Disclaimer: This post is meant to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Links and mentions of Bay Area companies in this post do not constitute an endorsement. Individual program details can also frequently change — please visit a company’s website for the most up-to-date information on each program’s fees, market coverage, business model, and more. HomeLight always recommends doing your own research to determine which selling option is best for your situation.
We Buy Houses companies in the Bay Area make all-cash offers for homes that often need some work, enabling sellers who lack the time, expertise, and money for repairs to move quickly and receive the cash proceeds from their home sooner if they need it.
Although the Bay Area is known as the hub for high-tech opportunities, perhaps the company you worked for is downsizing, or you have an imminent job offer in an area that has a lower cost of living. Or you may be at a point where you would like to retire. Or perhaps you need to cash out an inherited property to settle an estate — you may be in a hurry to sell.
If you need to sell your Bay Area home quickly, a We Buy Houses for Cash company could be the best solution. However, before you request a cash offer, it’s important to understand how much a Bay Area house-buying company might offer for your home and weigh your options. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can opt to select a company on our list of some of the top contenders and get moving.
Working with house-buying companies in the Bay Area
We Buy Houses companies in the Bay Area typically promise to give home sellers quick, convenient all-cash offers, and exceptionally speedy closings, often wrapping up the property sale in as few as seven days. These house-buying companies have polished their processes to help sellers who need to move ASAP, and tend to target distressed homes in need of repairs.
Here’s how the process generally works:
- You request an all-cash offer. The company will ask you to provide information about your house and property. Some We Buy Houses groups will make a preliminary offer shortly after you submit the request. However, the initial offer is typically subject to change after they have inspected your home.
- The company performs a walk-through. This on-site property visit is typically completed within 24 to 48 hours. The timeframe may vary depending on the company and market.
- You receive a firm offer. Your official cash offer is typically received within 24 hours of the on-site visit, but can sometimes be presented at the end of the walk-through. At this point, you can accept or decline the offer. The majority of house-buying companies do not negotiate. They usually present a take-it-or-leave-it sale price.
- If you accept the offer, you’ll both sign a sales contract. With a signed sales agreement, the closing process will begin. Some house-buying companies will initially provide a large deposit or funds to assist the seller with moving costs. Others will pay for the property upfront.
- Close the sale and get paid quickly. We Buy Houses companies can typically close your home sale within seven days to a few weeks. This can vary by company, and sellers who work with a house-buying company often enjoy flexibility in selecting a move-out date that works for them.
Popular We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area
If these benefits of selling to a house-buying company in the Bay Area sound good to you, it’s time to find a legitimate operation you can trust.
We’ve compiled some of the top companies that will pay cash for your parent’s ranch or mid-century modern style home. By selling to one of these companies, you should be able to sell your Bay Area home in as little as a week or two.
Twin Home Buyer
Twin Home Buyer became incorporated in February 2022. Their focus is to have an efficient and quick sale that is a fair offer. They don’t care about the condition of the house or if there are tenants and will work with situations such as inherited or vacant properties. Twin Home Buyer will also work with the seller to choose their closing date. Their company mostly serves 10 counties in the Bay Area including San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Twin Home Buyer covers them.
Reviews: Twin Home Buyer has been BBB accredited since March 1, 2022, and has an A- rating. Customer reviews for Twin Home Buyer speak to having an easier experience than preparing their home for the market. They also express how they appreciated great customer service and an overall smooth process.
Simple Sale (a HomeLight platform)
Contact information: homelight.com/simple
Locations: Nationwide, including the Bay Area
Simple Sale, a solution from HomeLight, is an online platform where sellers in the Bay Area (and across the country) can request a cash offer for their home. Simple Sale has a network of cash buyers on its platform, and partner investors have a wide range of investment strategies, including fix-and-flip and buy-and-hold. This enables Simple Sale to provide cash offers for a wide array of properties, even those that need some or a lot of work, in different locations throughout the Bay Area. With Simple Sale, you can get an all-cash offer within five days and sell your home in as little as 10 days, skipping the months it can take to sell the traditional way.
Closing costs: No prep costs, no agent commissions, and no fees charged by HomeLight. Individual investor fees may vary.
