Top 5 We Buy Houses for Cash Companies in California (2021 Rankings)

Kristen Klempert

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Kristen Klempert

May 18th, 2021
Updated May 18th, 2021

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We Buy Houses company reviews | What they do | How they work | How much they pay | How much they cost | Pros and cons | Alternatives | FAQs

We Buy Houses companies in California offer cash to homeowners that need to sell quickly. We reviewed the top California We Buy Houses companies so you can shop around for an offer and make an informed decision.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • We Buy Houses companies can help you sell fast, but they're not a great deal in most cases

  • You'll only get about 70% of the actual fair market value of your home by selling to one of these companies

  • Other options include instant-offer iBuyer companies or low commission companies, like Clever

Top California We Buy Houses companies reviews

We Buy Houses companies and other cash buyers allow you to sell your home fast — sometimes in a week or less. We've pulled together some of your best options in California.

However, if you can wait longer than two weeks, you can sell your home for top dollar with a realtor — not the 70% value that most cash buyers offer. And, with companies like Clever, you can net even more from your sale with their pre-negotiated low commission rates.

A free consultation with a member of Clever's Concierge Team can help you assess your situation and find an agent who's experienced at selling homes quickly in California.

💰 Clever can help you sell fast for a better price!

Cash buyers can be a good option if you need to unload an unwanted, distressed property fast. However, if you want to sell quickly without sacrificing a ton of equity, Clever is one of your best alternatives.

Clever sellers typically get offers 2.8 times faster than the national average AND save an average of $9,000 in realtor fees.

✍️ Editor’s note

The information in the reviews below is publicly available. Unfortunately, though, We Buy Houses companies are not particularly transparent or willing to share information with non-clients.

Our advice:

  • Read any contracts carefully

  • Don’t pay for anything upfront

  • If it doesn’t feel right, walk away

  • Reach out to multiple companies and compare offers

Express Homebuyers

Express Homebuyers

Express Homebuyers

Phone Number

877-804-5252

Time to Offer

7 minutes

Time to Sale

7 days

Details
Locations
Reviews

Express Homebuyers is a national service that has partnered with local investors across the country to buy houses for cash.

Steps to sell with Express Homebuyers:

  1. Submit your home's information to receive an initial "as is" offer
  2. Meet with the local investor to assess your property and answer any questions
  3. Discuss the local investor's final cash offer and, if you're willing to sell, sign a sales agreement then and there
  4. Choose a closing day on your schedule
  5. Show up on the day of the sale to sign the paperwork and receive cash within hours

As of May 2021, Express Homebuyers had an average positive rating of based on 100+ reviews across Google and Yelp.

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California Family Homebuyers

California Family Homebuyers

California Family Homebuyers

Phone Number

(916) 493-3737

Time to Offer

24 hours

Time to Sale

7 days

Details
Locations
Reviews

California Family Homebuyers is a local, California property investor that buys homes for cash in select cities across the state. To sell your home to California Family Homebuyers, you can:

  • Fill out their online form or call directly
  • Meet with a team member to receive a cash offer
  • Close in as little as 7 days, or on your schedule

For more information, including specific areas of operation, terms of service, and other details, we recommend reaching out to the company directly.

California Family Homebuyers buys homes exclusively within California.

As of May 2021, California Family Homebuyers did not have any available online reviews.

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SoCal Home Buyers

SoCal Home Buyers

SoCal Home Buyers

Phone Number

(951) 331-3844

Time to Offer

Varies

Time to Sale

7 days

Details
Locations
Reviews

SoCal Home Buyers is a local, California property investor that buys homes for cash in select areas of Southern California. To sell your home to SoCal Home Buyers, you can:

  • Request an offer online by filling in details about your home
  • Schedule a call to provide additional details, with an optional in-person home inspection
  • Receive a negotiable offer that could potentially be altered
  • Move to closing on your timeline

SoCal Home Buyers buys homes in five California locations:

As of May 2021, SoCal Home Buyers has an average rating of 4.9/5 based on 66 reviews across Google, BirdEye and Yelp.

