Mark Spain Real Estate Reviews: Is The Guaranteed Offer Worth It?

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By Jessica Johansen Updated May 5, 2024
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Edited by Katy Byrom

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Mark Spain Real Estate is a brokerage that claims it can get sellers a quick cash offer on their home. However, Mark Spain seems to use its cash offer program as a way to connect with sellers and then pressure them to use its traditional listing service.

If you want a cash offer, you may have an easier time getting one through an alternative cash buyer company. And while Mark Spain advertises its offers as the "most competitive," the only way to ensure you get the best offer is to compare multiple offers, which you can do on your own or through a free service like Clever Offers.

Our Mark Spain cash offer rating

⭐️ Mark Spain: Overall score3.3 🟡
Service quality3.5 🟡
Offer quality3.0 🟡
Fees and other costs3.0 🟡
Customer reviews3.5 🟡
Credibility3.5 🟡
Show more
Ratings based on 1–5 scale, with 5 being the best. Learn more about our methodology.

We rate Mark Spain the lowest for its offer quality and fees. Rather than making a straight cash offer on your house, it assigns an agent to represent you during the cash sale and charges a realtor fee for that service. Most cash buyers don't require you to have an agent or pay commission.

The company also claims it can get you the most competitive cash offer for your home. But it can't actually guarantee the best offer, and it uses bait-and-switch tactics to get you to list with an agent instead.

Customer reviews show that when sellers do get a cash offer, they often think the offer is fair. But there's no evidence the offers are higher than what you'd get from a typical investor.

We strongly recommend comparing Mark Spain to a few other companies that buy houses for cash. You should also know your home's market value so you can compare it with the cash offers.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house

Compare multiple offers from trusted cash buyers to the sale price you'd get with an agent. Clever Offers is free, and there's no obligation to move forward. Simply tell us about your property, and we'll do everything we can to get you the best possible price for your home.

Get Cash Offers

Is Mark Spain worth it?

Pros

  • No showings or open houses
  • Fast closing (as little as three weeks)

Cons

  • Cash offer comes with realtor fees and closing costs
  • Pressure to list with an agent instead of getting a cash offer
  • Strict purchase criteria

If you need to sell quickly, it may be worthwhile to get a Mark Spain Guaranteed Offer. The company says it can source a cash offer in about 48 hours and close in 3 weeks.

However, the company might not be the most cost effective or fastest option. With Mark Spain, you'll have to pay a realtor fee and closing costs. But with a company like We Buy Houses, you won't pay any fees or closing costs, and you can close in as little as one week.

If you have a distressed property and want to sell the home as is, Mark Spain isn't an option. You'll want to look into a company like We Buy Ugly Houses that buys properties in almost any condition.

And if you want the highest sale price, you'll want a listing agent to help you sell on the open market. Mark Spain can connect you with a listing agent, and many customers have good experiences with the company's agents. But it doesn't offer reduced realtor commission like discount brokers do. The top discount brokers offer the same full service you'd expect from a traditional agent, just at a lower cost.

Mark Spain vs. alternatives

Other cash buyers

Mark Spain competitors include franchise cash buyers, iBuyers, and cash offer networks. These alternatives have more transparent business practices, so you won't have to jump through hoops to get the cash offer you came for.

Franchise cash buyers like We Buy Houses buy properties in almost any condition, and some of them can close in as little as one week.

iBuyers like Opendoor will likely pay closer to market value than Mark Spain. But they have similarly strict purchase criteria, higher fees, and limited locations.

Cash offer networks like Clever Offers source cash offers from multiple local buyers, which could lead to a more competitive sale price and better terms.

Here's more detailed information about some of the top alternatives to Mark Spain.

