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calvinette's avatar

What does everyone think of these "home buying" companies?

Asked by calvinette (303points) June 5th, 2009

My husband and I relocated for a new job in another state, where we are renting an apartment. Ten months later, we still have not sold our old house, and our real estate agent dropped us like a bad habit. Not even a phone call. Our situation is increasingly impossible… mortgage, rent, homeowners insurance. I’m tempted to call one of these companies that buy up houses that can’t sell. I know we’ll take a hit, but even if we use a real estate agent, we’ll be taking a bath on this thing. Any advice?

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9 Answers

bythebay's avatar

Well, it’s not illegal but it’s opportunistic. These companies are hell bent on finding people in dire situations and luring you in with the vision of cash in your head.

Basically it’s an equity purchase and they will make you an offer that’s probably about 70% of your listing price. They will, in turn, resell your house – being able to wait out the market…which you are not. They will negotiate the lowest possible purchase price with you, again, not illegal, just smart business on their behalf. Keep in mind you didn’t see any of these signs when the market was flying high.

You need to look at your equity position and determine what your what of sale would be if you had your home listed conventionally (with a Realtor). Remembering your offer from the home buying company will be no more than 70%. This low offer could make it counterproductive to dump your home; you may actually consider trying to ride out the market on your own in order to realize any profit at all.

The home buyers will assume your mortgage payments but you are still responsible for the overall debt until the home actually sells. They have your title, but not your mortgage. Will maintaining this debt preclude you from moving forward financially? Something very serious to consider as your mortgage debt will not disappear from your credit report.

The enormous profit they will end up making could be yours instead. Can you rent your home or refi it? Consider all your options and do your math carefully.

Good Luck to you!

calvinette's avatar

Thanks… renting the house, even long distance as we are, may be an option. At first we thought not, but I may see if I can find a better agent this time, who also manages properties. There is no way we can do it otherwise, from 800 miles away.

bythebay's avatar

Your tax opportunities vary when you maintain the property as a rental. Any good Realtor and/or property manager can advise you as can your tax adviser. I hope it all works out for you.

calvinette's avatar

Oh yeah, taxes. We’ve got ‘em. Between the house and our small online business and our brand spanking new state income taxes, we’ve got quite a lot of tax wrangling. Totally not meaning to sound negative with all this… we’re both fairly optimistic people. Just getting dumped by our agent is giving me heart palpitations. It will work out eventually, it always does. I’m just glad for jobs and a roof and a car that works.

Lupin's avatar

Have you tried renting it out? That worked out great for us here in Western NY. We got a property manager to take care of everything. He got one month rent and 10% and did it all. We were lucky and had great tenants because he did the background and credit checks.
And every expense was deductible. We moved back into the house 4 years later.
It worked out very well for us financially.

bythebay's avatar

psssst, @Lupin…read above…

Lupin's avatar

Yeah like @bythebay said… ;-) Yep, you got there first. I guess “He who hesitates is lost.” I must have been writing when your gem was posted.

YARNLADY's avatar

First try to get another real estate agent, the one you had is a dud. There are houses selling every single day of the year, and yours could be one of them with the right agent.

Second, those ‘house buyers’ will only offer the lowest lowball price, often way below what you owe, not worth the trouble. I suggest you hire a rental agent, and rent it out. You can choose to leave it on the market and take lower rent, or give a lease and take it off the market.

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