Whether it’s been on a billboard or on a postcard that arrived in the mail, you’ve probably seen the ads for “We Buy Houses!” They promise to make cash, fair market offer for homes in any condition. Many sellers dread the thought of fixing up their home, keeping it clean, and staging it and the idea of selling quickly can be appealing.

These companies also know when to swoop in and make an offer. The postcard probably showed up shortly after you filed for divorce, or when grandma’s obituary appeared in the paper. They target those in difficult situations who might be overwhelmed handling it all.

But do these companies make a legitimate, fair market offer for your house? Will you lose money if you sell to them? Here’s why you should think hard before calling a “We Buy Houses for Cash” company, and get a discount realtor’s advice on your home before signing a fast-cash buyer’s contract.

Are Mobile “We Buy Houses for Cash” Companies Legit?

These companies operate a business model that can be summarized as “buy low, sell high.” Fair market value is often less than you could get if you sold your home through a standard sale. A legitimate offer is not necessarily one that’s in your best interest.

These companies know that to make a profit, they have to give you a lowball offer. They have no obligation to give you a fair price, and because they operate as dual agents will not be advocating for you. If you sell to them, expect to see it back on the market a few months later at a price much higher than what they paid you.

Shadier cash for houses companies might not put their business name on the postcard, and you can only reach them by phone. If there are no online reviews or their only reviews are full of praise, be cautious.

In an initial consultation call, they’ll ask for your name, your home’s address, and the amount you currently owe on your mortgage. They ask about your outstanding mortgage because they want to know the lowest offer you’ll still accept. Once you’ve told them your outstanding balance, their offer will be at exactly or close to what you owe.

Beware of anyone who charges upfront fees or makes grandiose promises, as they could be a scam. Legitimate realtors make their money when they’ve completed the entire sale transaction.

How Much Will a Cash Buyer Pay for Your Home in Mobile?

Cash home buyers are known for aggressive sales tactics. They’ll push you to make a decision quickly and sometimes threaten to withdraw the offer. Not only do they not want to lose out on the sale, they also don’t want you to take the time to read the fine print.

In their ads, they claim to offer fair market value for your home. Hidden in the fine print is the fact that they’ll often deduct fees or reduce their offer by highly-inflated estimates of repairs.

The median value of homes in Mobile is $120,500. Cash buyers’ offers usually come in between 65-80% of a home’s value. At most, you’d get $96,400 for a median home in Mobile, leaving behind $24,100.

Nine out of ten people who solicit offers from fast-cash buyers still sell through a traditional realtor. While the sale may take a little longer, and even if you don’t want to fix up your home, realtors can help. If the brokerage has a commercial real estate specialist, they will know investors who buy distressed properties or how to sell through auctioneers.

Mobile, AL iBuyer and Cash Buyer Reviews

“We Buy Houses” and “We Buy Ugly Houses” are the two biggest national players in this market. They advertise aggressively and operate in Mobile, but they don’t have great reviews.

A local company, Mobile House Buyers, buys homes in any condition for cash. They target homeowners facing foreclosure in the Mobile area. Their generic website doesn’t feature any information on the individuals behind the company.

IRBY, LLC, is another local cash buyer. Their website is more transparent, with the owner and employees names and pictures on their “About Us” page. This raises confidence in their legitimacy.

“Sell Your House for Cash” vs. a Full-Service, Local Real Estate Agent

When you accept the convenience of a fast cash offer and quick closing you are giving up equity and profit. Experienced real estate agents can often move your home quickly, particularly by preparing a Comparative Market Analysis and helping you price your home correctly.

Clever Partner Agents work through well-known and established brokerages. They’re top agents, with high sales and strong selling networks. They’ll know of potential buyers in their network or can talk with other agents in their brokerage to find you a buyer who can close quickly.

Agents often bring you offers for as much as 125 percent of a home’s fair market value, which will never happen with a fast-cash buyer as they are buying the home for themselves. Through Clever, you can hire a flat fee agent. A “we buy houses for cash” buyer’s fees will be much higher.

There are other ways to sell your house in Mobile fast, which won’t cost you a chunk of your home’s equity, so check out our tips.

Before agreeing to sell your home to a cash for houses buyer, why not take a little time to complete our online form to connect with a Clever Partner Agent for a free, no-obligation consultation. They can help you sell your home for the best price, and save thousands on commissions.