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Premier Property Buyers

Premier Property Buyers

Premier Property Buyers

Phone Number

(949) 356-6763

Time to Offer

24 hours

Time to Sale

7 days

Details
Locations
Reviews

Premier Property Buyers is a local, Southern California property investor that buys homes for cash in select cities across the state. To sell your home to Premier Property Buyers you can:

  • Fill out their online form providing house details
  • Meet with a representative at the property to evaluate the home’s condition and receive a final cash offer
  • Close on your own schedule

Premier Property Buyers serves exclusively Southern California.

As of May 2021, Premier Property Buyers has an average rating of 5/5 based on 18 customer reviews across Google and Yelp.

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We Buy Ugly Houses

We Buy Ugly Houses

Full Review

Time to Offer

Varies

Minimum Closing Time

3 weeks

Closing Costs

No cost for seller

Editor's Take
Pros & Cons
Locations
Reviews
Contact

We Buy Ugly Houses has a better reputation than most individual cash buyers, but the home seller's experience can vary based on the quality of their local franchise. While We Buy Ugly House can close in as little as three weeks, it's common knowledge that they pay far less than fair market value.

Pros

  • Trusted, nationally recognized brand.
  • No need to worry about repairs.
  • Close in just three weeks.

Cons

  • Quality of service may vary between franchises.
  • Pays far less than fair market value.

We Buy Ugly Houses has over 800 independently owned and operated franchises across 46 states.

As of April 26, 2021, We Buy Ugly Houses's parent company, Homevestors, has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. No other third-party reviews are available at this time.


This rating is based on overall national data. Research local franchises for specific reviews that reflect their quality of service.

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» LEARN: These are the best national We Buy Houses for Cash companies

What is a We Buy Houses company?

We Buy Houses companies and other cash buyers offer a fast solution for homeowners. They purchase houses “as-is” — that is, in their current condition, without any repairs or prep — and pay in cash.

These companies exist because the traditional home selling process doesn’t work for everyone. For example, in California, a typical home sale can take 88 days from listing to closing. Some homeowners can’t wait that long.

Further, these companies are another option for sellers with homes in such poor condition that they wouldn't qualify for financing from traditional buyers.

When to use a We Buy Houses company

For home sellers who need to sell in a hurry, want to avoid paying for repairs out of pocket, or are looking for a more convenient selling method, a cash buyer can be a great option.

But they're not right for everyone.

To ensure a profit, We Buy Houses for Cash companies in California make offers that are well under fair market value — about 30% less. On a $250,000 home, that means you'd lose out on around $75,000.

Put simply, the speed and convenience these companies offer don't always outweigh the hit you'll take to your bottom line. In many cases, you’re better off working with a full-service real estate agent on the open market to get the most value for your home.

Make more money selling your house!

Clever can match you with a full-service agent so you can sell fast and get top dollar for your home.

How a We Buy Houses company works

While the smaller details and timeline vary from company to company, We Buy Houses companies in California all share the same basic business model.

  • An interested home seller reaches out directly to the cash buyer company
  • The company assesses the property, focusing on factors like necessary repairs and potential resale value
  • Based on the amount of time and money it will to need to invest in the property, the company makes an "as-is" cash offer
  • If the homeowner accepts, the deal closes quickly because there's no need to negotiate, wait for financing approval, or inspect and appraise the property
  • The cash buyer repairs the home and then resells it for a profit

The quick process benefits homeowners who don't have the resources or time for a traditional sale.

For perspective, according to realtor.com, houses typically spend 43 days on the market in California before the seller accepts an offer. Then there's the closing process, which takes between 30 to 45 days if the buyer is applying for a mortgage. That means it can take the typical seller up to 88 days to finalize the sale.

In comparison, some We Buy Houses for Cash companies in California can complete the whole process in as few as seven days.


Traditional Process
Cash Buyer Process
Prepping the House
Days to months, depending on the condition
None — these companies buy homes "as-is"
Time to Offer
43 days
2 days or fewer
Closing Process
30-45 days
7 days or fewer

Ballpark vs. official offers

Many California We Buy Houses companies advertise that they'll send you an offer in as few as seven minutes. This is not an official offer.

After talking to a company representative, they'll give you a ballpark estimate of what they'll pay. Very few companies will make a binding offer sight-unseen — and if they do it'll be substantially lower to account for possible issues.

