We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews: Is it a Scam?

Andrew Whytock

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Andrew Whytock

August 8th, 2022
Updated August 8th, 2022

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We Buy Ugly Houses

We Buy Ugly Houses

📝 Avg. closing time

As little as 3 weeks

💵 Avg. time to offer

24-48 hours

🌎 Locations

Nationwide

✍️ Editor’s take
✔️ Pros
❌ Cons
🏆 Best for

If you’re in a difficult situation and need to sell your house fast, We Buy Ugly Houses may be a viable option. But you’ll be losing out on a lot of money in exchange for a speedy sale.

  • No need to worry about dealing with repairs before selling your home.

  • Offers are made fast, sometimes right after the home inspection.

  • Can close in as little as three weeks.

  • You’ll likely make much less money than you would selling on the open market.

  • Slower closings than some competitors, like We Buy Houses.

  • The quality of service varies depending on the franchisee.

We Buy Ugly Houses should only be considered a last-resort option for people who need to sell a distressed property right away — and don’t mind selling for less than market value. In most cases, a real estate agent will get you a much better deal, even if you need to sell quickly.

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Key Takeaways

  • We Buy Ugly Houses makes discounted, all-cash offers on distressed homes.
  • The company can make home sellers an offer quickly, sometimes immediately after seeing the property, and the sale can close in as little as three weeks.
  • Like all cash buyers, you’ll get significantly less with We Buy Ugly Houses than you’d be able to on the open market with a real estate agent.
  • To get the most money for your home, compare offers from multiple cash buyers before you sign a contract with We Buy Ugly Houses. Get offers from top local cash home buyers now!

What is We Buy Ugly Houses?

We Buy Ugly Houses is one of the most prominent companies that buy houses for cash. They're also known as HomeVestors of America, or as they're sometimes referred to, "The We Buy Ugly Houses People."

Like other cash home buyers, We Buy Ugly Houses purchases houses for cash but less than they're worth — sometimes as little as 50% of the home's true value. They can close quickly, but you'll typically get a lot less money than your home’s market value.

Before you accept a cash offer from We Buy Ugly Houses, it's important to make sure you're getting a fair price for your home. Ask an experienced local realtor what your house is worth on the open market and whether a traditional sale is a better fit for your situation.

If you'd like an agent's expert opinion, we can help you get matched with a top local realtor who specializes in fast home sales. Your agent will provide a free home valuation and professional marketing plan, so you can get the most money for your home while selling on your timeline.

» MORE: Request my free home valuation now!

Who is We Buy Ugly Houses best for?

We Buy Ugly Houses is really only a good option for people in difficult situations who have no choice but to sell right away. Despite its name you don't need an "ugly house" in order to qualify. If you have a house that may otherwise be very difficult to sell, such as it’s in a dilapidated state or at risk of foreclosure, We Buy Ugly Houses is a way to sell for cash and close in just a few weeks.

But most sellers have much better options. If you’re hoping to get even close to the fair market value of your home, you should avoid We Buy Ugly Houses — as well as all cash buyers.

We Buy Ugly Houses typically pays a lot less for houses than what they’re worth and then resells them for a profit. That often leaves you, the seller, with far less money in your pocket than what you’d have gotten if you’d used a realtor and sold on the open market.

You may also be surprised at how quickly a realtor can help you sell, even if your house is in less-than-perfect shape. Many real estate agents are experienced in quick sales and will help you sell on your timeline.

Many realtors also partner with local cash home buyers to help sellers who don't have time for a traditional sale. A good local agent can help you request additional offers from trustworthy local buyers (and tell you which companies to avoid).

If you'd like to get cash offers from top local buyers, Clever Offers is a great place to start. Clever matches sellers like you with top local realtors who specialize in quick sales. Your agent will bring you fair offers from top cash home buyers and provide you with a professional pricing estimate, so you can find the best way to sell your home — and make the most money — on your timeline.

