Disclaimer: This post is meant to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Links and mentions of 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 Chicago 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.
Maybe you’re moving out of Chicago for a job in Phoenix, Los Angeles, or Houston. Or maybe you inherited a Bungalow home from your grandparents that has a lot of personality, but it needs way more work than you’re willing or able to pay for. You might just want to sell it fast for cash.
If you need to sell your Chicago 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 Chicago 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 Chicago
We Buy Houses companies in Chicago typically promise quick, all-cash offers and ultra-fast closings, often in as few as seven days. They tend to target distressed properties in need of repairs, and work with sellers who need to move ASAP.
Here’s how the process generally works:
- You request an offer and provide the company with some information about your home. Some companies may make a preliminary offer at this stage, but it’s usually subject to change once they’ve inspected your property.
- The company completes a walk-through of your property, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
- The company makes a firm offer (usually within 24 hours, sometimes on-site after the walk-through) which you can accept or decline. Most of these companies will not negotiate on price, so the offer is a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.
- If you accept the offer, you’ll both sign a contract and the closing process will begin. Some companies offer a large deposit or moving cost assistance, and a few may even pay for the home upfront.
- Closing and getting paid is quick, typically 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 Chicago
If these benefits of selling to a house-buying company in Chicago 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 neoclassical Greystone or your grandparent’s bungalow. By selling to one of these companies, you should be able to sell your Chicago home in as little as a week or two.
Diamond Equity Investments
Phone number: 1 (888) 720-3075
Locations: Chicago metro
This cash homebuying company guarantees a fast and convenient closing. With 15 years in the business, Diamond Equity Investments say they’ll buy houses being sold for any reason such as bankruptcy or foreclosure, in any condition — even fire damage — and that have baggage like large liens, title issues, or low equity. They also promise a fast, easy, and transparent selling process, with closing in as little as 24 hours.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Diamond Equity Investments covers them.
Reviews: Although not separately accredited by the Better Business Bureau for its Chicago office, Diamond Equity Investments’ Pennsylvania headquarters has mostly 5-star BBB reviews. The company currently holds a Google customer review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. A recent reviewer said that the company was easy to work with, professional, and that the offer was higher than expected and within market value. Many of the reviews referenced particular individuals from the company, thanking them for helping them through the process. A few negative reviews speak of communication issues and purchase offers that the reviewers considered too low..
Simple Sale (a HomeLight platform)
Contact information: homelight.com/simple
Phone: (844) 488-8455
Locations: Nationwide, including Chicago
Simple Sale, a solution from HomeLight, is an online platform where sellers in Chicago (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 Chicago. With Simple Sale, you can get an all-cash offer in as few as 48 hours 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 is BBB accredited with a customer review rating of 4.57 stars out of 5, and has 4.6 stars on Google based on 355 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.
Sell My House Fast Chicagoland
Phone number: (312) 869-2289
Locations: Chicago metro
Sell My House Fast Chicagoland bills itself as a 100% free and easy way to sell your house quickly. The company promises a competitive no-obligation offer within 24 hours of submitting basic information online. Sellers can also choose their closing day and don’t have to worry about making repairs or cleaning before the sale. Once prospective sellers fill out an online form or call the company, a representative will visit the house and typically make an offer on the spot.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Sell My House Fast Chicagoland covers them.
Reviews: Sell My House Fast Chicagoland does not currently hold a BBB rating. However, all of the company’s 16 Google reviews give it five stars. Some reviewers commented on knowing the owner personally and vouch for the professionalism of the company. Clients appear happy with the company’s knowledge of the area and the price they got for their house. One reviewer said the experience was like a weight taken off their shoulders bringing happiness and peace.