Company
Customer Rating
Type
Best for
Offer Rating
Best overall
5.0
3,162 reviews
National cash offer network
Multiple offers, vetted investors
Most competitive
Compare Offers
On listwithclever.com
Fair offers, hassle-free sales
4.3
3,801 reviews
iBuyer
Fair offers, hassle-free sales
Most competitive
Learn More
On listwithclever.com
Fast sales, professional service
4.6
307 reviews
Franchise cash buyer
Fast sales, professional service
Average
Learn More
On listwithclever.com
Compare cash offers vs. listing
4.6
1,213 reviews
National cash offer network
Compare cash offers vs. listing
More competitive
Learn More
On listwithclever.com
Best overall

Clever Offers

Compare Offers
On listwithclever.com
5.0
3,162 reviews

Service Fee

None

Time to Close

Varies

Why We chose it

Pros and cons

Specifics

Clever Offers helps you find and compare offers from leading cash buyers in your area — all with a proven track record of ethical dealings with home sellers. 

Because Clever's network includes local/national investors, iBuyers, and agents with experience listing homes as is, you get a range of offers to choose from — including alternative deal types that deliver a higher payout over time. 

The 5-star rated company gets top marks for helping you make an informed decision without pressuring you to move forward. See our full Clever Offers review.

Pros

  • Multiple competing cash offers
  • Vetted investors with proven success/funding
  • Explore alternate offer types that may fetch a higher price

Cons

  • Legal review of contracts still advised
  • Some deal types have longer timelines
  • Cash offers may still be below market value

Offer Process: After a brief discussion about your property, Clever walks you through your options and reaches out to buyers who can offer a solution. Buyers contact you directly with offers, which you can accept or reject without obligation. Clever provides full support through closing to resolve any concerns or questions. Learn how Clever Offers works.

Closing Timeline: Most cash buyers can close in 1–3 weeks, but will work with you if you need longer. Some deal types may have longer closing timelines.

Fees and Costs: Clever's service is free for sellers - investors pay Clever a small percentage of the final sale price if a deal closes. If you opt to list your house instead, you can save on realtor commissions through Clever's top-rated agent network.

Purchase Criteria: Almost any property is eligible, since Clever works with multiple types of cash buyers.

Locations: Clever Offers is available nationwide, but offer selection may be limited in more rural areas.

Fair offers, hassle-free sales

Opendoor

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4.3
3,801 reviews

Service Fee

5%

Time to Close

14–60 days

Why we chose it

Pros and cons

Specifics

Opendoor is for home sellers who want to skip the hassles of a traditional home sale — without sacrificing too much on price.

You can get an initial offer within 24–48 hours, choose your closing date, and skip repairs and showings. The company also pays much closer to market value than traditional house flippers.

Opendoor does charge a 5% service fee, and some customers complain that final offers are lower than initial estimates. See our full Opendoor review.

Pros

  • Pays closer to market value than flippers
  • Convenient selling process and quick inspections
  • Flexible closing windows

Cons

  • Repair costs can significantly reduce offers
  • 5% service fee, on par with realtor commissions
  • Strict purchase criteria

Offer process: Submit your property info online and get an initial offer within 48 hours. Following a brief virtual/exterior inspection, you’ll get a final offer, which may be lower. You can accept your cash offer, choose to list it with an Opendoor agent, or walk away. Learn how Opendoor works.

Closing timeline: You can choose a closing date 14–60 days after receiving your final offer. On your move-out day, you’ll need to provide photos of the property.

Fees & other costs: Opendoor charges a 5% service and closing costs of ~1%. Repair estimates will be deducted from your offer and can vary a lot, from less than 1% to over 5%.

Locations: Opendoor is currently available in 53 major markets in AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, MA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, and Washington, DC.

Purchase criteria: Only single-family homes, townhomes, certain condos built after 1930, valued between $100,000 and $600,000 (up to $1.4 in some markets), and on a maximum lot of 1 acre (2 in some markets). Must be owner-occupied without any serious issues.

Did you use Opendoor? Leave a review for the chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.
Fast sales, professional service

We Buy Houses

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4.6
307 reviews

Service Fee

None

Time to Close

7–14 days+

Why we chose it

Pros and cons

Specifics

We Buy Houses is a solid choice if you need to sell fast or have a home that’s difficult to sell. You don’t need to worry about repairs and can close extremely quickly, sometimes in just a week.

