Ug Buys Ugly Houses? Any advice?

jenswrensMay 7, 2009

Has anyone here ever had any experience with the HomeVestors company "Ug Buys Ugly Houses" or "We Buy Ugly Houses"?

Apparently I have an ugly house since no one seems to want to buy it. We did have one little nibble this week (after one year with nothing) of someone who was interested in making an offer if we'd dig out the foundation and place rubber around it or some crazy thing. Which, sure as heck I'd do, but they never actually made the offer.

Anyway, I'm desperate to sell, and am considering calling these people since normal people are not interested.

So, should I contact them? Any harm in doing so?

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They are a franchise based in Texas. There's an online form you can complete & somebody will call you.

I recognize your name but can't seem to remember your house? Is there some type of incurable defect preventing a sale? Just market conditions? Are you sure it's priced 'right'?

There are many houses in my area that haven't sold with more than a year on the market. They aren't "ugly". Well, some of them may be a tad unusual! :) There's a buyer for every property at the right price. Even lowering your listing price 20% below comparable sales is likely to net you more than what HomeVestors will offer.

You mentioned that you were "desperate to sell" though & it is a quick way to get it sold (probably, two weeks to close).


Here is a link that might be useful: Ug Buys Ugly (HomeVestors)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:30AM
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This is one of the vulture companies looking to make money on desperate people. They will offer to buy your house. However, they will offer way, way less than a fair market price. If you accept, they will want to close fast, do some minor cosmetic work, and put it back on the market. The only way they make money is if they convince you to sell your house for significantly less than they will be able to sell it for in a month or 2.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to get an offer from them. Just don't be shocked at how small the offer is.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:43AM
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What is the deal with this unsold house? Does it have problems - bad location - overpriced - ??? It seems just about everything will sell if priced right for the market. Sounds like lowering your price would be a better option than HomeVestors.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 7:49PM
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jenswrens I looked up some of your old threads but never saw your pictures (maybe I missed them?) I did see a lot about discount brokers and from viewing your album you seem to live on the water. Are you a niche sell? You sure you don't want us to look at your listing? You seem to be rural which can take longer to sell but I would think the water would be very enticing to buyers right now.

Help us help you with more details.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:03PM
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Actually, those rural pics in the album are the house I'm in now. The house I'm trying to sell is a 1920s traditional 2-story in a good area of St. Paul. I'm sure we overpaid back in 2004 (beside the point). Comps have been done over and over, so I'm pretty sure we're priced close to where we should be. Most feedback this time around has said we're priced at or 3% above market.

I know when we started out last year we were overpriced (now I wish I had started much much lower - but that's what the REAs were telling us to price at). I was too attached when we first put it on the market, I know. I loved that house - to me it has charm and character and privacy - and it was perfect for what we needed it for at the time. I picked it because it had some of the "rural" things I was used to in all my previous homes - privacy, large yard, large trees. I am so over that now. I have no emotional attachment at all anymore. Yes, I still like it, but obviously no one else does. And that does not hurt my feelings. I just don't get it.

I didn't immediately fall in love with this house when I bought it either. But it was late summer, I had a deadline to buy, and it was the last available house that met most of my criteria in my price range. And I'm sure my criteria were much different than most city folks (privacy, large yard, privacy, quiet, privacy).

We took it off the market for a few months in winter, and relisted this April with a new agent at a lower price (their price suggestion). I immediately lowered the price by $25,000 after 2 weeks in spite of lots of showings.

As happened last year, we've had tons of showings, but no offers. So I think it looks good online, but people are not liking what they see when they get there. To answer the question, "Is there some type of incurable defect preventing a sale?" Apparently there are several.

  1. It's a large corner lot - people in MN in town don't like those I guess (too much snow to shovel). But it's a corner lot located on two interior streets (not a busy throughway). Built up high off the road, so again, fairly private (no one can stand on the sidewalk and look into your back/side yard). And it's totally quiet. Dead silent at night and on weekends - much quieter than my rural house on acreage in NJ backing up to 8000 acres of wildlife refuge. Go figure.

  2. While the house is in an area of really nice homes, the house immediately across the street from me is a tiny little ugly ranch - eyesore, which used to be mostly hidden by a beautiful huge Elm that they chopped down right before I put the house up for sale. That house bugged me and made me pause back when I was looking to buy - so I'm sure it's a factor. So, my house is located right on the edge of the nice houses. Starting across the street from me heading south, the houses deteriorate in "niceness."

3) The master bedroom is large, but the other 2 bedrooms are pretty small - this is one feedback we've gotten over and over - the house is too small.

4) One car garage (but with room to expand).

5) Two full baths, but no main floor bath (also a detractor for me when I bought).

So, I understand all of those factors above and that there's nothing I can do about any of them except GIVE the house away and take out a huge loan for the difference. And if I'm going to have to do that anyway, I might as well do it with a corporation who won't have any contingencies, etc.