We Buy Houses Chicagoland
Phone number: (847) 807-8090
Locations: Chicago, Elkgrove Village, Mount Prospect, Wheeling, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Palatine, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Melrose Park, Northbrook
We Buy Houses Chicagoland says that its fast, hassle-free selling process is built on a foundation of years of professional experience resulting in purchasing power amassed through many sale transactions and completing renovations over the years. They say the high volume of work they do translates into making competitive offers on houses. They outline a three-step process involving a free in-person consultation at the subject property, a firm cash offer, and a fast closing.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; We Buy Houses Chicagoland covers them.
Reviews: All of this company’s 10 Google reviews are 5-star ratings. Some of the reviews addressed other aspects of the company’s service, however, one person commented that after experiencing a stressful traditional selling process in the past, going with We Buy Houses Chicagoland was a “brilliant move, less stress, a fair if slightly lower price, but worth it for the experience.” There is currently no Better Business Bureau listing showing for We Buy Houses Chicagoland.
Phone number: (866) 201-1790
Locations: Chicago metro
In business for nine years, this cash house-buying company says that they specialize in solving problems for families and that “we all win or nobody wins.” They promise a no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours of reaching out to them and closing in as little as seven days. Their website mentions having some buying criteria but customers must call for details. In addition to no fees, Festival Properties says that they’ll buy houses “as is” no matter the condition.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Festival Properties covers them.
Reviews: Festival Properties has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and one customer on that site gave the company a 5-star review commenting that it was a great service. Out of 61 Google reviews, the company has a 4.5-star average. Reviewers said that offers are fair and reasonable, and that the company was professional and easy to work with.
Illinois Real Estate Buyers
Phone number: (224) 504-1806
Locations: Illinois and Indiana
This house-buying company markets its services to sellers who don’t want to be bothered with the typical house selling process. They say they’ll buy houses as-in through a quick process that entails sellers submitting property information for a no-obligation cash offer, followed by closing on a date that works for the seller. The company claims to take sellers by the hand through the process that will result with them walking away with the most money.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; Illinois Real Estate Buyers covers them.
Reviews: All 11 Google reviews gave this company 5-star ratings. Multiple reviewers mentioned the company owner saying that they were “patient,” “kind,” “educated,” “caring,” and “reliable.” One customer said the selling process was smooth and alluded to potentially working with the company again in the future. There is currently no Better Business Bureau listing showing for Illinois Real Estate Buyers.
I Buy IL
Phone number: (312) 584-2960
Locations: Chicago metro, Illinois
This company bills itself as a local cash home buyer that allows sellers to avoid the hassles of the traditional process. They promise a cash offer within 24 hours with no repairs necessary. I Buy IL will consider houses in any condition and any situation such as vacant homes or sellers that are upside down on their mortgages.
Closing costs: Sellers pay no closing costs; I Buy IL covers them.
Reviews: I Buy IL received an average 4.3-star Google rating out of 45 total reviews. The vast majority of the reviews were five stars attesting to the company’s professionalism and quality. One reviewer called them “the best in the business.” Another called the team “true heroes.” There were some negative reviews as well, however, most were directed at unsolicited offers for homes, not the actual cash buying process. I Buy IL is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau but does hold an A- BBB rating.
Why sell for cash in Chicago?
There are plenty of reasons a Chicago seller may choose to go the Cash-For-Homes route, speed and certainty being chief among them.
Compare that to the typical seven days promised by many We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago, and you can see why these companies remain popular, even though they don’t always offer top dollar.
Not every seller has months to prep, market, show, and close. Let’s look at some common reasons Chicago sellers choose Cash-For-Homes companies over listing the traditional way.
- The home has major repair issues common in Chicago such as structural problems found in older homes, deterioration from prolonged vacancy or damage from Lake Michigan water intrusion.
- The seller needs to move or cash in quickly due to divorce, job relocation, medical need, financial stress, etc.
- The seller doesn’t have the means or desire to make repairs.
- The seller doesn’t want to bother prepping the home, dealing with showings, negotiating, or navigating a long sales process.
- The seller prefers the privacy of selling their home off-market to a cash buyer.
