I Buy Houses Review: Pros & Cons, How It Works, and Alternatives

By 

Emily Kordys

Updated 

May 19th, 2021

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What is I Buy Houses? | Pros and cons | How I Buy Houses works | Alternatives

 Editor’s Take: I Buy Houses is a nationwide network of real estate investors interested in purchasing homes. Unlike other cash buyer companies, they provide no oversight during the transaction process or guarantees that submitting your information will lead to a sale. 

I Buy Houses provides a platform for home sellers to connect with real estate investors in their area. Their business model is relatively simple — submit your information and an investor may reach out to you.

However, I Buy Houses differs from other cash buyer companies because they don’t provide any actual services to home sellers. The company doesn’t guarantee an offer from an investor or supply any guidelines for the transaction process — meaning you have to negotiate everything yourself.

If you need to sell fast, submitting your information to I Buy Houses is relatively low risk, although it’s far from the best available option. You should only use cash buyer companies or investor networks if you have exhausted all other options — including working with a real estate agent.

» CONNECT: To an agent and get a free comparative market analysis to learn how much your home is actually worth

I Buy Houses, At a glance 
🗓 Closing time
Varies
⏰ Offer time
Varies
🗺 Locations
All 50 states
🤑 Service fee
No fees for the seller
🤵 Other companies 

» COMPARE: We Buy Houses | We Buy Ugly Houses

What is I Buy Houses?

I Buy Houses is a company that introduces home sellers to real estate investors in their area. Businesses that do this are often referred to as cash buyers or investor networks.

Cash buyer companies specialize in purchasing distressed properties from homeowners at a discounted price. In exchange, you don’t have to pay any fees or make repairs, and you can close on your timeline.

However, I Buy Houses is different from typical cash buyer companies. They can’t guarantee any kind of timeline for selling with an investor, and you may have to pay fees. You also have to work out the details of the transaction with the investor by yourself.  

Here’s a closer look at how cash buyer companies and I Buy Houses differ:


Other cash buyers
I Buy Houses 
Offers
Firm cash offer
No guarantee for any offer
Transaction process 
Have specific terms for the deal (closing timeline, contingencies)
You and the investor have to work out a deal
Additional costs
Covers closing costs and fees
May have to pay fees

While using a cash buyer or investor network may seem like a great idea, there are better alternatives that can help you sell quickly and get more money for your home. Real estate agents can advertise and market your home aggressively to attract buyers fast.

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Is I Buy Houses legitimate?

I Buy Houses is a legitimate company that aims to connect home sellers with investors — though there’s no guarantee that will happen.

I Buy Houses severely limits your options because you are not their primary customer. The company only sends you one investor lead that isn't vetted and may ultimately be untrustworthy.

I Buy Houses investor partners pay for leads.

When you submit your information to I Buy Houses, you are technically being sold as a lead to an investor who pays to use their website.

Their investor partners are their primary customers— not home sellers — which explains why they don’t offer any matchmaking services. This ultimately means that I Buy Houses may connect you with someone who cannot help you.

I Buy Houses doesn’t vet its investors.

I Buy Houses does not vet its investor network like other cash buyer companies. And while the company is not accepting new investors at the moment, anyone could previously join.

Because there are no standards or guidelines for investors, you have no way of knowing whether they’re legitimate or if they even have the funds to purchase your home.

Your information only gets sent to one investor.

Your experience with I Buy Houses will depend solely on the one investor who may or may not reach out to you. Many of their investors are house flippers, rental property investors, and real estate agents who are looking to purchase homes at a discounted price.

Most investors will probably offer to pay cash for your home — allowing you to close quickly. However, others may want to use some type of financing or monthly payments which could draw out the sales process.

Having only one option for an investor puts you at a significant disadvantage because you cannot compare offers from other cash buyers or find someone who works best for your situation.

Who should use cash buyer companies?

Home sellers should typically only resort to selling to cash buyer companies if their home is in poor condition or if they need to sell quickly.

However, there are other situations where it may be worth considering...

