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Just as you have different choices for buying a home in Illinois — from a condo in downtown Chicago to a sprawling single-family home in Peoria — you have choices when it comes time to sell, too. Most people opt for a traditional sale with a local real estate agent, but those can take about two months to land a buyer, according to Redfin data.

If you need to relocate ASAP, or need the cash quick and can’t afford to wait that long, a company that advertises “we buy houses” might be a good option. You probably won’t make as much money, but you’ll make it fast. Here’s what to know about “we buy houses” companies in Illinois.

Types of companies that buy houses for cash in Illinois

Illinois homeowners looking to sell fast have several cash-homebuying options, including nationally known franchise companies, smaller local firms and tech-savvy iBuyers. Here are a few to consider:

National options

One big name that operates across the state is HomeVestors, often known by its slogan “we buy ugly houses.” It makes quick cash offers on homes and can conclude the entire deal in just a few weeks. Another, We Buy Houses, operates in much the same way and also buys in various locations throughout the state. Both companies buy homes in as-is condition, meaning there’s no need to spend money on repairs or even cleaning up.

iBuyer options

These companies operate almost entirely online. They move equally as fast as other cash homebuyers, but they may charge service fees that others do not. Of the two biggest iBuying players in the industry, Opendoor and Offerpad, only Offerpad currently buys homes in Illinois — and only in the St. Louis market. If you’re in the area, submit your home’s info online for a fast cash offer (usually within 24 hours).

Local options

The many locally owned cash homebuyers in Illinois include:

  • Tony Buys Homes: This Naperville-based firm is operated by a husband-and-wife team. They make cash offers within 24 hours, let you choose your own closing date and can close the deal in as few as seven days.
  • We Buy Houses Illinois: Here’s another family-run cash-buying business, owned by a Chicago native and University of Illinois grad. They cover all closing costs and can close within 14 to 30 days.
  • We Buy Central Illinois Homes: Focusing on Central Illinois rather than the Chicago area, this Champaign-based operation buys homes in any condition and shares many of the repairs they make on their own YouTube channel.

How do ‘we buy houses’ companies work?

These companies operate as real estate investors offering cash for homes, then typically renovating and reselling them for a profit. Some operate as landlords, keeping the renovated properties to rent them out. They typically buy homes “as-is,” no matter how much work is needed, and they typically move fast, closing in just weeks or sometimes even days.

All “we buy houses” firms have their own process, but the basic steps for most are more or less the same. Once you reach out, either by phone or online, they will assess your home — sometimes via online information and digital photos sent in, sometimes by sending a representative in person — and make you a cash offer, usually within a day or two.

They are able to move fast because they’re paying in cash, so there’s no waiting for financing or underwriting. And because they’re going to renovate anyway, you save money on having to get the home ready to show to potential buyers. They usually charge no fees and take care of closing costs as well.

Offers from these companies don’t come with any obligation to accept, so you can inquire with multiple firms to see who offers you the most. But don’t expect to get a full market value offer — they need to renovate and make a profit, so they don’t offer top dollar. They don’t typically negotiate, either.

If you do want to accept the offer, don’t dilly-dally, as the offers do not stay valid forever and may expire quickly. And be sure to read all the paperwork very carefully: Do not sign anything until you’re sure that you understand and agree to all the details. After that, the closing will be scheduled and the deal will be done relatively quickly.


Working with a cash-homebuyer is not your only option when it comes to selling your Illinois home.

  • Sell it with a real estate agent: A traditional, agent-assisted sale will move more slowly — the average Illinois listing spends 58 days on the market, per Redfin, and then you have to wait on your buyer’s financing to be approved. However, this route is much more likely to earn you a higher profit on your sale, even when you take into account the agent commissions.
  • Sell it on your own: “For sale by owner” lets you sell your home without a real estate agent. This method means you’re in charge of setting the price, marketing, showing the home and negotiation. While FSBO cuts out agent fees, it also demands more work from you — and might impact the final sale price if you’re not too familiar with the real estate game.
  • Rent it out instead: This option won’t give you a quick cash boost like selling does, but if you’re not in immediate need, it does offer a way to make extra money without having to sell. The median rent for a home in Illinois is $1,975 per month, according to Zillow Rental Manager.

Next steps

Choosing between these options boils down to what you value more: getting the best price for your home, or getting the home off your hands quickly and with minimal hassle. Selling to a “we buy houses” firm offers speed and convenience, but often comes with a lower price compared to traditional sales. If a traditional sale is right for you, enlist the help of a local real estate agent who knows your part of Illinois well and can help you make top dollar on the sale.


  • For those looking to sell their house swiftly in Illinois, “we buy houses” companies provide an expedient solution. A traditional market sale can take several months, but these companies specialize in fast transactions, with the potential to close deals in just a couple weeks. Agents can help you sell faster than normal, too, though it won’t be quite that fast — be upfront with your agent from the beginning and let them know that time is of the essence, so they can market your home accordingly.

  • Yes, most of them are legitimate real estate investment businesses that buy homes for cash and flip them for a profit. However, they typically offer below market value to cover expenses like repairs and holding costs. Be sure to do your due diligence anyway, though, and read all paperwork and contracts very thoroughly before signing.

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