Reviews: Simple Sale is a HomeLight platform. HomeLight was founded in 2012 and is BBB accredited and A-rated, with a customer review rating of 4 stars out of 5. The company has 4.7 stars on Google based on more than 500 user reviews. Below you can hear about how Baohan Wu, a seller who used Simple Sale to sell his high-rise apartment, closed within three and a half weeks and what he thought of the process overall.
Phone number: 866-950-1619
Locations: Bay Area, San Francisco, Sacramento areas, nationwide
HomeVestors was established 20 years ago and will buy homes in “as is” condition and depending on the situation can sometimes close within three weeks. They have bought over 125,000 houses and go through a three-step process. Starting with a free consultation (home tour), then presenting the home seller with a firm offer, and facilitating a quick closing process. According to their website, their offer won’t change before the closing date and they do consider homes that have structural issues, need repairs, or cosmetic updates.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; HomeVestors covers them.
Reviews: HomeVestors has been BBB accredited since March 30, 2016, and has an A+ rating. Customer reviews speak to a transparent and non-stressful process. They also express pleasure about HomeVestors’ friendly and helpful service while answering questions.
John Buys Houses Bay Area
Phone number: 510-283-9871
Locations: Bay Area
John Buys Houses Bay Area makes offers without obligation to buy homes in “as is” condition. After doing a market analysis to see what similar houses have sold for will determine the offer you receive. John Buys Houses Bay Area will typically rehab the homes and sell them or keep them as rentals. Since John Buys Houses Bay Area buys many homes they also partner with additional investors they trust to rehab their homes. Once the seller accepts an offer that is often presented within seven minutes, according to their website, they don’t even need to clean out the house and can leave items behind.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; John Buys Houses Bay Area covers them.
Reviews: John Buys Houses Bay Area has been BBB accredited since April 9, 2020. Customer reviews for John Buys Houses Bay Area speak to how friendly and professional everyone was during the process. They also express how fair the offer was and the flexibility in moving out of the home to make sure it was a smooth transition.
Brothers Buy Homes Bay Area
Phone number: 415-598-9297
Locations: Bay Area
Brothers Buy Homes Bay Area will buy homes in any condition in Sacramento, Contra Costa, Alameda, Napa, and Solano counties. Brothers Buy Homes Bay Area will make a no-obligation offer after getting additional information regarding the details of the house and its condition. They do not require any repairs and will make a cash offer based on their assessment. Once the offer is accepted by the seller, it may be possible to close within seven days.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Brothers Buy Homes Bay Area covers them.
Reviews: Brothers Buy Homes Bay Area has been BBB accredited since March of 2021 and holds a B+ rating. Customer reviews for Brothers Buys Houses speak to the fast turnaround of receiving a cash offer. They express their appreciation for working with a company that understands how to deal with challenging situations such as Lesley H. who wanted to sell her property to downsize after living there for 44 years.
Why sell for cash in the Bay Area?
There are plenty of valid reasons a Bay Area home seller may choose to work with a Cash-For-Homes company. Leading the list are the benefits of speed, certainty, and remarkable convenience.
In the Bay Area, it typically takes around 30 days to sell a home on the market using an agent. That includes 30 to get a signed offer, plus the typical 49 days a buyer needs to close on a purchase loan.
Compare that to the typical seven to 10 days promised by many house-buying companies in the Bay Area, and it’s clear why these Cash-For-Homes groups are an attractive option, even though they don’t always offer top dollar for the homes they purchase.
These companies are growing in popularity, especially for sellers who do not have the typically required long weeks or months to prepare, market, and close on a traditional home sale. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons Bay Area sellers decide to use a We Buy Houses for Cash company over listing a property the traditional way.
- The home has significant repair issues common in the Bay Area such as flooding and foundation issues.
- The seller needs to cash in quickly or move ASAP due to a divorce, medical need, financial strain, job relocation, or some other pressing family or life change.
- The seller doesn’t have the necessary funds or desire to make home repairs.
- The seller doesn’t want the stress, work, or headaches of prepping the home, coordinating showings, negotiating, or navigating a lengthy or complex sales process.
- The seller desires the privacy of selling their property quietly off-market to a cash buyer.
- The seller is facing foreclosure and just wants to sell the home and settle their debts with the lender before the situation (or credit history) gets worse.
- The seller wants a convenient and fast way to unload an inherited property.
- The seller is a landlord who no longer wants to manage a rental property, or wants to relieve themselves of a problem tenant.