  • If you inherit a house
  • If you are facing foreclosure
  • If you are having difficulty selling your home

And while they can sell your house on your timeline, it comes at a cost. Cash buyer companies will typically only offer you 50% of the home’s fair market value.

If getting maximum value is your priority, you should talk to a real estate agent about how much you may be able to get for your home on the open market.

»GET: A free CMA from a Clever Partner agent to learn how much your home is really worth

Pros and cons of I Buy Houses

Pros 
  • I Buy Houses is free for sellers
  • The company may be able to connect you with an investor to purchase your home
Cons 
  • I Buy Houses cannot guarantee any sale with their investor partners
  • Sellers won’t have anyone to represent them during the transaction
  • Sellers may have to pay fees and closing costs

How I Buy Houses works

Step one: Submit the form

Sellers who want to be connected with an I Buy Houses investor partner can begin their journey by filling out the form online.

You'll be asked to enter your basic information like your name, address, email, and phone number.

The form will then prompt you to answer specific questions about your home, including:

  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • If a realtor has listed your house
  • How much your home would appraise for
  • Your asking price, including the least amount you would take for your home
  • Necessary repairs
  • Your reason for selling
  • Your mortgage details, including how much you pay per month and how you owe

Once you fill out the entire form, I Buy Houses will send it to one investor partner in your local area.

The company claims that the more information you provide, the higher the chance you will have at an investor reaching out to you. Investors use the information you provide to gauge their interest in purchasing your home.

Step two: Talk to the investor

If an I Buy Houses investor partner is interested in your home, they will reach out to you to confirm the details that you provided in the form.

They will specifically want to verify the amount that you owe on the mortgage and whether it’s above or below the value of your home. Investors will use this to determine how much they may offer for your house.

For example, if you owe $125,000 on your mortgage, that’s all they may offer you. You should heavily consider whether providing your mortgage details to an investor is worth it because they could end up offering you less than they would if you withheld that information.

Other facts an investor will consider before they make an offer include:

  • Costs of repairs
  • Location
  • Layout and size of your home

You and the investor would have to hammer out all of the details of a deal yourselves because I Buy Houses does not involve themselves in the transaction process. It can be hard to handle on your own because the investor’s goal is to get a bargain deal and focus on how the sale would benefit them.

If you can’t work out a deal or decide you aren’t getting the best possible terms for your home, you can back out and reject any offer the investor makes.

Step three: Sign the offer

If you can come to terms with the investor, the last step would be to sign a contract with them for your home.

You may be able to close the deal with the investor in as little as two weeks — which is when you’ll get paid.

How does I Buy Houses compare to other options?


I Buy Houses
Cash Buyer Companies
iBuyers
Top Agent
Editor’s Take
😰No certainty
🚀
Fast
🚀
Fast — but not all homes qualify
💰
Best price
Average time to offer
Varies
3-7 days
1-2 days
25 days
Average closing time
Varies
1-4 weeks
Flexible, in as little as 1.5 weeks
4-7 weeks
Market value
50%
50%
98-99%
100%+
Home selling costs
Closing costs (1-3%)
None
None
Commission (5-6%)
Help negotiating




Connections to real estate investors




Free competitive market analysis




I Buy Houses vs. hiring a real estate agent

In most cases, listing with an agent will be a better choice because they can help you negotiate the best possible deal and sell relatively quickly.

You will typically be able to get better offers by working with an agent than you would by using I Buy Houses. This is because agents list and market your home aggressively on the MLS — which is how most buyers search for homes.

If you need to sell quickly, your real estate agent may be able to use their connections to find a reputable cash buyer or investor that will offer you a more predictable transaction than I Buy Houses.

Agents will also be able to offer you more support and advice during the transaction process — which I Buy Houses cannot. The company has no customer service representatives who can help guide you through the process of selling your home to one of their investor partners.

Looking for an agent? Clever can help! Get in touch to speak with our team of real estate experts who can help assess your situation and connect you with the best solutions for your needs.

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