We're a we buy homes company based in Houston, TX, and we often get questions like "what is a real estate investor?", or "what do you differently from a real estate agent?". And while we get these questions quite a lot, there's actually a big differentiation that most people don't know about the difference between an agent and an investor.
What we all know about an agent
An agent is someone that can handle buyer or seller listings. In most cases, a seller will contact an agent so that they can go through the prep work of staging the home, making it presentable, then listing it on the MLS so they can attract buyers. Top agents will go beyond that and attempt to do some marketing or outreach to attract buyers that otherwise weren't looking or simply wouldn't have found the listing. Once the buyers are located, they will generally take tours individually or at an open house, then go through negotiations. While these negotiations are happening, most buyers start going through the approval process for a mortgage. A lot of times they'll claim that they're already pre-approved, but they're just stalling for time. This usually sucks for the seller because they're spending a lot of time showing buyers around who aren't able to actually purchase. This plus the approval process and negotiations can extend the time it takes to sell a home to many months, sometimes years if the market is slow or potential buyers are looking for something a little cheaper in the area.
How an investor works differently
A real estate investor essentially bypasses the entire process listed above. An investor will generally look for a homeowner that either really needs to sell their home due to troubled times or they're on a time limit as with relocation. There are other scenarios as well, like inheritance, vacancy, parents aging out of a home, etc, where investors may check it out, but the bulk of purchases come from foreclosures, tax liens, or probates.
Once an investor engages with a seller, they're able to asses the value of the home and offer a cash value for it. An investor is able to generally use their own funds or have a private lender that can put up the cash for the purchase, rather than dealing with a bank's mortgage process. Because of this, the process of acquiring funds is generally much faster. The downside with an investor, however, is that in order for it to be profitable for the parties involved on their end, they can't purchase a property for more than 70% of the value of the home once it's repaired/remodeled and ready to be sold in the market. As such, they will generally start with low-ball offers.
The pros, however, are that they are able to pay in cash, can take a home in any condition, and can close within a week. This shaves off weeks or months from the entire process, while also avoid 6% commission fees from agents and closing costs that would usually range anywhere from $2,000 - $20,000 depending on the purchase price.
In many cases, the savings from the time and fees alone make it worth it to a seller.
What we do
As home buyers, we take the role of the real estate investor. We make fair cash offers and can close within 7 days. No additional money needs to come out of your pocket, and you don't need to worry about making repairs before the sale. We assess the home in its current state and can offer cash directly for it -- an offer you can immediately accept and drop every issue you have the property. We will take care of it.
To learn more or to reach out, please visit https://www.homebuyerhouston.net. You can call our direct line or fill out the form on the home page and we will get back in touch with you.