I'm desperate to sell because I'm losing $40,000 a year as that house sits there empty. I live over 1000 miles away now, and it's a PITA and an annoyance, like a monkey on my back. And I desperately want to buy another house, which I cannot do while I'm still paying that mortgage.

Sorry for the long post - but thanks for letting me vent. Below is a link to some of the photos that were used in the listings (we limited it to 10 pertinent photos). Password is "jen"

Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota House

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:55PM
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If you have had tons of showings and no offers, then it is overpriced. No matter what any agent tells you. The BUYERS are speaking very loud and clear to you! Todays buyers are not looking for a home priced at 3% over market!!! They are not usually even going to make offers on homes that are priced AT market. Just plain facts.

  1. It's a corner lot... can't do anything about that except lower the price.
  2. Houses across the street and down the road are eyesores... can't do anything about that except lower the price.
  3. The house is too small... no it's not! They are telling you that the house is too small for the price. Nothing you can do but lower the price.
  4. One car garage... nothing you can do but lower the price to reflect.
  5. No main floor bath... nothing you can do but lower the price.

Lower the price by at least 15% BELOW THE COMPS, and watch the offers come in. And you will still probably net more than if you sell to HomeVestors. I am writing more multiple bid offers since Feb., than I have in the last six years! And most of these homes are WAY ugly. The banks are finally getting smart enough to realize that buyers are only looking for what they feel are deals. Most of these sell at or above the list price. But, the list price has to be way below the "market price" to start with.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:21AM
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ncrealestateguy is exactly right, Jenswrens. It is the price, period. You need to lower it below what anyone else is currently selling for, not at comps or above comps.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 9:19AM
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Well, I have to concur. There's nothing keeping this property from selling other than price.

Frankly, I'm surprised to read that you're listed 3% ABOVE market?! What's that all about?

ncrealestateguy & xamsx are right on...get that price down 15-20% BELOW market & it will sell. You 'may' even get lucky & have a couple buyers bid it back up a few percentage points.

Wow, I'm just thunderstruck that you've been sitting there for a year priced above market. That's been an expensive decision. You've probably lost 10-15% market value plus holding costs during that year. Ouch.

Lower the price for this weekend's lookers. The market's improving...take advantage of it...sell that house. BTW, I like it although I was surprised to see stucco in that area of the country. Is that common?


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 12:55PM
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I think ncrealestateguy summed it up very well. I also think you'll get more money by lowering the price than using any of the investment companies.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:19PM
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The house looks very nice - no reason people wouldn't like it. I agree with the others - they just don't like the price. Lower the price and get that baby sold and off your back!!!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:39PM
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Thanks everyone. The feedback has said AT or 3% above. Most has said AT market. That 3% above feedback is why I immediately lowered the price after 2 weeks this time.

That's what you get for relying on agent's advice I guess. Since not a single agent ever suggested listing so low. And if I lower it any more, then I have to take out a loan to sell it (is that a short sale? IDK). Already, with RE commission added, I'm pretty sure I'm taking out a loan to sell.

Anyway, we have 8 showings scheduled already for this weekend. Why won't people even lowball offer? I've told the agent's multiple times to tell people we're open to ANY offers.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:27PM
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Maybe this will be your weekend!! Good-luck!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:01PM
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I was only able to see the outside picture. Would love to see the rest. Are you located in Mac/Groveland????

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:21PM
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neesie, you have to click on that one photo and it will take you to the album. fill in the password first - which is "jen"

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 6:00AM
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sorry to hear that you are so close to being upside down. That really throws a wrench into the plans of lowering the price. If you are going to net less than what it takes to satisfy the mortgage, then, yes, it is a short sale. I'm no expert in mortgages, but I don't know if a lender is going to lend you money to pay off the difference... maybe an unsecured, guaranteed loan? Others here will know.
If you have to short sale it, let your agent know now, and get the ball rolling with the lender. They need to be involved now.
I hope this weekend works out well. From the amount of showings you are getting, there is something about the property that is attractive.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:44AM
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what a cute house, Jen. I remember when you were first in the process of getting ready to sell, choosing realtors etc. I have to agree with everyone else. It's price.

There was a story on KSTP this past week how houses in some areas are starting to get multiple bids. There was one house in St. Louis Park with 40 bids. Yes, 40 bids.

It's like someone said upthread, buyers want to feel they're getting a deal. Homes are priced low, generating bidding wars. One family interviewed had lost 5 homes in the last few weeks to bidding wars.

Having said that, the market here isn't totally fixed. Those areas with bidding wars are for lower end homes, so the story said. If you go to the KSTP website you may find the video of the story. It was just this past week or the week before. Very enlightening.

You could conceiveably reduce the price to try the strategy of getting multiple bids. If you're so close to being underwater, you've got to do something fast.