The company has been around since 1997, carefully vets its investors' reputations, and is available in most of the U.S. 

Franchise owners have a high degree of independence when it comes to the types of offers they can make. While the customer experience may vary between locations, most offices maintain above-average ratings. See our full We Buy Houses review.

Pros

  • Fast offers (24–48 hours) and closings (7-14 days)
  • No commissions, fees, or closing costs
  • Vetted, reputable investors

Cons

  • Pay below market value
  • Offer is typically take it or leave it
  • Customer experience may vary location

Offer process: Submit information about your property and a company rep will come to your house. You’ll receive a no-obligation cash offer within 24-48 hours following the inspection, which you're free to accept or reject. Learn how We Buy Houses works.

Closing timeline: You can close in as little as seven days and you can choose your own closing date. Money will be deposited in your account in as little as ten days from signing the purchase agreement.

Fees & other costs: Typically there are no fees, closing costs, or realtor commissions. However, if you already have a realtor, you’ll likely need to pay their commission (typically 2.5–3%).

Purchase criteria: Franchise licensees can make offers on nearly any property, regardless of the condition, but most will not purchase mobile homes.

Locations: We Buy Houses has 200 offices across 30 U.S. states and Washington, DC.

Did you use We Buy Houses? Leave a review for the chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.
Compare cash offers vs. listing

HomeLight Simple Sale

Learn More
On listwithclever.com
4.6
1,213 reviews

Service Fee

None

Time to Close

10–30 days+

Why we chose it

Pros and cons

Specifics

If you're unsure where to start, HomeLight Simple Sale helps you explore two options: Selling directly to a cash buyer or listing with an agent.

The company can get you multiple cash offers to choose from and help you close in as little as 10–30 days. However, reviews indicate that many sellers end up listing with a partner agent after finding that no investors are available in their area.

HomeLight agents have great reviews, but if you need to sell quickly — or want to avoid fielding calls from agents trying to earn your business — other alternatives may be a better fit. See our full HomeLight Simple Sale review.

Pros

  • Convenient option comparison (agent listing or cash offer)
  • Generally positive reviews (fewer for cash offer program)
  • Offers within a week, closing possible in 10 days

Cons

  • Online estimate may exceed actual investor offers
  • Complaints of excessive agent calls after requesting cash offers
  • Most reviews focus on agent matching, not cash offer program

Process: Submit your property information online and talk to a Home Consultant. HomeLight fields offers from multiple cash buyers, allowing you to compare. If you accept, you choose your own closing date. Learn how HomeLight Simple Sale works.

Closing timeline: You’ll receive your offer within a week and you can close in as little as 10 days. You’re free to choose your own closing date.

Fees & other costs: HomeLight Simple Sale is free to use and there are no commissions or closing costs associated with a cash offer. If you sell with a realtor, expect to pay a traditional listing fee of 2.5–3%.

Purchase criteria: Any property is eligible. If no investors are available to make offers, you have the option of listing as is with a HomeLight partner agent.

Locations: HomeLight Simple Sale is available nationwide. However, offers may be limited in some areas.

Did you use HomeLight? Leave a review for the chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

» MORE: Looking for more cash buyers near you? Check out the best companies that buy houses for cash to see our comprehensive guides for all 50 states.

Traditional realtor listing

A traditional sale with an agent may be the best option if you have a more flexible timeline and the resources to prep your home for listing.

You'll almost always get a higher sale price when you sell on the open market. Your realtor will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) and use their local market expertise to help you price your home competitively. And if you find a real estate agent experienced with fast sales, they can help speed up the process if a fast closing is your priority.

While the average real estate commission for a listing agent is 2.5–3%, you can find a top low-commission realtor who provides full service for 1.5%. This can lead to thousands more dollars in your pocket, which is especially helpful if you're taking a lower sale price because of your home's condition or your short selling timeline.