- The homeowner is growing old and moving in with a relative or into a care facility, prompting their family to sell the property for convenience or to help fund the move.
- The seller is living out of state and desires the benefits of an easy, quick cash sale.
If you are a homeowner facing any of these circumstances, requesting a cash offer from a We Buy Houses company might be a good option to consider. However, it’s prudent to think of this as a starting point in your search for solutions. You won’t know if it’s your best move until you know more about other options available to you, which we’ll help you review in a minute.
Pros and cons of house-buying companies in the Bay Area
At this point, you’ve probably noticed that We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area can trigger a mixed bag of thoughts that can be difficult to sort. You may like the idea of speed and convenience, but you might be having trouble balancing these with the premium you might pay for a cash-offer service.
In this next section, we’ll walk you through some of the pros and cons of using a We Buy Houses company so you can better weigh your options.
One of the biggest advantages of working with We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area is that you can sell your home as-is with no repairs required, and they’ll buy homes in any condition.
If your home was severely damaged in a weather event, or you’ve fallen years behind on routine maintenance, you can still sell without needing to make the extensive repairs that financed buyers may require.
Here are some other pros to consider:
- Speed: You can typically sell your house in as few as seven to 10 days.
- More certainty: With a pre-offer walk-through, a house-buying company can provide a firm cash offer that comes with few contingencies, or no contingencies at all. We Buy Houses companies have refined their transaction methods in such a way that they can clear away many traditional roadblocks so sellers can plan with more confidence.
- No repairs: Again, if your home is in need of repairs you can’t afford, you can skip them altogether. Or, if you don’t have the desire or time to tackle repairs, a We Buy Houses company can be a fitting solution to sell a home in poor condition.
- Less hassle: You won’t need to worry about showings, open houses, fielding offers, negotiating, low appraisals, or the risk of the buyer’s financing falling through. When you work with a reputable We Buy Houses for Cash company in the Bay Area, you’re likely going to experience a smooth journey from offer to close.
That all may sound pretty great to you as a seller if you’re looking to move within weeks rather than the months it might take you to list and sell your home on the market with an agent. However, there are downsides to working with Cash-For-Homes companies. Namely, they typically offer substantially below market value for your home.
When considering an offer from a We Buy Houses site, remember that these are house-buying companies, which means they’re ultimately trying to make a profit. They plan to fix up your home and either resell it or rent it out. That takes considerable time, skill, and investment.
Here are some potential downsides to weigh:
- Lower-priced offers: Most companies follow the 70% rule, meaning they’ll offer you about 70% of your home’s after-repair value (or the value that your house could sell for on the market once it’s all fixed up) minus repair costs. This means the cash offer you receive may be markedly lower than what you could get for your home on the market.
- Inconsistent market knowledge: There can be a vast difference in a house-buying company’s knowledge of a market. One may have localized information, such as specific neighborhood data, which enables the company to leverage that knowledge into more competitive cash offers. A company without this expertise may give you a lowball offer.
- A company may be untrustworthy: As with any industry, there’s a risk of falling in with a less trustworthy company. Some cash-offer outfits deliberately make low offers to desperate homeowners and then pressure them into making a fast, unvetted decision. An unprincipled group may even engage in fraud tactics, though it’s rare.
- Pressure tactics: We Buy Houses for Cash companies know that homeowners in need of a quick sale are often facing a desperate situation. While many offer real solutions, some companies take advantage of this urgency by applying pressure tactics. If you feel pressured to accept an offer, step away and reassess your options. There are a good number of established We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area to choose from.
Your home is more than a place where you make memories with family, it’s also likely your biggest asset. Sure, you want to sell quickly, but you could be leaving major money on the table if you choose to work with one of these We Buy Houses for Cash companies.
Always do your research, compare your options, and consult with a trusted advisor before accepting any offer.
Vet cash buyers and know your home’s worth
For many home sellers, We Buy Houses for Cash companies can be a solid solution to get a property sold quickly or to access cash for an expected life challenge. On the other hand, the “cash for your home” rehabbing business model has also led to what some housing advocates call predatory tactics.
The level of integrity and customer service you experience can vary, even within an established house-buying company that strives to maintain consistent business standards. This is because many We Buy Houses for Cash companies are franchises and often use independent investors or local wholesaling outfits. Your experience greatly depends on the character of the person or group making the offer.