Once you schedule an in-person inspection, the company will present a legal offer, often on the spot.

Who actually buys your home

Some of the bigger, well-known We Buy Houses companies in California aren't actually buying your home. Instead, it's a network of local investors or the company simply refers interested sellers' information to local house flippers.

In these cases, how long the process takes will depend on the investors in your area.

For example, we called a few We Buy Houses companies that advertised offers in less than an hour… and none of them responded within that time frame.

We Buy Houses companies pros and cons

✅ Pros
  • Fast, certain cash offers: Most companies will send an offer within 24 hours. And, there's no chance of the deal falling through because a mortgage application is denied or the buyer gets cold feet.
  • Sell your home "as-is": These companies will usually buy your home regardless of condition (and deduct the cost of repairs from the offer price).
  • Schedule your own closing date: Instead of going through the typical 30-45 day closing process, you can close in as few as seven days.
  • Low closing costs: Many California We Buy Houses companies will cover typical closing costs. This can save you 1-3% of your final sale price.
❌ Cons
  • Lower offers: To ensure they make a profit, these companies will offer 70% of your home's market value, minus the cost of necessary repairs.
  • No negotiating: You can either take an offer or leave it. The company won't negotiate, even if you disagree with its evaluation of your property.
  • Predatory tactics: Many sellers considering a cash buyer are in a difficult situation, like foreclosure. Some companies, unfortunately, take advantage of your situation. Never sign anything because you feel pressured. Instead, be prepared to walk away if something doesn't feel right.

Frequently-asked questions

What are the best alternatives to We Buy Houses companies?

How much will We Buy Houses companies in California pay?

We buy houses companies use the 70% offer rule to ensure they'll make a profit. Basically, the 70% rule says the buyer shouldn't pay more than 70% of the home's After Repair Value (ARV) — what they hope to sell the house for — minus repairs.

On a California home that would sell for $150,000 on the open market, they may only pay $105,000. Selling a home that's worth $300,000? You may only see an offer for $210,000.

How much does selling a home to a We Buy Houses company in California cost?

On the surface, nothing. These companies don't charge you fees to buy your home. You'll also avoid many traditional selling costs, like realtor commissions and closing costs.

When you add all these expenses up, selling to a cash buyer can have significantly fewer upfront costs than a typical home sale. However, given the lower prices they offer, the savings don't always make up the difference. You could end up with much less in your pocket at the end of the day.

Here's how much a seller in California can walk away with using your state's median listing price of $758,863, average selling costs, and carrying costs (that is, the daily cost of owning a home, including utilities, mortgage, and taxes).


Selling to a We Buy Houses Company
Selling with a Traditional Realtor
Selling with Clever
Home value*
$455,318^
$758,863
$758,863
Repair costs**
$0
$5,000
$5,000
Seller concessions
$0
$9,106
$9,106
Staging costs**
$0
$1,409
$1,409
Closing costs
$0
$15,177
$15,177
Carrying costs
$808
$3,030
$2,434
Commissions and service fees
$0
$37,319
$25,841
Take Home
$454,510
$687,821
$699,896
*Based on the average listing price for the last 12 months (realtor.com)
^70% rule and assuming the house needs 10% of its ARV in repairs
**Based on HomeAdvisor national average

Are We Buy Houses for Cash companies scams?

In general, We Buy Houses companies in California are not out to scam you. Some are national franchises and others are family-owned. In both cases, they rely on their reputation to close deals, so there is little incentive to scam people.

That being said, as with any industry, there are bad apples. If a "cash buyer" approaches you, check that they have an established web presence and customer reviews before giving them your personal information.

Also read all the fine print on any contract they present. Look up words or terms you don't understand. And never assume the contract says what you agreed to verbally.

Most importantly, look at the contract's contingencies. These are the conditions that allow the buyer to back out of the sale or change terms. Unless you understand the contingencies, you could be taken advantage of.

Additional resources for home sellers in California

Better real estate agents at a better rate

Enter your zip code to see if Clever has a partner agent in your area.

If you don't love your Clever partner agent, you can request to meet with another, or shake hands and go a different direction. We offer this because we're confident you're going to love working with a Clever Partner Agent.