In-depth Mark Spain review

Service quality

📊 Our rating: 3.5/5
  • Bait-and-switch tactics can make it difficult to get a cash offer
  • Those who opt to list with a real estate agent generally get good service

Mark Spain Real Estate emphasizes its Guaranteed Offer program on its website and in its marketing, so many customers come to Mark Spain looking for a cash offer. But when the company sends a real estate agent to inspect a house, the agent often pressures the seller to list with them instead.

This bait-and-switch tactic is mentioned many times in customer reviews. And it can be frustrating for sellers who just want a simple, quick cash offer or help understanding their options without being swayed one way or the other.

For example, in August 2023, Caroline B. commented, "This company was a nightmare. My husband and I reached out to them due to offering a guaranteed cash offer. We needed to sell and relocate quickly for work. Never got a cash offer. We were coaxed into putting the house on the market."

Listing with an agent isn't the best route for everybody, and some customers weren't happy with the outcome they got by selling traditionally with Mark Spain. However, many reviewers appreciated the service their agents provided, noting that they were friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.

If you call Mark Spain with questions, you may not get answers over the phone. The representative we spoke to said they were unable to provide any answers over the phone and insisted we schedule an in-person meeting with an agent.

How does Mark Spain work?

  1. Submit your home's details: Visit MarkSpain.com and submit details about your home. The company then verifies if your home meets the program criteria.
  2. Get your offer: If your home meets the requirements, you receive a preliminary offer within 48 hours. After a home inspection, the company gives you an updated offer. Depending on your home, you may qualify for multiple guaranteed offers to choose from.
  3. Close on your home: If you accept the offer, you can close in as little as 21 days.[1]

Offer quality

📊 Our rating: 3.0/5
  • Mark Spain claims to source the most competitive offers but doesn't provide any evidence to back this up
  • Offers are below market value
  • The company has strict purchase criteria

On the website's homepage, Mark Spain says it will get you the strongest offer on your home. But we didn't find any evidence that this is true.

The company doesn't buy homes itself. Instead, it taps its network of investors (including Opendoor, in some areas) to source a cash offer for your home. So the quality of your offer will depend on which investors in the network are available in your area. We imagine that this makes it difficult for Mark Spain to deliver on its promise of getting you the strongest offer.

Does Mark Spain make fair offers?

It depends on which investor in Mark Spain's network makes an offer. Investors pay less than market value so they can make money when they resell homes. How much an investor pays for a home is based on their desired profit margins.

iBuyers like Opendoor tend to pay closer to market value, while cash buyer companies and individual investors often pay around 70% of a home's after-repair value, minus the cost of repairs.

Omer Reiner, President of FL Cash Home Buyers, explains, "We look at the estimated cost to make necessary repairs and the going sales price for similar homes in the area. Then we base our cash offer on 70% of the price we would expect the home to sell for after renovation expenses."

Many people don't consider "we be houses" offers a rip-off, since they anticipate getting a lower price when they sell as is for cash and prioritize the speed and convenience.

» Learn more about how much you could lose selling a house as is.

Our recommendation: Compare offers

Mark Spain Real Estate says it can sometimes get you multiple cash offers,[2] which increases the chances you'll get a competitive offer.

We always recommend comparing offers to get the best price and terms for your situation. A free service like Clever Offers might be an easier way to compare offers. While Mark Spain often pressures sellers to list their homes, Clever gets you multiple offers and walks you through each option, without any pressure to accept an offer or list instead.

What types of homes does Mark Spain buy?

Your home needs to meet the following purchase criteria to get an offer:[3]

  • Single-family home
  • Built after 1950
  • Worth between $50,000 and $1.5 million
  • Owner-occupied or vacant
  • Not distressed, bank-owned, or near a flood zone
  • No unpermitted additions
  • No significant foundation issues

You won't be able to sell a home that needs work, like major repairs, to a Mark Spain investor. The company also won't source offers for you if you're in financial distress or you have an impending foreclosure. If you're in these situations, consider selling to another cash buyer company.

