Decided you need to sell your Long Island home fast, but aren’t sure how? Have questions about these “we buy houses” companies you’re seeing around? Wondering what the difference is between a Long Island realtor, and a Long Island home buyer?
This article will help.
In it, we’ll break down each of those things and more, so you can know how to better evaluate which situation is right for you, and how you can identify the right buyer for your home. For full transparency, here at Comax Properties, we are a cash home buying company serving homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk counties. We work with a lot of business in Long Island, and we’ve been doing this for a while. Just for a bit of history, our owner grew up in Queens, and is the proud son of an NYC Firefighter. He’s been investing in real estate for 30 years, so we know what we’re talking about.
Our goal in this article isn’t to convince you a cash buyer is a right way to move forward. It may very well not be! You may be better served by a real estate agent. The purpose of this article is to first, help you understand your options for selling your Long Island-based home, and then secondly, to determine which option may be a better fit for you. Finally, if you do decide that going with a cash home buyer makes sense for you, we’ll give you some tips on how to avoid sleezy or unethical ones.
If you have any questions, we’re real people, and you can give us a call anytime! Hope this article helps.
What are your options?
OK, first thing’s first. What are all your options to selling your home?
Well, we’ll break it down into three main ones:
- Work with a local Long Island-based realtor. There are tons of them out there, and the trick is narrowing down to one who is proven, has good reviews, and can help you in your situation.
- Sell it yourself, with no companies involved. This is much harder, and there’s no one to advocate for you, but it is an option. Your home would be “for sale by owner”, and you’d basically be responsible to try and find the buyer, and take care of all the closing work. Since even Dave Ramsey (the budgeting guru) doesn’t think this will save you money, and since it’s the most amount of work, we’ll leave this one be.
- Sell to a home-buying company. This could be a real estate investor, or one of those “cash for homes” or “we buy houses” companies you see around. These are typically only good solutions if you have certain goals, or stresses. We’ll explain more later.
So there you have it. There are really three basic options you have when it comes to selling your home here in Long Island. The main two that are probably the most viable for you are working with a local real estate agent, or selling to a cash for homes company.
The question is, what are the Pros and Cons of each, and which should you work with?
We’ll cover that next.
How do you know if you should use a Long Island-based real estate agent, or sell to a “cash for homes” company?
We’ll say right off the bat that for most homeowners, a realtor can solve their problems and best help them meet their goals.
Basically, a realtor is going to learn more about your home, list it on the market, work to identify potential buyers for you, “show” the house (meaning, schedule times for prospective buyers to walk through your home, tour it, ask questions, etc.), and then negotiate in closing, if the prospective buyer decides they want to buy. They’ll handle pricing negotiations, and they’ll be the communicator between you, and the buyers.
On the other hand, a real estate investment company, or home buying company, will actually buy your house directly from you. They’ll likely do a simple inspection one time, and then make an offer. If you decide you like the offer, they’ll typically handle the closing costs and paperwork with the bank, and they’ll buy it directly from you – so there is no showing process, or process of listing your home on the market.
So what are the benefits of each?
Well, when it comes to a realtor, they will usually help you be able to earn the most money possible on your home. That’s the main benefit they offer. The other benefits, of course, are that they’ll schedule and show your house, and negotiate on your behalf. Since they stand to earn more commission, they’re in your corner and will try and sell your home for the highest price they can.
When it comes to a cash for homes company, the pros are that they can usually help you sell your home much faster. Most companies advertise that they can buy your home in 30 days, or in some cases, faster. The other advantages they offer is that they buy your house in the condition it’s in. So you don’t have to make any repairs or improvements to it, and you avoid the walk-through process, where you have to keep maintaining your house, keep it clean and ready for strangers to walk through, and wait for it to sell.
The downsides of a realtor, are the time it takes to sell. This is the main one. In today’s market (at the time of this article), the market is fairly hot and houses are selling more quickly and naturally, but that’s not always the case. Also, if your home is run-down, in disrepair, or needs a lot of work, it may take longer to sell since it’s less desirable. That means that with a realtor, you may have to lower your price to adjust for improvements that will need to be made by the next buyer, or you’ll need to make the repairs yourself. Finally, the other disadvantage is that you’ll have to factor in the fees and commissions you’ll have to pay when the home sells. To be clear, most homeowners will still earn more that way than any other way, but if your home is really in bad shape, it may factor in.
The downsides of a cash home buyer are that they can’t pay you full market value for your home. Essentially, you’re trading in some of the value of your home for a faster sale, where you can sell as-is and walk away from your home in 30 days or so. Think of it in terms of selling a car privately, vs trading in to a dealership. So the biggest downside with an investor, is that, since they need to make profit, and will have to factor in home improvement costs, they won’t pay you as much as you could earn with a realtor.
So which is the right decision for you?
The answer really is that it depends on your situation. If you own a house or property in Long Island, and you have the time, money, and ability to make repairs, or wait for the right buyer, then you should probably go with a realtor. In other words, if there is no urgency on your part, if there’s no pressing reason why you need to sell now, and if trading in the speed for the value isn’t worth it, then a real estate agent is likely a better fit.