- The seller is in the foreclosure process and wants to sell the home and settle up with the lender before it’s too late.
- The seller inherited property and wants to unload it as quickly as possible.
- The seller is a landlord who has problem tenants or no longer wishes to manage a rental property.
- The homeowner is aging and moving into a care facility, prompting their family to sell the home.
- The seller is living out of state and prefers the ease of a cash sale.
If any of these sounds like you, requesting a cash offer from a We Buy Houses for Cash company might be a good starting point, though it’s not your only option, and it may not be your best move (we’ll dive into your other options in just a minute!).
Pros and cons of house-buying companies in Chicago
By now, you’ve probably figured out that We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago are a bit of a mixed bag. You get speed and service, but you may “pay” a sizable premium for that service. Let’s walk through a few pros and cons to consider while weighing your options.
One of the biggest advantages of working with We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago 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 often sell your home in as few as seven days.
- Certainty: Since the company does a pre-offer walk-through, their offer is firm and comes with few (if any) contingencies. Cash-For-Houses companies are experts at clearing roadblocks and closing deals.
- No repairs: Again, if your home is in rough shape and you don’t have the funds or the patience to make repairs, you can skip them altogether and save yourself the stress.
- Less hassle: You don’t have to deal with staging, open houses, fielding offers, negotiating with picky buyers, worrying about the appraisal, or stressing about the buyer’s financing falling through. Overall, reputable We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago offer a smooth ride 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 offers: Most companies follow the 70% rule, meaning they’ll offer you 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. So the price you get for your home may be appreciably lower than what you’d get on the market.
- Inconsistent market knowledge: Not all cash home buying companies are equal. Some are more localized, have specific neighborhood knowledge, and are able to leverage that expertise into more competitive offers. Others are less knowledgeable about the specifics of your community, which could result in lowball bids.
- Not all companies are trustworthy: Some companies make extremely low offers to desperate homeowners and try to pressure you into making a quick decision. A few bad players may even engage in fraud tactics, though it’s uncommon.
- They may use pressure tactics: These companies know that homeowners looking to sell quickly are often desperate, and some do take advantage of that by using pressure tactics. You should never feel pressured to accept an offer, especially since there are plenty of We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago to choose from. If anyone makes you uncomfortable, it’s time to move on to another option.
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 business 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 algorithmic technology, otherwise known as automated valuation models (or AVMs), to make you 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 Illinois.
iBuyers offer all-cash and can close in a matter of days to a few weeks. But unlike more traditional We Buy Houses for Cash companies, iBuyers tend to look for homes in better condition and offer much closer to market value, typically in the 90% range — and sometimes more, particularly in a hot real estate market.
Sellers who may be a good fit to work with an iBuyer in Chicago 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
You want to sell your house quickly, not in 109 days. But hear us out! With many housing markets still being largely seller-friendly, many listings are flying off the market in a matter of days, especially those that are priced strategically.
Going with an agent could pay off big time. Selling on the market generally fetches the highest home price, and that’s especially true if you work with a skilled professional. Our internal transaction data at HomeLight shows that the top 5% of real estate agents sell homes for up to 10% more than average agents.
This is a big financial decision, so it may make sense to consult with a trusted real estate agent who can complete a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you understand your home’s value and how quickly it’s likely to sell.
Your agent may even be able to connect you with cash buyers who are willing to offer closer to market value for your home.
Plus, a CMA is usually free and you’re under no obligation to list with the agent, so this may be a good tool to explore your options. Even if you end up deciding to work with a Cash-For-Homes company, at least you’ll know you’re making a sound financial decision.
Overwhelmed by finding an agent? HomeLight would be happy to connect you with a top performer in your area today.
FAQs on Chicago house-buying companies
Are We Buy Houses for Cash companies legit or scams?
Most We Buy Houses for Cash companies are legit, and you can rest assured that this business model has been around for decades.
