If you’re hoping to sell your Massachusetts house soon, the market might look a bit worrisome. High mortgage rates have been keeping buyers on the sidelines: The volume of sales in September 2023 declined by more than 28 percent versus last year, according to data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR).
However, you don’t necessarily have to sell to someone who needs a lender to approve their mortgage application. Instead, you might consider companies that buy houses in Massachusetts — for cash. These firms can be a good fit if you need to sell your house and relocate immediately, if your property is in need of costly repairs that you can’t afford or if you just need the cash ASAP. There’s a tradeoff, though: Companies that claim “we buy houses” tend to buy those houses for less than their market value, so they can turn a profit.
Read on to learn about some of the “we buy houses” companies that are currently snapping up properties around the Bay State, and how they work.
Companies that buy houses for cash in Massachusetts
There are some nationally known names that buy houses in Massachusetts — or in certain parts of it, anyway. The company literally called We Buy Houses has offices throughout the entire state, while HomeVestors (also known as the “we buy ugly houses” company) purchases properties in the Boston and Springfield metro areas, as well as the Worcester region. Opendoor, one of the biggest players in iBuying, is also currently buying homes in the Boston area.
In addition to national chains, there are plenty of locally owned homebuying operations in Massachusetts. These include:
- Pavel Buys Houses: This Boston-based fix-and-flip company, in business for more than seven years, can move from making an offer to closing on a home in just 10 days. It buys homes in any condition.
- Mass Property Buyers: Mass Property Buyers also buys houses as-is, and says it can make an offer in seven minutes and close in as little as seven days.
- New England Home Buyers: New England Home Buyers purchases properties in Massachusetts, where it is based, as well as in Maine and New Hampshire. They make cash offers within 24 hours and typically close in about seven days, though they can close as fast as 48 hours if necessary.
How do ‘we buy houses’ companies work?
No matter how different they seem on the surface, companies that buy houses for cash all share one common ingredient: They don’t need to wait on a lender’s approval to buy your home. Speed is definitely one of the key advantages to selling this way.
Another advantage? Convenience. In most cases, these companies will purchase properties in any condition, no matter how poor, so you don’t have to make any repairs or even clean up. Many also buy properties from owners in tough situations, such as facing foreclosure, filing for bankruptcy or going through a divorce.
In most cases, you simply provide some information about your home to get a quick cash offer. Some companies who operate entirely online might ask you to upload photos of the property; others will send a representative to assess the home in person. You are under no obligation to accept the offer once you get it, but if you do accept, most companies will move very quickly toward closing and let you choose a date that works for you. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed: Take the time to read all the paperwork carefully, and especially the contract.
The goal behind this speedy process is simple: “We buy houses” companies make money by buying a property for a low price, putting in some work to fix it up and flipping it as quickly as possible, whether by selling it or by renting it out. Since they need to make a profit on each transaction, they’re not likely to offer you as much for your home as you’d get selling it the traditional way — but they will get the cash in your pocket much faster.
Not sure if a cash homebuyer is right for your home sale? You have other options:
- Work with an agent: A local real estate agent who knows your Massachusetts market can market your home and get it seen by the most potential buyers possible. It will take longer — homes in the state took about 30 days to sell in September, according to MAR data — but it’s the best path to getting the best price.
- Do it yourself: You can also opt for a for sale by owner listing, often abbreviated to FSBO, which eliminates the commission you’d pay for a listing agent. However, this requires a lot of hard work, time and energy (and you’ll still be responsible for paying the buyer’s agent).
- Find a tenant: Perhaps you don’t actually need to sell the property. If you’re not in urgent need of funds, you could rent your house out and make some steady monthly income instead. Houses fetch high rents in Massachusetts — according to Zillow’s most recent rental market report for the state, the median rent for a house here is $3,600.
Ask yourself what matters more to you right now: time or money? If selling your house as quickly as possible is your top priority, a “we buy houses” company might be the right option. However, if you aren’t in too much of a rush, you will likely turn a bigger profit by working with an experienced local real estate agent.
For the most part, yes: There are plenty of reputable companies that buy houses for cash. These real estate investors aim to find properties that they can turn into profits by fixing them up and reselling them. However, that doesn’t mean you should automatically trust all of them — do your research, read reviews online and check with your local Better Business Bureau. You can also visit the website of the Massachusetts Attorney General to download any consumer complaints about the business.
The amount these companies offer will depend a lot on the property’s location and condition. However, it’s safe to assume that an offer from a cash-homebuying outfit will be lower, and potentially a lot lower, than the home’s market value if sold the traditional way.