Should You Sell To a Home Investor?

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There are many different types of real estate investors. Some have different plans and goals than others, but they all have one goal in common – buy low and sell high. That is basically the mantra of all real estate investors. They are in it to make money, so they want to buy at a low price in order to sell later at a higher price. That makes sense. And it could also make sense to you if you are planning to sell a home.

What could the plans and goals of real estate investors have to do with your own plans and goals? Naturally, you are looking for a buyer. Real estate investors buy homes in order to resell them later at a profit. So, you are a seller and investors are buyers. If the circumstances happen to be right, you just might be looking for exactly what investors have to offer when you get ready to sell a home.

Are you personally acquainted with landlords who own rental properties? If so, you already know some real estate investors. Some investors prefer apartment buildings and commercial strip malls or office buildings. But you are not looking for that type of investor at all. You are looking for real estate investors who own single family homes like yours. That’s the key, really. Knowing that a landlord owns and rents out a house like the one you own and may eventually want to sell, you know that there’s a possibility he or she will be interested in your home, too.

Investors who choose to become landlords by purchasing and holding residential homes have various reasons for preferring that type of investment over commercial property. For one thing, financing is completely different, and many times it is easier to obtain. Besides the financing component, investors often prefer single family homes because they retain more hands-on control. Although many investors choose to use a property manager for day-to-day management of their houses, they still make decisions as needed. And they provide cash as needed, too.

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The owner of the home may not be repairing plumbing or spray painting the exterior, but he or she is usually controlling basic decisions that are being made regarding tenants and property improvements. And, most importantly, investors are always on the lookout for more houses to buy. Assuming their investment properties are working out financially, and that they are meeting or exceeding their plans and goals, then you may be in a good position to sell a home to an investor who is ready to buy.

Finding buyers looking for investment property is not difficult at all. You can check out the classified ads in your local newspapers, shoppers and other real estate publications. There you will find little ads that say something like, “We Buy Houses,” or “We Close Fast,” or some other similar phrase that will attract your attention quickly. Whoever is running those ads is looking to buy homes, and possibly your home will be of interest to one or more of the people you meet. You won’t know until you make a call or send an email or a text to find out.

Another way to find investors who may be interested in your property is even closer to home, quite literally. Perhaps you have seen For Rent signs in your neighborhood, and you’ve never paid much attention to them before. After all, if you own a home you generally are not looking for a rental, are you? Now that you are thinking about selling a home you may have a reason to take note of For Rent signs because they may lead you to a buyer. Landlords can often be reached on the phone numbers listed on the signs. Many investors put their cell phone numbers on their signs, and it can be surprisingly easy to find investors with this method.

In the event you reach a management company or an answering service, pursue the matter with them, too. Ask for the property owner’s number so that you can tell him or her about your house for sale. You may have to be somewhat persistent in this activity, but it can truly pay off when you’re looking to sell a home to an investor. This might be a good time to consider why you would want to pursue investors on your own, rather than listing on the multiple listing service with an agent.

First of all, you need to understand that there are significant differences in the two different types of buyers. Homeowners who intend to live in your home when they purchase it have a completely different set of goals and expectations than investors. Let’s look at the differences now because these lists will assist you in knowing the type of buyer that will work for your needs. The bottom-line differences involve financing and timing of a sale, two major issues for every seller.

Most home sellers understand that they will have to wait a certain period of time once they have signed a purchase agreement with a buyer. They wait for a property inspection, usually not more than a week or so, and then they wait a much longer period for the buyer to obtain financing approval. Waiting for buyer financing can be quite aggravating because it often takes longer than a month and worse yet, the buyer may be turned down. This scenario is far too common in today’s marketplace. Sellers are in limbo while their buyers provide all the necessary documentation and hope for a loan commitment. It is not uncommon for loan commitment to arrive just days, or even hours before closing is scheduled to occur.

There will be very little waiting involved when you are dealing with a real estate investor, especially those who advertise, “We Pay Cash And Close Fast.” These are the people who are poised and ready to act quickly whenever you decide you’re ready to sell a home. You may have to make some price concessions in order for the deal to work for an investor, but you will know that your property sale is going to close in a timely manner and you can get on with your life.