In a Nutshell: Many U.S. homeowners — particularly in 2020 — are one unexpected expense away from sending their budgets into turmoil. But HomeVestors is there to help. Whether a homeowner is struggling with credit card debt, facing foreclosure, or simply needs cash fast, the long-standing company purchases homes quickly. HomeVestors’ approach allows homeowners to skip the usual repairs, renovations, and Realtors needed to sell a home. Instead, the company evaluates the home and makes a cash offer, oftentimes right on the spot. HomeVestors maintains franchises in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Its franchise model also allows people to bring in more cash by embarking on a new career in real estate.
An unexpected financial emergency can wreak havoc on budgets and put families in danger of falling into a debt spiral. Of course, this is true in any year. But the economic uncertainty of 2020 makes issues like uncontrollable debt, foreclosures, and bankruptcies more likely than they would be in more prosperous times.
For households that are struggling with debt or facing other financial problems, there are numerous routes to help alleviate financial burdens, including short-term loans, home equity loans, establishing a side hustle, and even selling your house.
Ideally, before putting a house on the market, homeowners will invest some funds into any repairs or renovations the house may need. They will also secure the services of a Realtor. But, if you’re already experiencing financial difficulties, paying for overdue home renovations is probably not a realistic scenario.
But there is another route to sell your home and bring in some much-needed cash. HomeVestors is a company that buys houses directly from the owners, providing them with cash quickly.
“We’ve been in business since 1996 buying houses,” said HomeVestors CEO David Hicks. “Our focus is, we buy older houses — typically houses in need of repair that Realtors don’t like because they need updating.”
Helping Homeowners Get Out of Unsustainable Situations
HomeVestors’ motto is We Buy Ugly Houses®, but Hicks explained that this not only refers to houses that have seen better days, but also ugly housing situations such as debt or emergency expenses.
“As our name states, our local property specialists have bought ugly houses, condemned houses, even houses that aren’t ugly at all, but their owners have faced ugly circumstances, and their best solution was to sell to us, the trusted, quick home buyers,” according to the company website.
Hicks said that numerous homeowners have found themselves in ugly situations this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I talked to one of our franchisees recently and they had a person who was putting off a move to Washington because of COVID,” he said. “They really needed to move. Our franchise owner talked to the seller in the front yard, they walked through the house in about two minutes, taking pictures, and did the contract virtually with no contact.”
Hicks said other homeowners have done business with HomeVestors during the pandemic via video calls.
“After several home buyers stopped buying in the early stages of the pandemic, leaving many sellers in the lurch, the real estate market saw a historic gain of 25% in home sales from June to July,” according to a press release. “While iBuyers and Wall Street rushed back in to restart buying, long-time Main Street buyer, HomeVestors®, remained a reliable option for sellers at the peak of their need.”
But that’s just what HomeVestors has been doing for more than two decades.
“You might be facing financial or family issues, costly repairs, job loss, an inherited house you need to sell — we’ve helped homeowners with these issues and many more to sell fast and move on,” according to the company.
How the HomeVestors Approach Differs from the Traditional Selling Process
The process of selling your house to HomeVestors isn’t like one would typically expect from the traditional process.
“Instead of taking the time and the expense to fix up your house, pay sales commissions, host showings, wait on a banker’s decision, etc., we can make you a cash offer for your house ‘as is,’” according to HomeVestors. “Meaning you don’t fix anything or even pick up a broom; you can just sell your house fast to our local property specialists, exactly as it is right now.”
If HomeVestors makes a firm cash offer, the offer will not change before closing. Homeowners can expect to close the sale as soon as three weeks after accepting HomeVestors’ cash offer.
“The first step is meeting you, seeing your house, and learning how we can best help you with a fast cash offer,” according to the company. “We’ll evaluate your neighborhood, analyze market conditions, and get to know your property and what you’re facing.”
While the process can move quickly, HomeVestors also takes the time to answer your questions and moves along at a pace you’re comfortable with. But for those who are ready, the HomeVestors local property specialist can often make a cash offer on the spot at the first meeting.
Hicks said that HomeVestors works with people to help them understand their options and make an informed decision on whether HomeVestors is the right choice for them. On paper, the price difference between what HomeVestors offers and what the market predicts a house may sell for may be different. But these predictions don’t account for the upfront time and money needed to invest in the houses to make them sellable.
“We explain the options to them, and oftentimes once they see the price difference and what they would have to pay a Realtor with closing costs and everything else, they find that the convenience is well worth the difference in price,” Hicks said.
Franchise Opportunities Create New Career Options
As Hicks mentioned, HomeVestors operates under a franchise model, which is another way the company opens opportunities for people to bring in cash.
“Change your lifestyle with tried-and-true real estate methodology,” according to the company. “An independently owned and operated HomeVestors franchise is a way to make life-changing revenue in a system with proven success.”
HomeVestors franchisees across 47 states and D.C. have bought more than 100,000 houses since 1996, according to the company website.
“HomeVestors® provides comprehensive real estate investment training for all of our franchisees,” according to the company. “During the initial week-long course at the corporate office, you learn the nuts and bolts of buying, renovating, and selling houses.”
The company also understands that certain risks come with owning your own real estate business and works to limit franchisees’ exposure to those risks.
HomeVestors also makes sure its franchise owners have access to the tools they need to do a great job.
“You’ve got to track and manage leads, evaluate rehab costs, find funding for your deals, list properties to sell, pay your bills, and more,” according to the company. “Our proprietary software tools can help you do these things quickly and correctly — many from our single plug-and-play software platform, UGVille℠.”
New franchise owners will also be assigned a mentor to help them get up and running.
“On-call for coaching and available when you have questions, your Development Agent will do what it takes to help you reach your individual business goals,” according to HomeVestors.
And Hicks said franchise owners are truly passionate about helping people get out of untenable situations.
“I think the biggest thing is that our franchisees are a little bit different because they really have the power to help people,” he said. “They like coming in and helping and finding out what a person’s situation is and helping them with that — even if we’re not the best solution for them.”
So, if you’re strapped for cash and have equity in your home — or if you’re looking for a new career in real estate — HomeVestors may be worth considering.