be new to the industry or just inexperienced. Chances are, if another family in Hampton Roads has had a great experience with the company you’re considering, then you will too.
While we are admittedly biased, our team at Integrity Cash Home Buyers is one of the best in Hampton Roads. We are proud to be a local, family-owned business with over a decade of experience in the we buy houses industry. What we’ve seen in working with our neighbors across the area is that win-win solutions are possible for those dealing with the stress of an inheritance, foreclosure, or house that’s in need of repairs.
Our goal is to relieve the stress of your burdensome property so you can move forward with integrity and continue taking care of your family.
If you are considering selling your house fast for cash in Hampton Roads, let’s chat and explore your options. We’re here to help: 757-276-3322