Realtors vs Home Buying Companies. Which is best to sell a home?
As the owner of Sterling Resource Management, a home buying company here in Southern California, I get this question almost daily.
The answer to this question is BOTH. Or if you prefer, it depends.
First let me say, that not all home buying companies (i.e. investors) are equal, nor are all Realtors equal. This may sound obvious, yet most home sellers don't always get this very important fact. Having been in the real estate business for over 9 years, I have come across investors whose sole purpose is to make the largest possible profit off an unsuspecting home owner, as well as Realtors who have literally stolen equity from home unaware sellers. This is an unfortunate reality in our industry. So the first step for any home seller, is find out about the person (Realtor or investor) they are talking to. Are they truly looking out for the best interest of the home seller or simply seeking to maximize their own profit? What is their experience in the market? Can they provide referrals/testimonials of satisfied customers they have helped in the past? Choosing who you want to work with to sell your property is a big decision, so take the time to do your own due diligence. It's kind of like marriage. Make the right choice and the results can be very satisfying. Make the wrong choice and the resulting divorce can get messy and expensive.
I personally believe that Realtors and home buying companies (i.e investors) offer two very distinct home selling solutions that can both benefit home sellers. Depending on the home seller's needs and situation, one of the solutions will clearly stand-out as making the most sense. Let's go through what I believe are the key core benefits that each solution has for the home seller.
- Help home owner prepare the property for sale
- Price the property correctly based on market conditions and comparables
- Serve as the home seller's advocate and advisor on everything surrounding the sale
- BOTTOM LINE: Get the home seller the maximum price for their property.
Home Buying Company
- Buy property in "As-is" condition
- Take property with bad tenants
- Cash or creative offer with no financing contingencies. Will close regardless of appraisal
- A flexible close date that meets the sellers' needs. It can be 7 days, 7 weeks or longer
- BOTTOM LINE: Seller gets a convenient, easy and fast (if desired) sale that they know with certainty will close
I know that there are many other benefits that both Realtor's and home buying companies provide, yet I think the key benefits are covered. When everything is said and done, the key for a home seller in deciding whether they should use a Realtor or home buying company is whether or not they want to get the absolute highest price for their property and put the most cash in their pocket walking away from the closing table. Sometimes a seller wants to get the highest price, yet circumstances require a fast sale (i.e. foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce, etc). In these cases, the home buying company can provide a valueable solution.
Home seller's really need to prioritize the key benefits they are looking for in selling their property. From experience, I can say that while price is very important it is not everything. As an investor/home buyer, I pride myself on being able to offer not only cash offers but multiple creative offers that best meet the unique needs of each home seller.
In conclusion, I suggest that home sellers talk with home buying companies and Realtors so they can get the information they need to make the best decision for their unique situation. Selling a property can be stressful, however, working with the right real estate professional can drastically reduce the stress and create a very satisfying end result.