“We Buy Houses” and “Fast Sale Guarantees” in Pittsboro NC – Are They Scams?

Real Estate Agent Eric Andrews fills us in on the signs we’ve been seeing in the area about “buying houses” or “we buy houses” or guaranteed sales. He points out that we’re in an extremely hot market right now and how some people are leaving money on the table and the pros and cons to these types of operations.

Interviewer:                       I’ve been seeing these signs that say, “We guarantee to sell your house. We don’t sell your house we’ll buy your house.”

Speaker 2:                           Guaranteed. Guaranteed.

Interviewer:                       Is that a scam?

Speaker 2:                           Well, yeah. Not only are they doing that, but some of them will say, “Don’t even mess with listing your house. We’ll just buy it.” You know, the Spain guy, and We Buy Ugly Houses, and some of the big real estate agents in Raleigh are doing it too.

You know, we have a monthly sales meeting in our office, and every couple months or so the agents will come in and say, “Oh, did you see what’s happening? We’re going to be taken over by this.” And what Expedia did to the travel agencies, and people are worried that Zillow’s going to do the same to us. And now there’re these companies coming in and they’ll buy your house. They’re doing that at a discount. They’re doing it. I mean, they’re leveraging the numbers. So yeah, if you don’t want the headache, you don’t want showings, you don’t want the listing or whatever, but you are… you’re getting… I wouldn’t call it scammed, but you are discounting your services.

Interviewer:                       I would think you’re going to get pennies on the dollar.

Speaker 2:                           You’re not going to get pennies on the dollar, but you’re not going to get… You’re not going to have full exposure. You’re definitely going to leave some equity on the table.

So probably in Chatham County, right now, our average seller has about $40,000 in equity in their property, in their house. And you’re going to get probably closer to 10 or 12,000 of that equity if you were to do that. So, they’re walking away with 75% of the equity.

Now, if you have a $400,000 house and you owe 360 on it, and somebody says, “Hey, you don’t have to list it. Don’t have to do anything. I’ll give you a 370 for it right now.” You know, you’re still walking away with 10 grand. And if that makes you happy, great. But I guarantee you, those other people are really happy because they’re going to be walking away with the lion’s share of your equity.

When we get together as an office and I have newer agents, or even some more experienced agents, and they’re worried about these services, I love competition. I love it when somebody comes up with something new and different and tries to reinvent the wheel, or come up with a better mouse trap. But I’m confident in what we do as agents and in this firm. And, and I know we’re going to do a better job than what somebody does…