Question of the week:

Should I sell to “Ugly house” type cash buyers?

I have a house that I want to sell quickly, it’s not in perfect condition, the market is very slow there and I would like it gone asap. It is currently full of stuff from a hoarder situation, I’ve contracted to have it cleared out with completion of June 2.

Are the cash buyer “ugly house” type people negotiable? Say they offer me 100k, can I negotiate to 120k for example? (Random numbers there)

I’m aware I’ll be selling below market value but I’m not wanting to market it, wait for an offer and then go thru all the hassle of that. Just get it gone. If you have recommendations of somewhere to call I’m open to suggestions!

TL:DR wanting to sell house for cash quickly and painlessly, need recommendations and info if they negotiate an offer.

Edited to add – home in in south Texas

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Nick's Response

A “house for cash” buyer will negotiate, but you’ll almost certainly be leaving a fair bit of money on the table that you could pocket with just a little more legwork on your side.


You can have it sold nearly as quickly, and for a fair bit more by using a Realtor or by selling it on your own with a lawyer (depending upon the rules in your state). Either way, it’s important for you to know the true market value of your property before you sell it to anyone.


If I was in your shoes, I would recommend doing the following:

  • Go ahead and meet with a couple of “cash for homes” type buyers and ask for their written offers. Don’t be pressured into signing; if they’re interested today they’ll still be interested next week or next month. They won’t be offended or take it personally if they’re made to wait.
  • Interview 2-3 Realtors (you can do this remotely if you don’t live near the property and can have someone local provide access to the Realtors) and ask them each to create a Comparative Market Analysis for the home, letting them know that they’re competing for the listing. Ask them for a realistic price, and for a “sell it immediately” price, probably 10% below the first price.
  • Review your options, and go with what makes sense for you.

A “homes for cash” buyer, as many have stated, will seriously lowball your property because they have to. Most of them are not the end owner, but simply just a wholesaler who will take a huge commission from the eventual buyer. The person buying from the wholesaler needs to guarantee their margins for renovations and resale, and none of it leaves you with much.


Even the most aggressively average Realtor is going to be able to sell your property in no time if it’s priced 10% below asking, and even after their commission and legal fees (which you’re paying in any scenario), you’ll be left with more in your pocket and an equally painless transaction. Depending upon the laws in your state, you may even be able to sell the property in an as-is, where-is condition so that you don’t have to worry about repairs. At that asking price, you also don’t have to worry about the home appraising (which I hear is a “thing” in the states).


Source: I’m an (obviously biased) Realtor. I’m in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but we have the same kinds of wholesale companies here as well.

3 Parties that (aren’t you) are making money in a “ugly house buyer” scenario


Wholesaler – 5% of the purchase price. The Wholesaler is usually the “I buy ugly houses” buyer that you meet as the homeowner. They charge this fee to the person they secure the contract for.


Flipper – Tens of Thousands of Dollars (or more). The real buyer of your home profits from the difference between the (very underpriced) amount that he paid for your property and the resale amount after (likely very shoddy) improvements.


A Realtor that You Didn’t Choose – 2.5-6% of the resale price. Most flippers work with a Realtor to resell the flipped property anyway, after the other parties have already stripped you of your equity.

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