Real estate agents list properties and hope that someone will buy them. The average time to sell a property in many markets right now is 6-12 months. As you know, you pay a commission as a % of the sales price when you work with a real estate agent.
Often times it's 3-6% of the sales price (so if it's a $100,000 house, you'll pay between $3,000 - $6,000 in commissions to an agent). Agents provide a great service for those that can wait 6-12 months in many cases to sell and who have room to pay the commission on the sale. Our company actually buys houses.
Since we're actually the one buying the house from you, and we pay with all cash... we can make a decision to buy your house within a couple days (sometimes the same day). Again, we make our living by taking the risk to buy the house with our own cash, repair the house, and market it ourselves to find a buyer (which is the hard part in this market).