HomeLight Simple Sale (also called HomeLight cash offers) is a free service that matches home sellers with investors, such as cash buyers or home flippers. The service can help you get offers from multiple buyers, but they will still likely be much less than the offers you’d get by listing the home on the open market.
Cash buyers like these buy homes in any condition — including homes with major structural problems — but they only offer 50–70% of market value.
If your home needs a lot of repairs, HomeLight cash offers could be a good fit. However, you could risk losing thousands of dollars if you accept a low offer when don’t know how much your home is actually worth.
What is HomeLight?
Founded in San Francisco in 2012, HomeLight is an online real estate company whose primary business is matching buyers and sellers with real estate agents.
HomeLight’s core agent-matching service is a fast way to find an agent, but the service lacks when matching sellers with nearby agents in some locations. The savings on commission are not as good as other companies, such as our friends at Clever.
HomeLight Simple Sale is an additional service offered to customers who would rather sell to a cash buyer than list with an agent.
» MORE: Read our review of HomeLight
Who should use HomeLight Simple Sale?
Choosing to use HomeLight Simple Sale means getting offers from cash buyers.
Selling to a cash buyer can be a good option if you need to sell fast and don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in the property to sell on the open market. However, the price will be a 30–50% cut from the home’s market value.
🛠 Good for homes that need a lot of repairs
Cash buyers are known for buying homes in disrepair at a discount to make a profit. Your offer will be much lower compared with what you would get if you fixed up the house and listed it. However, if you’d rather not invest in renovations or pay agent commission, selling to a cash buyer could be a quick and simple solution.
💰 Good for accessing cash quickly
If you’re going through a major life event such as an illness, divorce, or other serious financial setback, cash buyers are one way to turn your property into liquid funds quickly. HomeLight Simple Sale pays out as soon as 10 days.
🏚 Good for selling an inherited house
Inherited homes can be more trouble than they’re worth. Even though a property might be a valuable asset, you still need to pay property taxes and maintenance expenses. Cash buyers make it easy to turn an inherited home into cash with no additional investment in repairs or fees.
If you fit into any of these categories, a cash buyer might be a good solution for you. But make sure you’re getting a fair deal! Our friends at Clever can help.
Drawbacks of HomeLight Simple Sale
|Simple Sale's closing window is 10–30 days, which is less flexible than competitor Sundae's 10–60-day window.|
|The Simple Sale offer process takes about a week, compared with 24–48 hours if you went to a single cash buyer on your own.|
|Homeowners in some rural markets may have fewer investors to choose from than those near major metros.|
|Our mystery shoppers found that HomeLight's initial estimate can be much higher than what the cash buyers on Simple Sale actually offer — in some cases $10,000 higher.|
How HomeLight Simple Sale works
HomeLight will submit your home’s details to a number of investors, so you can be sure that you’ll be getting a variety of offers. All cash buyers will pay much less than the open market, however.
Because Simple Sale is free and you’re not obligated to accept any offer, you can still shop around for a higher offer.
- Enter your property address and details through the HomeLight website.
- A HomeLight rep will contact you within 48 hours to learn more about your home.
- HomeLight will contact home buyers in its investor network to gather preliminary offers. This takes about a week.
- Review the offers, and choose the best one.
- Most cash buyers will want to do an in-person home inspection after you accept their initial offer. If the inspection uncovers major problems, the cash buyer may reduce the offer.
- Accept the offer, close in as little as 10 days, and choose a move date up to 30 days away.
HomeLight Simple Sale vs. the competition
Sundae is the closest competitor to HomeLight Simple Sale. Like HomeLight, Sundae is a free service that markets your home to a nationwide network of property investors.
Sundae has generally positive reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 across 473 reviews. The company also has a more flexible closing window of 10–60 days, compared with HomeLight Simple Sale’s 10–30 days.
While HomeLight Simple Sale is available nationwide, Sundae is available in just 26 major metros in the following states: CA, CO, FL, GA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA.
No matter where you live in the U.S., Clever Offers can help you see all of your options. Just like Sundae and HomeLight, an agent from Clever can present offers from cash buyers in your area. But Clever Offers shows you the bigger picture by providing a FREE home valuation, telling you what your home is really worth. Your Clever agent can even negotiate with cash buyers on your behalf!
