Selling your home can be a stressful experience–especially if you’re not prepared for it. You’ve probably heard pitches from companies that will provide an instant home offer, but what exactly does that mean for you as the seller?
If the idea of getting an instant offer on your home sounds too good to be true, it may be because it is. While the convenience of selling your home in this manner can be tempting, make sure you understand the downsides to an instant home offer before falling head over heels with an offer that may not be all that it appears to be.
1. Inaccurate or Shifting Values
While certain real estate websites provide an estimate on a home’s value based on tax records and surrounding properties, they are just that, estimates. A home must be seen in person to be accurately evaluated. That instant offer you receive is very rarely the offer that is finalized.
This is the classic bait-and-switch approach. You’re intrigued by a high offer and simple process, you decide to proceed, then – bam! – your offer is lowered once your home is inspected in-person and hidden fees take even more money out of your pocket.
At this point, some people decide to start the process all over again in hopes of finding a higher offer elsewhere while others will feel they have sunk too much time into the process already and decide it is easiest to accept the lesser offer and be done with it.
2. Instant Home Offers Still Require an Inspection
Don’t think that once you receive an instant offer you’re off the hook and ready to close.
Your home will still need to be inspected before your instant home offer can be finalized. The company will still send out a home inspector to look at the property.
This almost always either leads to a change in your original offer. If your home needs any repairs or upgrades, the company may either require that you make them yourself before they will proceed with the purchase, or they can deduct the cost of repairs from your original offer.
3. High Fees
While many companies that provide instant home offers will advertise no commissions, they tend to be less forthcoming about what other fees you should expect at closing.
With these types of online instant offers, there are often other “service fees” that can amount to more than the commission would be. Make sure you read the fine print so you know exactly what to expect when it comes to fees. Or, better yet, sell to a buyer that never charges any fees, commissions, or closing costs.
4. Offers Only Apply to Certain Property Types
The majority of instant offers only apply to homes that are “ready-for-market,” not those that need repairs or upgrades. Homes must meet a laundry list of requirements to even be considered for one of these programs.
In addition to the condition of the home, many properties may be rejected from ever receiving an instant home offer due to their age, location, lot size, or foreclosure status.
This list of strict criteria means a large group of homeowners are out of luck and unable to even consider this selling method. These restrictions are usually not clearly advertised, so you may need to do a little digging to see if it is worth your time to even request an instant home offer.
5. Lengthy Closing Process
Although the offers are instant, it can still take up to 45 days or more to close. According to Realtor.com, the traditional average home sale takes 50 days to close, so an “instant” offer isn’t much faster than the traditional selling route. If repairs are needed, this can lengthen the process even further.
Plus, your offer could even drop while you wait to close. That’s probably not what you had in mind for an “instant” purchase offer.
Experience the HomeGo Difference
As with anything in life, especially those things that impact your finances, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The convenience of an instant home offer comes at a cost. Not only do many homes not even qualify for instant offers, but it is also common for offers to start high and then be lowered after inspection.
HomeGo is different. When we make an offer, we stand by it. Our agents make same-day offers, after a quick walk-through of your property – no formal inspections required, and you can close in as little as seven days. With HomeGo, what you see if what you get. There are no hidden fees, closing costs, or commissions.
Contact HomeGo today to get an offer from a licensed, local agent – not a computer. We look forward to helping you move towards the next chapter in your life.