Pros & Cons of selling to We Buy Ugly Houses

✅ Pros

  • The We Buy Ugly Houses brand is legitimate and nationally recognized
  • No need to worry about dealing with repairs before selling your home.
  • Get an offer quickly — sometimes on the spot after a home inspection
  • Close in as little as three weeks after accepting an offer.
❌ Cons

  • We Buy Ugly Houses pays much less than a traditional home buyer would
  • Other We Buy Houses companies offer even faster closings.
  • The quality of service can vary depending on the franchisee.
  • Some We Buy Ugly Houses reviews complain of feeling pressured to accept an offer.

Alternatives to We Buy Ugly Houses

We suggest looking into alternatives to We Buy Ugly Houses since it is not the best option for most sellers. If you’re looking to sell quickly, you have three main alternate options:

Other cash buyers may be able to give you a better deal than We Buy Ugly Houses, although probably not by much. Like We Buy Ugly Houses, they’re only a good option if you have no other viable option and need to sell right away.

iBuyers are similar to cash buyers in that they will make an all-cash offer for your home and sell quickly. While they rarely pay fair market value for homes, they do pay better than cash buyers. However, unlike cash buyers, they have strict criteria for which homes they’ll buy and they tend to only be available in major cities.

For most sellers — even those who are in difficult situations and need to sell fast — a traditional real estate agent is the best option. A real estate agent will almost always get you more money for your house than a cash buyer or iBuyer. Many are also able to work on tight deadlines so they can help you sell within your timeline.

We Buy Ugly Houses vs. other cash buyers

Company
Avg. time to offer
Avg. closing time
We Buy Ugly Houses
24-48 hours
As little as 3 weeks
1-7 days
1-4 weeks
4 days
10-60 days, flexible
Offers can be made the same day
As little as 7 days
Varies
Varies

We Buy Ugly Houses doesn’t differ much from many other cash home buyers. These companies make all-cash offers on homes and can help you close quickly. For We Buy Ugly Houses, it takes just 24-48 hours to receive an offer and you can close in as few as three weeks — both of which are typical timelines for cash buyers.

Speed and convenience are the main reasons people use cash home buyers. If you have a house that is difficult to sell — such as it’s in a high-crime area, needs major repairs, or is in foreclosure — then a cash buyer may be the only way you’ll be able to sell fast.

However, the downside of cash buyers is that they pay a lot less for homes than what they’re worth. You could get as little as 50% of what your house is worth by selling to We Buy Ugly Houses or other cash buyers.

Even if you need to sell quickly and you have a house that may be difficult to sell, you should still contact an iBuyer or real estate agent first. There’s no risk or obligation in doing so and either one will likely be able to get you a better price than a cash buyer. If you’re sure that a cash buyer is right for you, request offers from multiple companies to see if you can get a better price.

» MORE: The best companies that buy houses for cash

We Buy Ugly Houses vs. iBuyers

iBuyers share a lot in common with other cash home buyers. They make all-cash offers on houses and close extremely quickly, typically within a few weeks. iBuyers also don’t typically offer as much as homes are worth, but they do offer more than what cash buyers do.

But iBuyers aren’t for everyone. Unlike cash buyers, iBuyers typically don’t buy homes that are in need of major repairs or come with other issues. Instead, they have strict criteria that you’ll need to meet. If you have an "ugly house" that's in need of major repairs, it probably won't qualify. Plus, iBuyers usually only operate in major cities with hot property markets, so a property in a small town or rural area isn't likely to be eligible.

If you decide that an iBuyer is right for you, we suggest comparing a few. Because buying criteria and fees vary a lot between iBuyers, your ability to sell and the amount you’ll make from the sale can likewise vary considerably from one iBuyer to the next.

» MORE: The best iBuyer companies ranked and reviewed

We Buy Ugly Houses vs. a traditional real estate agent

The final sale price is the biggest difference between selling to We Buy Ugly Houses and selling on the open market with the help of a real estate agent.

We Buy Ugly Houses almost never pays fair market value — a trade-off that some home sellers are willing to make for a predictable all-cash sale with no contingencies. But it’s a big sacrifice considering some sellers could get nearly twice as much by selling with a real estate agent.