If you are considering a cash offer, vet the company thoroughly. Check reviews, read testimonials, and research its presence and performance in the market. And, of course, read the buying agreement carefully before signing.
Before committing to a We Buy Houses for Cash company, HomeLight suggests you consult with a top agent to get a better idea of what your home might be worth if sold on the open market. Then compare cash offers to what a top agent might be able to get for your home. HomeLight can connect you with a top-performing agent in your market.
You can also use HomeLight’s free Home Value Estimator right now to get an initial ballpark estimate in less than two minutes.
Other options to sell your home quickly
Within the Cash-For-Homes industry you’ll also encounter a particular group of companies known as iBuyers, or instant buyers.
iBuyer companies offer sellers many of the same conveniences of other house-buying operations, but they also leverage automated valuation models (AVMs), which use algorithmic technology to apply historic and current market data to their estimates. AVMs allow iBuyers to make a near-instant offer on your home and provide a user-friendly, mostly online home sale experience.
iBuyers have only been around since the mid-2010s, but are now widely available across California.
iBuyers provide all-cash offers for homes and can close a sale in a matter of days to a few weeks. However, unlike typical We Buy Houses for Cash companies, iBuyers generally seek out homes that are in better condition and usually provide cash offers that are closer to market value, typically in the 90% range. iBuyer offers can sometimes be even higher, depending on the location and market conditions.
Sellers who may be a good fit to work with an iBuyer in the Bay Area include those who prefer to skip staging and showing their home, who live in an area with somewhat similar housing, and who have a home in relatively good shape.
Listing with an agent
It might be surprising to see this agent option included in our story about Cash-For-Homes businesses. Most homeowners seeking information about house-buying companies want to sell a home quickly, not in 79 days. But it’s wise to consider all your options.
If your home is in a housing market that’s seller-friendly, listing your property with a top real estate agent can result in a fast sale, especially if the house is strategically priced and superbly marketed.
Depending on the property and local market conditions, using an agent could pay off. Selling on the market typically yields the highest selling price, even more so if you partner with a proven professional. HomeLight’s internal real estate transaction data shows that the top 5% of agents sell homes for up to 10% more than average agents.
Another significant benefit of consulting with a trusted agent is the insight they can provide through a comparative market analysis (CMA). This is a market report that real estate agents provide to home sellers that acts as a tool to calculate the value of a home. The CMA evaluates a home’s size, features, location, age, and other details in relation to similar properties that have recently sold in the area. A CMA can help you determine an appropriate listing price, which can help estimate how quickly it might sell.
In addition, an experienced agent who knows your market may even be able to connect you with buyers who are willing to provide you with a cash offer that’s closer to your home’s market value.
Many agents will provide a CMA for free, with no obligation to list your home with them. It can be a valuable tool to weigh your options. If in the end, you decide to sell to a house-buying company, you can proceed with more confidence, knowing you fully examined your options and made a sound financial decision.
If you are interested in exploring the agent option, HomeLight can connect you with a top-performing real estate agent in your area today.
FAQs on Bay Area house-buying companies
Are We Buy Houses for Cash companies legit or scams?
By and large, most We Buy Houses for Cash companies are legitimate businesses. Their services and transaction fees may differ, but the business model has been around for decades. If you use an established group with a track record, you can be fairly confident that it’s legit.
That said, as with any financial transaction, it’s a good idea to be on alert for scams. Always research companies before you sign a contract. Check customer reviews, look at their online presence, verify professional licenses, get a referral if possible, and vet the company on the Better Business Bureau website. Watch for anything that just doesn’t seem right.
How much will We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area pay?
As described in our pros and cons list above, most We Buy Houses for Cash companies apply the 70% rule, meaning they’ll offer you about 70% of your home’s after-repair value, minus their estimated repair costs.
Here’s an example of what a simplified formula might look like:
(Your home’s ARV x .70) – repair costs
To see how this might work in a real-world scenario, let’s take a look at an example offer equation. Let’s say your Bay Area ranch style could sell for $950,000 after repairs, but it’s going to need $80,000 of work to get there.
($950,000 x .70) – $80,000 = $585,000
In this example, a Bay Area We Buy Houses company might offer you around $585,000 for your home.
However, different types of house-buying companies will offer varying amounts for homes. As mentioned previously, iBuyers tend to pay more than We Buy Houses companies because iBuyers look for homes in better condition. An iBuyer might pay you 90% or more of market value while charging a fee for their services.
