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Selling a great family home? The buyer could be a company

By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
CTW Features

Sellers: If your home is priced in the low six-figures, is in a good school district and has three bedrooms and maybe two baths, prepare for the possibility of a lightning-fast sale, even if you haven’t spruced up the place.

Families looking to purchase an affordable home are sometimes being knocked out of contention by an investment company that submits a cash offer, and is willing to close quickly.

“Many times, the offers [from the firms] are received within an hour or two of hitting the MLS [Multiple Listing Service],” said Lisa Wurth, president of the Williamson County Association of Realtors, which encompasses suburbs of Nashville.

Since the recession, large investment firms have sprung up to buy and rent single-family homes. First, they scooped up foreclosures, made repairs and rented the property.

Now, with foreclosure inventory down, these companies are looking at owner-occupied houses, to meet continued rental demand. Indeed, research firm Green Street Advisors predicts 1.5 million households will form in the next five years looking for rental houses.

Atlanta and its suburbs lead in the number of homes owned by these rental firms, according to Green Street, but the trend is evident in many other metro areas.

Sellers, especially those that haven’t painted and worked to make their homes sale-ready, stand to benefit from interest from these investment firms.

“[The companies are] typically more competitive on homes that need work, since they can generally complete those repairs cheaper than individual buyers,” said Gary Beasley, co-founder of Roofstock, a site for investors to purchase homes already rented.

Experienced real estate agents should know if a home that they are listing fits the profile investment companies look for, according to Wurth. Some owners don’t want to accept a quick offer from a firm, but want to assess interest from buyers who will live in the home as well.

© CTW Features

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