Fees and other expenses

📊 Our rating: 3.0/5
  • You have to pay a realtor fee and closing costs, which most cash buyers don't charge

Mark Spain fees

Mark Spain assigns a realtor to represent you during the cash sale and charges a realtor fee. This isn't a usual practice for cash buyer companies.

It's hard to find information about the realtor fee on the website. We spoke to a representative who confirmed that sellers pay for realtor representation during cash sales, but they declined to tell us how much this fee is. You can likely expect the typical rate of 2.5–3%.

You'll also have to pay closing costs, which can vary but are usually around 1%.

Realtor fee2.5–3%
Closing costs~1%
Show more

If Mark Spain's cash offer is close to what a company like We Buy Houses offers, it might make more sense to accept an offer from a "we buy houses" company. These companies don't charge any fees, and they cover closing costs for you.

iBuyers usually make offers closer to fair market value, but they typically charge around a 5% service fee, and you'll also have to pay closing and repair costs. You'll want to compare offers and fees to see which company will net you the most.

Customer reviews and complaints

📊 Our rating: 3.5/5
  • The company has a lot of positive reviews for its listing service, but reviews for the cash offer program are mixed
  • Several reviewers mentioned lowball offers and pressure to list

Mark Spain Real Estate has a high customer rating, with an average of 4.7/5 stars across nearly 4,000 reviews on Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Reviews on Google and the BBB vary by location.

A closer look at recent reviews shows that customer experiences with the cash offer program are mixed. Some reviewers were happy with the cash offer process. But other customers were frustrated with the pressure to list, lowball cash offers, and fees.

✅ Some people were happy with their guaranteed offers

Some reviewers wrote about positive experiences with the company, including fair offers.

Tom R. in January 2024 had a particularly good outcome: "I have bought and sold 3 homes with Mark Spain Real Estate. Each time it was easy and simple. One of the homes I received 13 offers on including 3 guaranteed offers for more than I was asking."

❌ Many reviewers reported the company's bait-and-switch tactics

A common complaint about Mark Spain was the company's bait-and-switch tactics. Many reviewers talked about how they met with a representative to get a cash offer only to have the rep heavily encourage them to list instead.

Lewis H. in spring 2023 was frustrated by the push to list: "Bait and switch... promised cash offer on our home and never gave one.. ads are very misleading... keep trying to get us to list when we said we had no interest in listing and wanted their cash offer."

❌ Several reviewers mentioned having their offer lowered unexpectedly

A handful of reviewers received an initial cash offer, decided to accept, and then were told at the last minute that the offer was actually much lower. Here are two examples:

Darlene D. in February 2024 said: "I was very disappointed in my Mark ********************** 'guaranteed offer' experience. After agreeing to their offer, I was told the investor wanted to lower it by $20K. I guess there is no GUARANTEE in their Guaranteed Offer."

Jessica M. in November 2023 had a similar experience: "We were told an investor wanted to buy our house. We were given an offer and told we had until Sunday at 5pm to accept. ... We asked for an extension until Tuesday at 5pm to accept. We were told yes and that this was not a cash investor. When we reached out to the agent on Tuesday morning to accept the offer, it was then lowered $50,000 and changed to a cash investor. ... They lied to us and we lost out on the house we were going to make an offer on."

❌ Some customers were blindsided by the fees for the cash offer service

Mark Spain charges a realtor commission for its cash offer service. This fee isn't common among cash buyers, and the company isn't upfront about it.

James B. in spring 2023 was caught off guard by the costs associated with Mark Spain's cash offers: "Got a cash offer from Mark Spain, they don't tell you fees and commissions associated with the all cash offer. We made an extra 30,000 selling as a traditional listing verses the low ball cash offer. It seems to me that the 'all cash offer' is just a bait and switch to get their foot in the door for a listing."

Credibility

📊 Our rating: 3.5/5
  • The company's marketing is misleading
  • The company is legitimate and has won several awards for its brokerage services

Mark Spain Real Estate advertises that it can get you the strongest cash offer on your home. But the company doesn't provide any evidence or data to back up this claim. Mark Spain presents the best offer from the investors in its network, but that doesn't mean it's the best offer among all the reputable buyers in your area. If you choose to get an offer through Mark Spain, you should compare it with offers from other companies.