How much does selling a home to a We Buy Houses for Cash company in the Bay Area cost?
When you accept an offer from a We Buy Houses for Cash company you will likely be coming to grips with a two-edged sword. On the one side, it shouldn’t cost you any additional money because these companies make an offer and handle almost everything once the offer is accepted. On the other side, you’ll likely get less money overall for your home.
Because We Buy Houses for Cash companies tend to focus on distressed homes, they typically have zero fees. Many will even cover your closing costs. In most cases, this means that the cash offer you receive is going to be the price you walk away with at the end of the deal. Of course, it’s always a good idea to flat out ask the company if there are any hidden program fees that might impact your bottom line.
How do you sell a house for cash in the Bay Area?
- Research and vet the house-buying companies that serve your area. Our list above is a good place to start.
- Submit offer requests to a few of the companies you like best.
- Schedule any required on-site property visits.
- Compare offers. Weigh the pros and cons and choose the best option for you.
- Close the sale in a week to 30 days and get paid. (Some companies will let you choose a closing date up to 90 days after accepting the offer, which can be helpful when planning a move.)
We Buy Houses for Cash in the Bay Area vs. top Bay Area agent
Another helpful exercise is to compare how a We Buy Houses for Cash company might stack up against working with a real estate agent. Let’s take a glance at how different aspects of the sale might look, and compare possible proceeds.
|Aspect of the sale||Sell to a We Buy Houses for Cash company in the Bay Area||Sell with a top Realtor in the Bay Area|
|Selling timeline||7 to 30 days||79 days average; 30 to attract an offer, 49 to close the loan|
|Home preparations||None||Deep clean, declutter, make necessary repairs, landscape, stage home|
|Showings||None||10 to 25 showings average|
|Inspections / repairs||None||May need to make additional repairs for the buyer or renegotiate the price|
|Appraisal||None||May need to lower your asking price if the appraisal comes in low|
|Title search||Cash-for-homes companies often handle title issues||Must clear title before you can sell home|
|Financing contingency||None||Mortgaged buyers use a financing contingency that could hold up the deal if the buyer’s loan doesn’t clear|
|Agent commission||None||5.8% average|
|Closing costs||None||1% to 3% of the home sale price on top of agent commission|
Example net proceeds
Below, we’ve put together one example of how net proceeds may differ between selling a home to a We Buy Houses for Cash company and an agent-assisted sale.
Let’s say your ranch style in the Bay Area is currently worth about $1,300,000 and needs about $15,000 in repairs. Once the repairs are completed, the home might be worth around 1,315,000.
|Sell to a We Buy Houses for Cash company in the Bay Area||Sell with a top Realtor in the Bay Area|
|Estimated sale price||(1,300,000 x .70) – $15,000 = $895,000||$1,300,000|
|Market preparations||0||$13,000 (1% of sale price)|
|Agent commissions||0||$75,400 (5.8% of sale price)|
|Closing costs||0||$19,500 (1.5%)|
|Estimated take-home for seller||$895,000||$1,192,100|
As this example illustrates, financially it’s usually in your best interest to partner with an experienced real estate agent.
However, net proceeds are not the only consideration when selling a home. What’s best in your situation will depend on the condition of your property, what level of repairs are needed, and your selling objectives. It could be that selling on the open market will be a challenge in your area, or the agent timeline might not fit your immediate needs.
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in the Bay Area can make it possible to conveniently sell your home in as few as seven days with no repairs, open houses, or showings.
- There are a number of reputable Cash-For-Homes companies serving the Bay Area.
- Using a We Buy Houses company could mean leaving a significant amount of money on the table compared to an agent-assisted or iBuyer sale.
- HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform provides no-obligation all-cash offers for homes in almost any condition in the Bay Area. Because the platform has partner investors with different buying parameters across the region, it can be a great starting point if you aren’t sure who would buy your home.
House-buying companies can be a good alternative for Bay Area sellers in need of a quick home sale, but it’s important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to selling your home, it’s wise to avoid making any hasty decisions.
Before making a commitment to a Cash-For-Homes company, gather multiple offers and take the time to weigh your options. Consider consulting with a top agent for expert insights on how soon, and for how much, your property might sell on the market. Whatever you decide, HomeLight would be happy to help with your real estate needs!