11 min read Aug 03, 2022

We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews: NOT the Best Cash Buyer for Your Ugly House

Cover - We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews 2022 - 2.5 out of 5 stars

Cash house buyers are 4 times more likely to win the bidding housing market wars as inventory fell in February 2022 and stands at 48% below 2020.

We Buy Ugly Houses is a cash house buyer that purchases ugly homes for sale and pays the seller in cash. The trade-off is they won’t pay close to what you could make selling traditionally or even close to a fair market value of the property.

In this blog, we are looking at We Buy Ugly Houses reviews to determine if it is an ideal cash house buyer for your ugly house.

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Sneak Peek: We Buy Ugly Houses

📍 LocationsMore than 800 local franchises across 45 states and Washington, D.C.
⏱️ Time to offer24-48 hours
📅 Time to closeAs little as three weeks
📓 Customer reviews2.5 out of 5

What is We Buy Ugly Houses / Homevestors?

We Buy Ugly Houses operates like other companies that buy houses for cash and make discounted all-cash offers on distressed properties. They will pay 50%-70% of a property’s fair market value, depending on how distressed the property is.

These companies target desperate home sellers in dire need of cash, such as homes facing foreclosures, and owners going through a tough phase like divorce or a death in the family. After they take the property, they fix it and resell or rent it out.

You must have seen fliers and signs nailed to poles, “We Buy Ugly Houses” with a contact number across America. These are legitimate entities operating under the HomeVestors-owned brand, We Buy Ugly Houses.

👉 TIP: Real estate investors are always hunting for properties on the MLS. When you list your house on the MLS, the visibility of your property amplifies, and your chances to get a better cash offer increase.

💵 Want the Best Cash Offer?

Listing on the MLS is the best way to maximise your offer by exposure to multiple cash house buyers, negotiate sales price, and avail the best offer terms.



Is We Buy Ugly Houses Legit?

Yes, We Buy Ugly Houses is a legit, and one of the most widely known cash home buyers in America since 1996. The trademark belongs to a Dallas-based company called HomeVestors of America, Inc., a real estate brand that gives out cash offers even to worn-out, neglected, and unwanted homes.

The company states that the “HomeVestors and We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees have purchased 100,000+ homes nationwide”. In a way, you’re selling your home to an independent contractor if you negotiate with a We Buy Ugly Houses’ franchise owner.

    💡 FACT: Service quality differs in independently operated franchisees of We Buy Ugly Houses and you should always research the company before deciding to sell your house. Avoid business with illegitimate franchisees of We Buy Ugly Houses!

We Buy Ugly Houses Locations

We Buy Ugly Houses has 1,100 locations in 45 states, with multiple locations in many cities or counties. These locations are independently operated franchisees, trained by the HomeVestors brand.

HomeVestors provide consistent support to the We Buy Ugly Houses® franchisees. They help them build their real estate portfolios by acquiring homes at discount prices, renovating them, and then either selling them to home buyers or renting them.

What Types of Properties Do They Buy?

Essentially, an ugly house is an investment opportunity for ugly house buyers. They target sellers who are desperate for cash. The company defines “ugly” houses as properties with:

  • Structural issues
  • Pending foreclosures
  • Homeowners going through a divorce or retirement
  • Bad mortgage financing
  • Liquidating assets to pay bills
  • Downsizing
  • Inherited houses
  • Flood plain or weather prone areas
  • High-crime neighborhoods

🏡 Don’t Have an Ugly House?

Splendid! You can get the best cash offer on the MLS where investors looking for desirable properties are willing to offer competitive rates.



Selling to We Buy Ugly Houses vs. Selling With a Realtor

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 realtor.

Ugly house buyers never pay fair market value— a trade-off that some home sellers are willing to make for a predictable all-cash sale with no contingencies.

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

We Buy Ugly HousesReal Estate Agent
💵 FeesNo fees6% Commission (3% Listing Agent Commission, 3% Buyer Agent Commission)
💲 Closing costsThey pay closing costsYou incur some closing costs (1% – 3%)
💰 Sales PriceSale price less than fair market price value (~ 50% lesser)Maximum possible value on the open market
🤝 NegotiationsNo room for negotiationsCan negotiate with the buyer
⚒️ Home repairsNo repairs involvedPrep and ready the house before listing

🤑 Here’s How We Buy Ugly Houses Works

Selling your house for cash works faster than the conventional model of selling. You skip tasks like repairs, home staging, house visits, showings, etc and get offered cash for your house instantly.