Despite its misleading advertising, Mark Spain Real Estate is a legitimate company. It was founded in 2016 by Mark Spain, who has decades of experience in the real estate industry. The company has received many awards over its years of operation. For 7 years straight, Mark Spain has made it onto the RealTrends list of top 1,000 US real estate teams.[4][5]

Mark Spain locations

Mark Spain Real Estate started in Georgia and now covers seven states. You can get a cash offer through Mark Spain if your home is in one of these areas:

  • Alabama: Birmingham
  • Florida: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa
  • Georgia: Alpharetta, Athens, Atlanta, Buford, Marietta, Stockbridge
  • North Carolina: Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh
  • South Carolina: Greenville
  • Tennessee: Chattanooga, Nashville
  • Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth

Other Mark Spain services

In addition to its cash offer program, Mark Spain provides traditional agent services for listing and buying a home. The company can also help you find a place to rent.

Frequently asked questions

What is Mark Spain Guaranteed Offer?

Mark Spain Real Estate is a brokerage that offers a guaranteed all-cash offer on your home. Homes must be in good condition and meet all criteria to qualify for an offer. Learn more about how Guaranteed Offer works.

Does my home qualify for a Mark Spain Guaranteed Offer?

To qualify, you must have a home built after 1950 and worth between $50,000 and $1.5 million. The home must be owner-occupied or vacant and not distressed or bank-owned. Learn more about additional Guaranteed Offer requirements.

Who is Mark Spain?

Mark Spain founded his independent brokerage in 2016 after working as an agent for 20 years, including 5 years with Keller Williams.

Related reading

Methodology

We evaluate each company that buys houses for cash based on four core criteria and create a weighted score:

  • Service quality (20% of final score)
  • Offer quality (20% of final score)
  • Fees (20% of final score)
  • Customer reviews (20% of final score)
  • Credibility (20% of final score)

Service quality

Customer experience. We rely on secret shopping and fact-checking interviews with company representatives to look for indicators that the company is professional, communicative, customer-focused, and ethical in its dealings with customers. We verify this information against customer reviews and interviews with past customers or professionals (realtors, former employees) who have had direct experience working with the brand. 

Offer quality

Price. While nearly all cash buyers pay less than market value for homes, we look at how competitive the company's offers are compared to similar companies.

Purchase criteria. We also look at the company's purchase criteria to see how flexible and accommodating they are in making offers. Companies that offer a fair price for homes that other buyers won't purchase can still get a high rating for offer quality.

Fees and other costs

Competitiveness. We look at how the company's fees and other costs compare to competitors.

Value. We consider whether the fees are justified by the value offered.

Customer reviews

Review analysis. We perform an in-depth analysis of all the available customer reviews to determine trends. We break down the reviews by theme and sentiment, and filter out spam reviews to determine our rating.

Company responsiveness. Negative reviews are part of doing business; however, we take note of whether a company is actively involved in resolving customer complaints.

Credibility

Trust signals. We look at how long the company has been in business, the number of verified customer reviews it has, how willing the company was to answer questions about its business model when we contacted it, and how easy it is to find detailed information on its website — including the names and contact details of specific team members. We also look at customer reviews to determine whether the company acts with honesty and integrity in its business dealings.

Article Sources

[1] Mark Spain Real Estate, Guaranteed Offer Frequently Asked Questions – "How does the Guaranteed Offer process work?". Accessed Mar. 29, 2024.
[2] Mark Spain Real Estate, Guaranteed Offer Frequently Asked Questions – "Can I receive multiple Guaranteed Offers?". Accessed Mar. 29, 2024.
[3] Mark Spain Real Estate, Guaranteed Offer Frequently Asked Questions – "What types of homes fit the Guaranteed Offer program?". Accessed Mar. 29, 2024.
[4] RealTrends – "2023 The Thousand real estate rankings show shining stars". Updated June 9, 2023.

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