If the current chaos in housing and the economy all of a sudden has you seeing little yellow signs and big billboards that say, “We Will Buy Your House” you probably need to sell a house fast and may be wondering who are these guys behind the signs and can they really do anything to help.
The signs have been around for probably three decades, but like everything else, you only see the things that are of immediate importance to you. While anyone can buy and sell houses in the United States most people only buy and sell the house they live in or expect to live in.
Buying houses without the expectation of living in them-as a business, really started to take off about 30 years ago when a number of seminar speakers crossed the county selling training in buying and selling homes for profit.
Like any business, you can expect a number of the people who buy houses to be skilled, honest professionals and others not so skilled and some-that you would want to avoid.
The bottom line is that some of these people can in fact help you sell a house quickly, sometimes in a few days, and solve problems. Others, I have found, will not even answer the phone or call you back, if you call and leave a message. Strange as it may seem, I have found that this reluctance to follow up on a lead happens in a number of areas in sales.
So the first thing I would suggest in selecting a House Buyer to deal with is call several, see who answers the phone, and see who comes out to your house and arrives when they agreed to arrive. Not high tech, but a good start.
Who am I to tell you how to sort through these guys? I happen to be one of them and have been doing creative real estate for two decades in Florida, was previously a stock broker and financial reporter for the Chicago Tribune. It is sort of like going to a hacker to find out how to make your computer operation safe.
And as one of them, let me assure you there are good, competent people, who are able to raise the money it takes to buy and are knowledgeable of the way real estate works where you live.
There are also, and always, waves of new people who are learning how to buy houses and some of the people who need to sell a house fast will be helping these newcomers learn the trade.
In addition to seeing if they answer the phone and actually arrive at the time agreed for an appointment, I would want to know how long the person has been buying houses and how well they do it. In the second installment of this series, we will look at methods of checking them out and in the third article we will be looking at phrases in the contract they offer you that you may want to avoid.
One of the biggest pluses that the best of these guys and gals will bring to the table to help you is that they have been taught that there are a number of ways to sell a house, methods that have been used in commercial real estate for years but that are rarely used in residential real estate.
I learned the use of these creative methods the hard way twenty some years ago when I lived on the East Coast of Florida and unbeknownst to me had bought a house in an area where a garbage burning incinerator was planned. It was to be built about a mile from where my house was and when I was ready to sell the house to move to the Tampa Bay area, I could not sell.
Everyone knew of the plans when I was ready to sell and no one wanted any of the houses in my area. I finally left the house with a real estate agent and moved while bearing the cost of two homes.
While a lot of real estate agents do not like creative real estate, my agent was knowledgeable and suggested a way to sell my house for cash. We were scarred, but after thinking about it we sold and it worked out fine.
There was a risk in what I did then and a risk in any creative answer to a real estate sales problem, but my experience was what eventually sent me into the We Buy Houses business and in the next several articles we will tell you how it may help you and discuss the risks.