Do not use UG. You will lose so much more money.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:18PM
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I was able to view the album and I have to admit that it's a gorgeous home. Your woodwork is stunning! Usually the kitchen is the downfall in a home that old but yours was very nice. Is that quartersawn oak in the kitchen? I hope you had luck over the weekend. All I can say is don't sell it to UG, its definitely a beauty.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 2:23PM
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I don't know anything about "Ug Buys Ugly Houses", but my parents are fixing up their house to sell. They moved into the other house they own so they wouldn't have to live there during construction. Anyway, one of the contractors, who was going to give them a quote on siding, offered to purchase the house. He offered them about 60% of what they plan on putting the house on the market for. But this was before they spent any $ on repairs.

If these Ug people are a chain then they are probably offering less than this individual contractor.

Market price = price someone is willing to pay for a house. All houses are sold at market price. You may want to drop your price to 10% below comps. You might get offers below that but they will probably still be above the 60% or so that Ug would offer you.

A different angle may be to talk to a RE attorney. If you can't sell your house for what it is worth you may be able to do a "deed in lieu of forclosure". Many on this board will flame the idea but you should investigate it. If nothing else it may give you leverage to get a short sale from them. But laws are state specific (and I'm not a lawyer in any state) so you should probably talk to one in your specific state.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 7:52AM
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What is a "deed in lieu of foreclosure"?

I don't want to go into foreclosure and risk screwing up our credit and never being able to buy another house.

neesie, I think you're like all of our "lookers" so far... that's why we get so many showings. Yep, place looks great in photos/on paper, but ... no cigar. Maybe this is a case of a listing with photos that are TOO good. :-o

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 3:13PM
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A "deed in lieu of foreclosure" is pretty much just as it sounds. You give the lender a deed & they agree not to foreclose. Usually the lender agrees not to pursue a deficiency judgment; but not always...sometimes, part of the deed in lieu negotiations include provisions for the borrower to repay any deficiet that may occur when the property is ultimately sold.

You'll have to show hardship, inability to meet debt service, & not have assets to draw from to augment income. As a lender, I always reported deeds in lieu to the credit agencies.

How did last weekend's showings go? Have you lowered the price down below the comps? If you've had another 8 showings & that property's not under contract...well, the market couldn't speak any clearer. It's priced too high. Apparently, enough too high that a potential buyer won't even submit an offer.

You seem aware of the property's short-falls. The only tool you have to combate those short-falls is price.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 3:46PM
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jenswrens, I found the house very charming with a lot of nice features so it must not be selling due to price. Maybe you can list it lower and say price has been lowered to subsidize cost of building a downstairs bathroom or at least tell your Realtor to say that. I am sorry you are losing money due to your mortgage. Times are so tough in our economy bu it is best to lower the price than lose $40,000 more in this next year.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 1:37AM
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cripes - that's a gorgeous house! The pictures alone make me consider moving from FL to MN. I have no idea if yours is a typical style home for your area or not. But, it reminds me of how I see my own home (which is not typical for FL). When my home was on the market, I had tons of showings. My RE said more than any home they've listed. Two informal offers that I accepted but which never materialized. The only feedback I continually got was with regard to only having one bathroom (3/1). I do recall that I too had concerns about that - but quickly learned to manage. So, bathrooms/bathroom accessibility must be a *biggie* for some folks. Oh, and price. That may have actually been my problem from the start --- but there were NO comps for my home!
Good luck to you - can't even imagine entertaining the UG home scenario.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:10AM
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I keep trying to think of someone I know who might be buying a house - since I live near St. Paul. A few things do seem to be selling so it's not like there aren't any buyers out there. From what I've heard there are more first time buyers though and that is probably more than most first time buyers are willing to spend. And a single person with one car might find the one garage to be fine but may not want to spend that much. And geez, any able bodied person can walk upstairs to use the bathroom - people obviously did it in the past.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 6:44PM
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I think that if you think you're going to sell for less than what you owe and take a loan for the difference, you may want to find out more about the process. I don't know a lot about short sales, but I gather that they can be complicated. There may be steps you need to take before you can commit to selling to anyone at a lower price.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:27AM
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I wonder how much it would cost to construct a small powder room with a pedestal sink and toilet that may help sell the house for the price you want? I know you don't want to invest more into this home but I think it is only not selling due to the one bathroom.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:12PM
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I concur with the last posting about a powder room. If there is room why not try it? I doubt it would cost that much and I bet it would be dollars well spent.

What is your listing price? I may have missed it in this thread? One thing I noticed was the heat register in the dining room-looks like old heating? That may scare people off. I have a home for sale for just $55K and people want Central Heat/air. I'm 1/2 tempted to put it in our sale house in hopes of hastening a sale.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 9:45AM
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I tried these people a while back and he only offered me $8,000 on my house. The year before it was appraised at $68,000 AND they said it was a fair offer... The property alone is valued at $29,000, I was expecting at least $30,000 because it's Water Front Propert, BUT NOooo !! What a Joke these investors are a rip off !!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Our son is looking for a starter house here in Los Angeles, and there are multiple bids on houses that are in good condition and location. A deadline is set for the bidders to submit. They often sell above asking price.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Zombie post ... you guys/gals just resurrected a post from exactly 4 years ago!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:53PM
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