When you sell with We Buy Ugly Houses, you follow these steps usually:

⭐ STEP 1- Submit information about your house

You can request an offer from the local We Buy Ugly Houses franchisee over the phone or online by submitting information about your house like location, square footage, features, etc.

⭐ STEP 2- Schedule a home inspection

We Buy Ugly Houses will view and inspect the property, often within 24 hours. After inspecting the property, an agent from the company will make a non-negotiable cash offer. This offer is usually a “take it or leave it” deal.

⭐ STEP 3- Accept the cash offer

If you decide to accept the cash offer, you’ll sign a purchase agreement and choose a closing date. Cash house buyers like We Buy Ugly Houses offer much more flexibility on closing dates than traditional buyers. 

⭐ STEP 4- Receive cash

Once you finalize the deal, you can get cash in hand in as little as two to five weeks.

Franchisees Buying Ugly Homes

A traditional house flipper at scale, We Buy Ugly Houses is owned by HomeVestors and licenses the name out to franchisees, who then operate as independent companies.

We Buy Ugly Houses franchise is a low-cost opportunity for investors interested in building wealth. It is a fairly unique franchise opportunity that includes onboarding and training of the franchisees. We Buy Ugly Houses’ proprietary software that evaluates homes for purchase and estimates repairs is used by these franchisees to build their business.

They also provide mass advertising campaigns and direct selling campaigns that help the franchisees identify investors and home buyers with a stake in area neighborhoods.

    💡 FACT: Each franchisee has been trained by the parent company so they work without any guidance. Your experience may vary based on which franchisee you get to do business with.

What is House Flipping?

House flipping is a real estate strategy to purchase properties with the intention of selling them for a profit.

The two most common ways to flip houses are to:

  • Buy, repair, and sell
  • Buy, wait, and sell

No matter how it’s done, the primary element is limiting your initial investment with minimal payment and keeping renovation costs low.

🏘️ How to flip a house: Is flipping houses still profitable in 2022’s slow market?

How to Find a Legitimate Franchisee?

Not every “We Buy Ugly Houses for cash” flyer is legitimate. Before you sign any documents and sell with them, research the company to find out if it’s legitimately a We Buy Ugly Houses franchise.

Check if the company has—

🌎 A WebsiteThe company’s name and logo are available online, and its digital presence is strong. This ensures you don’t deal with someone operating out of the dark and losing your property.
📞 Displays contact informationLegitimate companies always list their contact information up-front so customers can connect with them anytime. It would be great if they had a customer support team, so you can stay assured of not dealing with someone operating out of a garage.
📝 Lists on multiple business listing sitesBusiness websites like Google, LinkedIn, BBB, etc., can help you verify if the company is truly a legitimate one. When they list their business on multiple business websites, customers get social proof of the company’s existence.
✔️ Has positive customer reviewsEven if the company passes the above phases, check for any positive customer reviews. This is the company you could potentially sell your house to, so you want to ensure they deliver an exceptional customer experience.

How Much Do We Buy Ugly Houses Pay?

Every franchisee is independent but mostly, We Buy Ugly Houses offers as little as 50% of a home’s market value. The company adheres to house flipping’s well-known 70% rule.

The 70% rule works like this: for a buyer to reliably turn a profit on a property, they should pay no more than 70% of the house’s after repair value (ARV), minus the cost of repairs and renovations.

According to one source, We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees aim to pay only 55-65% of a home’s after-repair value (ARV). 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.

How Much Can You Get for Your Ugly House?

It depends on the location of your house and the condition it is in. If the property can be flipped easily with minimal repairs, it is possible to get an offer as high as 70% of the fair market value.

At a minimum, you should at least see what your home is worth on the housing market. Cash buyers like We Buy Ugly Houses track the profit on house flipping. According to Investformore, the average profit on a house flip is about $60,000 or 48%. So expect them to pay that much less for your property. This may be valuable if you must sell your home equity immediately and face imminent foreclosure.

The cash offer is inversely proportional to the repair expenses the company will have after the purchase. The lesser the repairs, the more the cash offered!

💸 Maximize Your Cash Offer with Houzeo

In America, 90% homebuyers start online. Houzeo.com syndicates your MLS listing to thousands of real estate websites and increases the visibility of your property.



We Buy Ugly Houses Customer Reviews

We Buy Ugly Houses reviews from customers create two narratives. Sellers who just want to unload a property end up fairly satisfied with their experience, while sellers who prioritize a profitable deal often have complaints. With 65 mixed customer reviews across Google, Yelp, and Reddit, We Buy Ugly Houses has a 2.5 out of 5 rating.