Alternatives to HomeLight Simple Sale
|Service||Fees*||Home sale price||Median days on market||Avg. time to close|
|HomeLight Simple Sale||0%||50–70% of market value||Instant||10–30 days|
|Traditional agent||4–6%||100%+ of listing price||50||30–45 days|
|iBuyer||5%||98–99% of market value||Instant||8–90 days|
HomeLight Simple Sale vs. ‘We Buy Houses’ companies
The well-known “We Buy Houses” companies across the U.S. are cash buyers, much like the investors HomeLight will be marketing to as part of the Simple Sale service.
Just like Simple Sale, there’s no fee or commission for working with a cash buyer, and you can close as soon as 10 days. But you’ll probably get only up to 70% of the value of your home.
We recommend asking HomeLight for a list of buyers they submitted your home to and contacting a few of them to get additional offers. There’s no obligation to accept an offer from cash buyers, so you might as well make sure you’re getting the best deal.
» COMPARE: 12 Best Companies That Buy Houses for Cash
If your home is in better-than-average condition, or you can afford to make some repairs to your home, you’re better off listing your home with an agent than selling to a cash buyer.
Selling your home on the open market could net you 30–50% more than selling to a cash buyer. That’s like getting up to $300,000 for a home for which a cash buyer might only pay $150,000.
A knowledgeable real estate agent would be able to tell you if it’s worth the time and expense to fix up your home and list it — luckily our friends at Clever can help match you with the right agent.
HomeLight Simple Sale vs. iBuyers
Selling to an iBuyer is a good option if your home is in relatively good condition and you want to sell quickly. iBuyers pay about 98–99% of market value, which could add up to tens of thousands of dollars more than a cash buyer.
Offerpad and Opendoor, the two leading iBuyers, charge 5% of the home sale price, plus closing costs. But they have strict purchase criteria, and iBuyers aren’t available in certain markets.
HomeLight Simple Sale reviews from customers
HomeLight has many positive reviews from customers, with an average rating of 4.5 based on 642 total reviews. However, most of these reviews are specific to HomeLight’s core agent-matching business, not its Simple Sale service.
A few customer reviews posted on HomeLight’s Better Business Bureau listing mention Simple Sale. Several reviewers claim that even though they submitted their property information intending to get cash offers, they were bombarded with calls from local agents instead. However, there are not many complaints about the service itself.
Where is HomeLight Simple Sale available?
Just like HomeLight’s agent-matching service, HomeLight Simple Sale is available nationwide. But locations farther away from major metropolitan markets may have fewer cash buyers to choose from.
How does the Simple Sale investor portal work?
In order to see how the other side of the process works, we signed up as a home buyer and explored HomeLight’s investor portal.
Signing up with Simple Sale as an investor is easy. You just enter your contact information and some details about your real estate investing business to get started. The questionnaire asks you:
- How long have you been a real estate investor?
- How many homes did you purchase in the last 12 months?
- How many homes do you plan to purchase in the next 12 months?
- Are you or another team member currently a licensed real estate agent?
At the time we reached out to HomeLIght, they told us they were looking for investors who had sold a minimum of 10 homes in the past three years.
Next, HomeLight will ask questions about your investing strategy and what profit margin you expect to earn.
- Is your investment strategy to fix and flip or are you interested in longer-term investing?
- What ARV (after-repair value) do you typically offer?
- Do you offer rent-to-own, leaseback, or in-house listing services?
Once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to look at your leads in the investor portal and organize them by status.
Before you can get any investor leads from Homelight, you’ll need to sign a referral agreement that outlines the fees and terms for the program. This includes a 4% referral fee due to Homelight after closing. If you (the investor) represent the seller as an agent at any point for two years after the sale, 25% of your agent’s commission is due to Homelight.
Homelight requires its investors to reach out to sellers as quickly as possible. As an investor, you’ll need to agree to contact any new leads within four hours. If you take longer, Homelight may direct the seller to someone else. If you fail to contact new leads within 24 hours more than a few times, Homelight may close your account.
Is HomeLight cash offer legit?
Yes, cash offers through HomeLight Simple Sale are legitimate. The service is offered by HomeLight, which mainly focuses on matching sellers with local real estate agents. Find out more about HomeLight.
What is HomeLight Simple Sale?
HomeLight Simple Sale is a service that matches home sellers with investors and cash buyers who are willing to buy homes in any condition. You can sell your home quickly this way, but it may sell for 30–50% below market value. Learn more about how HomeLight Simple Sale works.