However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for scams, or anything that just doesn’t seem right. Always thoroughly research companies ahead of time. Verify all professional licenses, check customer reviews, get a referral if possible, and vet the company on the Better Business Bureau website.
How much will We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago pay?
Most Cash-For-Homes companies follow the 70% rule, meaning they’ll offer you 70% of your home’s after-repair value, minus repair costs.
Here’s what that simple formula looks like:
(Your home’s ARV x .70) – repair costs
Now let’s take a look at a practical example. Let’s say your Chicago brownstone could sell for $355,000 after repairs, but it’s going to need $30,000 of work to get there.
($355,000 x .70) – $30,000 = $218,500
In this example, a Chicago cash-for-homes company will probably offer you around $218,500 for your property.
However, different types of house-buying companies will offer varying amounts for homes. As mentioned previously, iBuyers tend to pay more like 90%-95% 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 Chicago cost?
Selling a home to a We Buy Houses for Cash company shouldn’t cost you any money, though you’ll likely get less overall for your home.
Since these companies are geared toward distressed homes, they tend to have zero fees, and will even cover your closing costs. That means the offer you get is the price you should walk away with. Make sure to ask about any hidden program fees that could eat into your bottom line.
How do you sell a house for cash in Chicago?
- Research and vet house-buying companies available in your area. The above list is a great place to start.
- Submit offer requests to your top few companies.
- Schedule any on-site visits.
- Field and compare offers. Choose the best option for you.
- Close in a week to 30 days and get paid (or you can often choose a later closing date, up to 90 days after receiving the offer).
We Buy Houses for Cash in Chicago vs. top Chicago agent
Wondering how a We Buy Houses for Cash company stacks up against working with a real estate agent? We’ve got you covered.
|Aspect of the sale||Sell to a We Buy Houses for Cash company in Chicago||Sell with a top Realtor® in Chicago|
|Sale timeline||7 to 30 days||109 days average; 55 to attract an offer, 54 to close the loan|
|Home preparations||None||Make necessary repairs, deep clean, declutter, landscape, stage home|
|Showings||None||10 to 25 showings average|
|Inspections / repairs||None||May need to make repairs for the buyer or renegotiate price|
|Appraisal||None||May need to lower the price if 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 loan doesn’t clear|
|Agent commission||None||5.8% average|
|Closing costs||None||1% to 3% of sale price on top of commission|
Example net proceeds
Let’s say your bungalow home in Chicago is currently worth about $355,000 and needs about $15,000 in repairs. Once the repairs are made, the home should be worth around $370,000.
|Sell to a We Buy Houses for Cash company in Chicago||Sell with a top Realtor® in Chicago|
|Estimated sale price||($370,000 x .70) – $15,000 = $244,000||$355,000|
|Market preparations||0||$3,550 (1% of sale price)|
|Agent commissions||0||$20,590 (5.8% of sale price)|
|Closing costs||0||$5,325 (1.5%)|
|Estimated take-home for seller||$244,000||$325,535|
Obviously, financially it’s usually in your best interest to go with a top agent, but depending on the condition of your home and any repairs needed, selling on the open market could be challenging.
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Chicago can offer you a way to sell your home in as few as seven days with no repairs, showings, or hassles.
- There are many reputable cash homebuying companies across Chicago, and most sellers going this route can find a company that suits their needs.
- You could leave significant money on the table using a Cash-For-Homes company versus going with a top agent or iBuyer.
- HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform provides no-obligation all-cash offers for homes in almost any condition in Chicago. 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 Chicago sellers in need of a quick exit from homeownership, but they’re not without drawbacks. However you choose to sell your home, it’s important to avoid making a hasty decision.
For best results, take the time to weigh your options, gather offers from multiple companies, and consider consulting with a top agent to see how easily your property could sell on the market. Whatever you decide, HomeLight would be happy to help with your real estate needs!
Header Image Source: (Ozzie Stern / Unsplash)