Frequently Asked Questions
Maybe you have a few questions. That’s okay; most people do. So here’s a quick collection of some of the questions people ask us… along with our answers. If you still have a question, don’t hesitate to contact us (or give us a call) and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.
Q: Will you be listing my house on the MLS or actually buying it?
A: Great question. We’re not agents, and we don’t list houses. We are professional home buyers: We buy flooded houses in Houston that meet our purchasing criteria. We repair the home and rent or re-sell. Our goal is to help home owners who are in bad situations get rid of unwanted hard to sell assets. We take on risks in a hard to predict market and our goal is to stabilize the property and hope to eventually make a profit on it. In other words our job is to take the headache and risk away from the homeowners and put it on our backs.
Q: What if I have no equity in my home? Why would you still want to buy my house and how are you helping me?
A: Yes we will still be able to help you. We may be able to save you from declaring bankruptcy and walking away with some cash depending on the appreciation in the area. We can also work with banks to do short sales. This is when the bank will accept less money for the remainder of what is owed and forgive you for the rest. Many times if the numbers make sense to us we can come in and buy your mortgage from the bank plus have money left over to give you a nice check. Without us you could have to walk away and ruin your credit.
Q: Can you find me a buyer for my house if you can’t buy it?
A: Sometimes when we come to see a house it might not be something that meets our buying criteria. That’s OK we have a large network of buyers that specialize in purchasing hard to sell homes who we can connect with. In these cases we will decide on a price that you would want to sell the house for. We would then proceed to find you a buyer who would pay us an assignment fee.
Q: Do you pay fair prices for properties?
A: We pay fair market value for your home. What is fair market value? It is what the market allows on that day we cut you a check. We do thorough research of the recent sales in your area for similar houses to come up with the projected sales price of your house after remodeling and readying for sale. We subtract the repair cost from what it can sell for and add in our profit.
Q: How does a flood affect the value of my house?
The Houston Chronicle has projected up to a 60% drop in home values that have flooded for the first time (Article in Houston Chronicle). Multiple flood properties will have the biggest impact on prices and could potentially see the 60% decline if they flooded 3 times in the past 4 years. We generally anticipate a 15% to 25% drop in resale values for one time flooded homes depending on the location. Unrepaired flood damaged homes with a history of flood have a hard time selling on the MLS and Realtor commissions can cut into profits for both sides of the sale. In order to list it at retail price would require time, money, and headache on the part of the seller to bring the home up to retail standards. In these market conditions Investors are a majority of people who will be interested in your home.
Q: What makes you different from your competition?
We constantly track what our competition is paying for homes and try to beat what they can offer. We operate with professionalism, honesty and integrity and can offer a fair deal, we close very quickly (no waiting for financing), and no time, effort or expense is required on your part of fix up the property or pay agent fees. We take all the required repairs into consideration when we make our offer. No need for back or forth negotiating. Besides, our no-obligation pricing commitment means that you do not have to move forward with the offer we give…but it’s good to know what we’re offering!). We are not high pressure sales people that will continuously call you but a family business that cares about our customers.
[DOWNLOAD our free guide that walks you through the Pros and Cons (plus the cost and timeline) of selling your house to a real estate investor… plus learn the pros, cons, and costs of the other two alternatives… listing with an agent or selling it yourself. Head on over here download your free guide →]
Q: How do you determine the price to offer on my house?
A: Excellent question, and we’re open and straightforward about it through the entire process: We look at the location of the property, we bring in a contractor to estimate what repairs are needed, the current condition of the property, it’s flood history, values of similar houses sold in the area recently and what current rental rates are in your neighborhood for comparable homes. We would also take into consideration the flood history of your house as homes that have flooded once or multiple times will generally have lower sales prices to account for the recent flood history. Buyers are nervous about another flood happening after purchase and will generally require a better deal than a non-flooded house. Flooded homes can carry a stigma with homeowners who may worry about future floods. We offer what is fair in these circumstances as it may take many years before we are able to sell the home or take profits if any. We listen to what you need… and come up with a fair price that works for us and works for you too.
Q: Are there any fees or commissions to work with you?
A: This is what makes us stand out from the traditional method of selling your house: There are NO fees or commissions when you sell your house us. We’ll make you an offer, and if it’s a fit then we’ll buy your house (and we’ll often pay for the closing costs too!). No hassle. No fees. Once we buy the house from you… the responsibility is ours and you walk away without the burden of the property and it’s payments… and often with cash in your hand).
Q: How are you different from a real estate agent?
A: When you sell with a real estate agent all the repairs to the property are your responsibility and expense. Real estate agents list properties and hope that someone will buy them. They don’t do any of the work needed to get the property ready for sale. All repairs, permitting, issues with contractors, city inspection headaches, liability of improperly rehabbed homes become your responsibility. The agent only shows the properties to prospective buyers (the average time to repair a flooded property is 4 months and with contractors in high demand right now those numbers may go up).
Real Estate agents also then take a percentage of the sale price if they find a buyer. Oftentimes, the agent’s commission is 3-6% of the sale price of your house (so if it’s a $100,000 house, you’ll pay between $3,000 – $6,000 in commissions to an agent).
Good agents can provide a great service for those that can wait months to sell and who don’t mind giving up some of that sale price to pay for the commissions. But that’s where we’re different: We’re not agents, we’re home buyers. Our company actually buys houses, does rehabs. We take that risk and headache off your shoulders and put it on ours. We don’t list houses. Since we’re actually the one buying the house from you, and we pay with all cash… we can make a decision to buy your house within a couple days (sometimes the same day).
Q: Is there any obligation when I submit my info?
A: There is absolutely zero obligation for you. Once you tell us a bit about your property, we’ll take a look at things, maybe set up a call with you to find out a bit more, and make you an all-cash offer that’s fair for you and fair for us. From there its up to you to accept or counter offer. We won’t hassle you, harass you, constantly call or email you… it’s 100% your decision and we’ll let you decide what’s right for YOU.
Q: What information should I ask and expect from a Cash Home Buyer?
– Call the Home Buyer or read their website to learn more about their home buying process.
– Check if the companies have a local presence and experience with real estate investing in your specific area.
– Ask for proof the business will be able to finance the purchase from the outset. You may even ask for an initial deposit before the sale.
– Request copies of bank statements or loan documents, if you are unsure the business has the cash, or ask to call the business’ lender. You don’t want to wait to receive cash until the home is resold, as some companies may do.
– Sellers should not pay “application fees” or “processing fees” to the home buying business. Avoid upfront payments entirely; the business should be paying you to purchase the home.
– Read contracts carefully before signing and ask questions if anything is unclear. Avoid high pressure deals; you should take your time to review everything carefully.
– Check the contract to make sure you will no longer be making mortgage payments after you have signed away the home.
– Consider hiring a reputable Realtor or attorney to represent you and review any contracts or transactions during the selling process.
– Piper Home Investments helps you sell harder to sell properties or homes quick to help your situation. We are a business and buy properties at below market value to resell later for a profit.
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