Listing your home on the open market might cost you some money out of pocket for repairs and agent commissions, but you'll also introduce competition into the mix, resulting in a higher sale price.

Even if you're looking to sell your home as-is on a tight timeline, a good real estate agent can adjust their strategy to help you accomplish your goals without taking a price cut. At the very least, you should always talk to a real estate agent first to find out what your home’s market value is before making a deal you might regret with a cash buyer.

👋 Clever can help you sell fast and for top dollar!

Before selling your home to an investor or flipper for cash, it pays to talk to a real estate agent about your options.

Our licensed concierge team can connect you with top-rated agents who know how fast homes are selling in your area — and how to find a buyer quickly while earning the most money from your sale.

How does We Buy Ugly Houses work?

When a We Buy Ugly Houses franchisee visits your home, they'll evaluate its value based on factors that include:

  • The current real estate market conditions
  • Comparisons to other local sales
  • The home's age and overall condition
  • Estimated repair costs

What kind of properties does We Buy Ugly Houses purchase?

Despite its name, you don't necessarily need an "ugly house" to sell to We Buy Ugly Houses. Instead, the company focuses on houses and homeowners in difficult situations, like:

  • Structural issues
  • High-crime neighborhoods
  • Flood plain or weather prone areas
  • Houses with high-interest rates or undesirable financing
  • Foreclosures
  • Inherited houses
  • Divorced homeowners
  • Houses that are too big or too small for the homeowner

Basically, "ugly house" buyers look for problem houses that represent an investment opportunity. Properties like these are usually sold by people who want to cash out quickly and are willing to take a discount on the price.

How much does We Buy Ugly Houses pay?

Since We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees are real estate investors in the business of making a profit, they'll only pay a percentage of your home's after repair value (AVR).

According to one source, We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees aim to pay only 55-65% of a home's after repair value. This means that while the information the company uses to analyze your home's value may be accurate, the offer you receive is still a discounted one.

Getting an offer from We Buy Ugly Houses

Home sellers can request an offer from We Buy Ugly Houses by completing the online form or calling their 1-800 number.

After the details have been confirmed, your local We Buy Ugly Houses franchisee will schedule a time to come and see your house, either virtually or in-person.

Once the inspection is complete, the homeowner will get a firm all-cash offer from We Buy Ugly Houses. Unlike a traditional sale which usually involves contingencies so that the buyer can secure financing, there's no risk that the deal will fall through because the buyer (We Buy Ugly Houses) couldn't get a loan.

It can take between 24-48 hours to receive your offer, but in some cases the offer can be made immediately.

If you accept the offer, you can pick a closing date and We Buy Ugly Houses will take care of the details. You can close in as little as three weeks, or more if you need extra time.

Owners of We Buy Ugly Houses franchises have to pay 0.8-3% per transaction to HomeVestors, giving them even less margin for profit when they buy a house.

This additional cost means that they're incentivised to buy your home for the lowest possible price in order to keep their costs down. For example, if the franchisee knows they have to pay 3% to We Buy Ugly Houses with each purchase, they'll incur a $6,000 fee on a $200,000 house, but only a $3,000 fee on a $100,000 house.

We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees also don't get exclusive rights to the territory they operate in. Multiple We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees could be doing business and competing with each other in your region. In theory, that should benefit you since it means you can shop around from different We Buy Ugly Houses’ franchisees to see who will give you the best offer.

We Buy Ugly Houses reviews

WeBuyUglyhouses.com has a score of 4.1 out of 5 in 1,490 reviews. It is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it has a BBB rating of A+.

The positive We Buy Ugly Houses reviews from actual customers have common themes like:

  • Convenience — contact the company and they'll come to you to make an offer
  • Ease — just sign a few documents and it's done
  • Speed — home sellers like being able to get a quick offer and close in a few weeks

On the other hand, negative We Buy Ugly Houses reviews include complaints about:

  • Feeling rushed to finalize the sale
  • Getting an offer that seemed way too low
  • Constantly receiving marketing materials without asking

Remember that We Buy Ugly Houses is a franchise company. That means service can vary a lot from one location to the next. So, when researching reviews online, you should try to find ones of your local franchisee, if possible.