We Buy Ugly Houses BBB

HomeVestors, We Buy Ugly Houses’ parent company has an accredited profile on BBB or Better Business Bureau and registered on the infamous business website in 2004. Let’s look at some We Buy Ugly Houses reviews to find the pros and cons of working with this cash house buyer.

Positive We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews: The Good

✅ National Brand

We Buy Ugly Houses/Homevestors is a trusted brand and known nationwide. Their network includes real estate professionals, investors, local real estate experts, brokers, etc.

When you deal with a legitimate We Buy Ugly Houses franchise, the home sale will be hassle-free and genuine, unlike “cash for houses” scammers.

✅ Quick Closing and Flexible Moving

Home sellers like getting a quick offer and closing in a few weeks, making the home selling journey hassle-free and smooth. And that’s exactly how your experience would be if you deal with We Buy Ugly Houses.

A representative will inspect your property within a day or two of first contact, and often make a cash offer on the spot. Once you accept the offer, you can close within two weeks. That’s a huge difference from the conventional sale process which, even in the best-case scenario, takes at least 2 months.

✅ No Commissions, All-Cash Deals

Since you are selling to a cash house buyer, you skip the traditional route of home selling via a realtor and paying unwanted hefty commissions. In exchange for your distressed property, you get an all-cash offer deal and don’t have to pay any real estate commissions.

🎯 Highlights

  • We Buy Ugly Houses® is a brand of Dallas-based company called HomeVestors of America, Inc. and operates in 45 states with 1,100 locations.
  • Legitimate cash buyers cater to the desperate home sellers with offers 50% to 70% of the fair market value but lack in consistent service quality.
  • Beware of Scams: Shady companies will try to scam you with fake cash offers, and make home selling miserable for you. Do appropriate research before signing any documents.


Negative We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews: The Ugly

⛔️ Lowball Offers

We’ve seen how We Buy Ugly Houses offers can be far below market value, their major concern is repairing the house and re-selling it. This is their business model. Acknowledging the fact that most sellers are under pressure, and find the one who’ll drop the ball just to get the sale done.

Getting an offer that seemed way too low is a common theme in many We Buy Ugly Houses reviews. So is feeling rushed to finalize the sale, and close all legalities.

⛔️ No room for negotiations

Selling to a cash house buyer is great for closing fast but there is often little to no room for negotiating the cash offer. Typically, you will receive a cash offer worth 50% to 70% of the fair market value.

We buy houses for cash companies will make a reasonably fair “take it or leave it” cash offer after considering the re-selling price of the property.

    💡 FACT: You can negotiate a cash offer and its terms when you receive an offer via the MLS. Houzeo.com is the fastest, seamless way to list on the MLS, start listing now!

⛔️ Controversial tactics

Some customers complained that franchisees use high-pressure tactics to push sellers into accepting extremely low offers. While this probably isn’t HomeVestors’ company policy, there are many examples of individual franchisees using unsavory and borderline unethical tactics.

This seller was constantly receiving marketing materials without asking:

🚩 We Buy Ugly Houses Scams

Legitimate cash buyers operate as independent contractors under the HomeVestors-owned We Buy Ugly Houses brand.

The company caters to the desperate; dangles fast, all-cash offers; and the advertising strategy, with signs nailed to telephone poles next to freeway off-ramps, has created a market that’s ripe for exploitation. And scams have proliferated as We Buy Ugly Houses has progressed.

A good rule of thumb is that the money should only move in one direction during a home sale — and that’s towards you, the seller. If your buyer asks you for “processing fees” or anything else, that’s a sign that you’re probably being ripped off.

To avoid being ripped off, research the buyer. Ask for past clients, reviews, and references. If they don’t seem legit, look for another We Buy Ugly Houses buyer. You can also choose to look at other iBuyers like We Buy Houses, Opendoor, etc. An excellent way to avoid scams is to be vigilant through every step.


In a common scam, a cash buyer will make an offer on your home, sign a contract agreeing to that price, and then stall while trying to sell that contract to another investor at a profit. 

Known as “wholesaling”, this is a legitimate way to do business — but it shouldn’t be done under the hood. If you sell to a cash buyer, make sure there’s a clause in the sales contract stating that they’re not allowed to “reassign” the contract. Otherwise, you can find yourself stuck in a deal that’s yet to go down.

Ponzi Scheme

One well-publicized example involved a We Buy Ugly Houses franchise from Colorado that ran a Ponzi scheme, buying a series of properties at below market value with promises of big resale profits — only to use the sale proceeds to pay off previous sellers and investors. 