On the other hand, if you’re facing foreclosure and need a sale in 30 days or less in order to try and preserve your credit; or if you’re in a really tight spot and your house is in bad shape, and you don’t have the time, money or ability to make repairs, or if a realtor straight-up can’t help you sell it because of your situation, then a cash home buyer may be a really good fit. Typically, if the speed of the sale, and being able to sell it as-is, and walk away from it is more important than cleaning everything up and trying to show it to prospective buyers, then you could see what a cash for homes company here in Long Island can offer you. Another good situation for a cash home buyer would be someone who inherited a house, but who doesn’t want to clean it up, or lives out of State and just doesn’t want the headache of dealing with it.
So if you’re in the first camp, and a Long Island realtor is going to be your best bet, then start reaching out and looking for ones with good reviews, and make sure to talk to them about your situation and see if they can help you.
But if you’re in the second camp, and if you’ve identified that you want to work with a home buying company, then here are a few things you should use to evaluate them and make sure you’re choosing a good one!
Decided you want to sell fast, for cash? Here’s how to identify an ethical, trustworthy home buying company.
It’s no secret that the “we buy houses” industry here in Long Island gets a bad reputation. For good reason too. If anybody can throw up a sign, and offer cash for your home, doesn’t that seem a little suspect?
Well, as with anything (car dealerships, contractors, mechanics) – there are good ones, and there are bad ones. Here are a few warning signs of bad ones:
- If they ask for fees up-front, run. No reputable investor should be asking you for money. That’s not how it works. They should be ready to hand you money, so if they talk about “holding fees” or “waiting fees” or any other such nonsense, you should walk away.
- If they can’t show you any reviews or testimonials, or have really bad ones, walk away. A good investor or home buying company should make Long Islanders happy, and walk away feeling like they got a fair deal.
- If they’re pushy, aggressive, or rude, walk away. I mean, more aggressive than normal New Yorkers 😉 . Some home buying companies will make you feel obligated to take their offer, or be really rude or aggressive about getting you to decide. That’s not fair to you, and it’s not the sign of someone who cares about your situation.
So, what are the things you can look for, or what are questions you can ask, to identify a good home buying company?
- They have good reviews and testimonials.
- They are transparent. They are willing to break down their pricing and show you why their offer number is what it is. That doesn’t mean you’ll love their offer, but it does mean they’re not hiding anything.
- They care. If you’re looking to work with a cash buyer, it’s likely because you’re in a tough spot and need a solution out. That makes you vulnerable, and a good company should listen, care, and be willing to help.
- They close on your timeline. If they’re willing to close as fast (as possible) as you need, or wait until you get everything in order, that’s a good sign.
- They give you space to decide. They may tell you that the offer number doesn’t stand after a certain number of days, which is fine, but they should give you some space and time.
- Do you feel comfortable with them? Do they seem like they’re genuine?
- Are they local? Do they know the area, do they live, shop, and work in Long Island? If they’re just a national chain that doesn’t really invest in or care about New York, then you might want to find someone who does.
- They should pay all closing costs and take care of closing paperwork with your bank.
- They should communicate often. Make sure you’re not in the dark on anything.
So if you’re reading this, and have identified that a realtor won’t work for you, and that a cash for homes company is probably your best solution, we hope this article has helped you identify some good ones. Remember, you can always call them, talk to them, ask questions, etc. before committing to anything. There’s no reason you shouldn’t feel totally comfortable with the company you’re working with.
Here’s how selling fast for cash (typically) works.
- Find an investor or cash home buying company that want to work with, and can trust (using the tips above).
- Reach out to them, and send in your info. They’ll typically get in touch with you right away, or ASAP to learn more about your situation.
- They may ask for a time when they can come see your home. It’s so they can inspect your home and see what repairs they’re going to have to make once they buy it. Just for good practice, make sure someone’s there with you and that you feel comfortable, as you would with anyone coming into your home.
- If they want to buy from you, they’ll give you an offer number and you should be able to think it over. If you like it, you can let them know.
- They should set up a closing date, and take care of everything for you. That’s it! You’ll walk away with money for your home.
What’s your goal?
At the end of all of this, it just comes down to what your goal is. If the goal is to get the highest price for your Long Island home, and you’re just looking for some ways to speed up the process, then you might want to talk to a realtor and find one who has a track record of helping homeowners sell quick. If your goal is to sell as fast as possible, or sell your home as-is, where you can just get paid and walk away from it as quickly as possible, then a home buying company may be a good fit, and you’ll want to make sure you find one that you can trust.
If you do decide that a home-buying company is the way to go, feel free to request a cash offer from us, or get us on the phone. We’ve worked with Long Island homeowners for the past 30 years, helping them sell their homes quickly, and getting out of tough situations. We’re local, family-owned, and our reviews speak for themselves. We buy houses both in Long Island, and just about anywhere in Suffolk and Nassau counties, so if you need some help, just reach out.