We Buy Ugly Houses franchise reviews

As a home seller, you should do your research before requesting an offer from We Buy Ugly Houses.

Google "We Buy Ugly Houses near me" to find all of the We Buy Ugly Houses franchises in your area — then find out which one has the best reputation, and contact them directly.

Google reviews and Facebook recommendations are a great place to start if you want to know what actual customers think about local franchises.

A We Buy Ugly Houses case study

We spoke to a verified home seller in Michigan, Barb, who sold her home to We Buy Ugly Houses in 2020.

  • Barb told us that she was pleased with her experience and would even recommend We Buy Ugly Houses to a friend because the whole process was so easy.
  • She knows that she probably could have negotiated for more money but her situation led her to prioritize a fast, easy sale over getting maximum value.

At the time, Barb was reeling because a previous deal had fallen through and the house was trashed. She was also dealing with illness in her family while the house was vacant.

These difficult circumstances were placing a lot of stress on Barb, so she needed someone to buy the house as is. She contacted We Buy Ugly Houses because she'd received mail from them in the past and held onto their postcard "just in case."

We Buy Ugly Houses ended up purchasing the three bedroom, one bathroom home for $60,000. Two months later, with little more than a new roof and a complete cleaning to remove all of the trash, We Buy Ugly Houses sold the house as is for $116,000 — a gross profit of $56,000, minus the repair costs.

What if the home had been listed on the open market?

While the scenario described above isn't necessarily emblematic of every single We Buy Ugly Houses transaction, it does reinforce our analysis — home sellers who don't list on the open market are leaving money on the table.

The average cost to sell a home in Michigan is approximately 10% of the sale price.

So, if Barb had just a little bit of time and some cash to install a new roof on the home, she could have sold for $116,000 and netted $104,000 after selling costs.

💰Sell fast with a top realtor and save thousands

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Ready to find real estate agents who can help you save thousands on your sale? Click the button below to get started!

Locations

We Buy Ugly Houses has over 800 franchises in 45 states and Washington, D.C.

FAQs about We Buy Ugly Houses

Yes. We Buy Ugly Houses is the trademark of HomeVestors, a national brand with over 800 franchises in 45 states. We Buy Ugly Houses buys distressed properties for cash. See how it compares to other companies that buy houses for cash.

No, WeBuyUglyHouses.com isn't a scam. It's a legitimate business. The site is owned and operated by HomeVestors and it connects home sellers with local cash buyers who run We Buy Ugly Houses franchises. While We Buy Ugly Houses might make a low offer on your home, their business operations are completely legal.

It depends on your situation and how much money you expect to get when you sell your house. Cash buyers like We Buy Ugly Houses generally pay less than fair market value for homes because they are real estate investors who are looking for opportunities to make a profit.

In most cases, We Buy Ugly Houses pays less than market value. Most We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees purchase houses in order to repair them and sell for a profit, so they aim to pay 55-65% of a home's after repair value, minus repair costs.

The www.WeBuyUglyHouses.com review page has testimonials from happy customers, but we've sourced both positive and negative We Buy Ugly Houses reviews from various sites to give a more accurate picture of what the company is like.

Most offers made by We Buy Ugly Houses are non-negotiable. While there’s no harm in trying to get a better price, you’re unlikely to have much success. However, you’re under no obligation to accept We Buy Ugly Houses’ offer. You are always free to reject We Buy Ugly Houses’ offer and to try to get a better price elsewhere. We recommend trying an alternative to We Buy Ugly Houses if you want to sell for more.

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Methodology

To create this We Buy Ugly houses review, our research team spent over a hundred hours collecting information and data on We Buy Ugly Houses and other companies that buy houses for cash. We analyzed We Buy Ugly Houses’ service offerings and business model and assessed how they compare to the competition. Our team talked to real customers and read through hundreds of online reviews to understand some of the most common complaints and issues. We update this review regularly to ensure you can make the most informed decision about your real estate needs.

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