The perpetrator—who, to be fair, committed some of her $14.5 million fraud while working for a company that was not affiliated with We Buy Ugly Houses—was eventually sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

🕱 Steer Clear of Shady Cash Buyers

Illegitimate cash buyers make you sign a “reassign” contract and home sellers lose the right to sell their house! Avoid such scammers and market your property to the biggest pool of cash house buyers on the MLS.



Alternatives to We Buy Ugly Houses in 2022

If you want a frictionless house sale, and don’t fancy lucrative profits from it, then We Buy Ugly Houses is a viable option. There are alternatives to selling a house with a cash buyer.

📈 Selling on the Open Market

There is a chance to yield the highest sale price when you list on the open market. However, the downside is that the process will be slightly slower than “we buy houses for cash” companies.

Local real estate agents price homes reasonably and want to get maximum value for their client’s houses. Local sales data and housing market trends help them arrive at a competitive listing price for the house.

Even if you decide that you only want a cash offer on the house, you have a couple of options:

  • List your home “as is,” with the help of an agent, and attract real estate investors who are hunting for homes on the MLS.
  • Working with an agent connected to house flippers and landlords looking for new deals.
    👉 IMPORTANT: 2022 is an unusually strong seller’s market, so it may be possible to sell your home for more than what iBuyers offer, even if their offers are above market value. Save 3% listing agent commission and list your house on the MLS within 60 mins!

📲 iBuyer Companies

iBuyers aka instant buyers are institutional house flippers, and these companies have created a level-playing field with full cash offers and technologically advanced platforms. You get a reasonably fair cash offer instantly and you can close within a matter of a few days.

Getting the highest possible rate may not be possible but iBuyers paid 99.4% of the fair market value in 2021. The coverage of iBuyers is limited, so not all homeowners can avail their cash deals.

» iBuyer Reviews: Who’s the Best iBuyer in 2022?

We Buy Ugly Houses Reviews: Is it a Rip-off?

We Buy Ugly Houses lets motivated sellers unload their property fast for cash. However, you need to ask yourself why you need to sell your home immediately for cash. If your property can be refurbished in a bit, and marketed on the right channels, would you require a quick sale or make it happen and then sell the property?

Should you choose to sell fast or sell smart?

You’ll save a lot more if you are methodical about home selling. With Houzeo’s flat fee MLS, you can list your house on the MLS in under 60 minutes and save a 3% listing agent’s commission right away!

All the paperwork has been digitized in Houzeo, and the platform auto-fills recurring items from public data sources to make the listing process efficient and seamless. Browsing offers, negotiating, tracking offer updates, etc. can be done. Everything is at your fingertips with Houzeo’s mobile app.

⏭️ Ready to Get Listed on the MLS?

Houzeo is a fast, high-tech platform that allows you to complete all listing formalities within 60 minutes!



Frequently Asked Questions

How do We Buy Ugly Houses decide which ugly house to buy?

Essentially, an ugly house is an investment opportunity for ugly house buyers. They target sellers who are desperate for cash. The company defines "ugly" houses as properties with:

  • Structural issues
  • Pending foreclosures
  • Homeowners going through a divorce or retirement
  • Bad mortgage financing
  • Liquidating assets to pay bills
  • Downsizing
  • Inherited houses
  • Flood plain or weather prone areas
  • High-crime neighborhoods

How much does Homevestors pay for houses?

Typically, you can expect an offer of about 50% to 70% of the fair market value of the property. The industry average of investors offering cash is 65% of fair market value. You can negotiate cash offers in a competitive pool of buyers if you list the property on the MLS.

Do you need a realtor for a cash offer?

Not really. Realtors will use their expertise and skills to craft the best cash offer, but you will be charged with hefty commissions. When you list on the MLS without a realtor, you save the 3% listing agent commission, and you expose the property to 90% of buyers who are represented by an agent on the MLS. You can also avail the best cash offer terms and negotiate the cash offer on the MLS, which isn't the case when you transact with We Buy Ugly Houses franchisees.

Does We Buy Ugly Houses pay market value?

Nearly. We Buy Ugly Houses targets desperate home sellers who urgently want cash for houses. They want to resell these properties and maximize their profits, so typically, they offer 50% to 70% of the fair market value. The offer is decided after looking at the location, how distressed the property is, repair and re-selling costs, etc.

Who owns We Buy Ugly Houses®?

HomeVestors is the owner of the We Buy Ugly Houses® brand and has a national network of investors operating as independent franchisee owners with licenses.

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