The worst thing that can happen is that you get scammed when you’re trying to sell your home for cash. In 2021 alone, more than 11,578 victims reported instances of real estate or rental fraud, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Thankfully, there are a few surefire ways to avoid these scams so you can get an accurate and fair offer, peace of mind, and cash in your pocket.
Things to Know to Avoid ‘We Buy Houses’ Scams
Firstly, ensure that their company actually exists. Never sell to people who don’t have a legitimate company, unless they are your most trusted family. If you don’t know them, skip them entirely.
If you want to know if the company is legitimate, ask yourself the following questions.
How Do You Know If Their Company Exists?
A simple Google search will likely tell you whether the company exists at all, whether the website looks professional, and whether the contact information for the company is correct.
They may also have a social media page with reviews. Check out the reviews – if there are only a couple of 5-star reviews and nothing else, you may want to look elsewhere. The ideal sample size is over 30 reviews that have mixed results and sound like they are written by real people and not fabricated by the cash buyers.
Are They Too Eager to Buy?
One instant red flag is if someone is too eager to buy your home for cash. While eagerness in itself it’s bad, watch out for these signs:
- They don’t ask questions about your property
- They don’t want to see the property in person or virtually
- If they do see it, they speed walk through it
- They insist and push you to take their offer
If any of those three things happen, it’s likely that they are trying to scam you. Thank them for their time, decline, and find a reputable cash for home company.
Is the Buyer Taking a Blind Leap?
The buyer should always show an interest in the property and ask questions. They will want to make sure they get a good deal and will be able to work with the priority once they buy it. If they don’t ask any questions and seem to be taking a blind leap of faith, decline the offer. Any and all legitimate buyers will never take a leap of faith on properties, because it means potentially losing money when they flip the home or turn it into an investment property.
Is the Buyer Non Communicative?
A legitimate “we buy houses” company will never leave you waiting for your offer, payments, or leave you on read. They want the business and they want your home. So if a buyer ever takes a long time to get back to you (without a legitimate reason, of course), then it may be time to find another offer elsewhere.
If an investor needs time to secure funds, they will likely be upfront and honest with you about this. If they seem to avoid talking about where the funds come from, then it is likely a scam.
Ignore the ‘We Buy Houses’ Signs
The easiest way for people to scam others is to set up a legitimate-seeming advertisement and wait. These advertisements often come in the form of free road signage or posters on telephone poles. We recommend ignoring those signs and moving on.
Understand How the Cash for Homes Process Works
If you know how the process works, then you’re less likely to fall prey to a scam. Here’s how our process works at Property Spot.
There are three things you need to know:
- Property Spot does not require repairs
- You’ll get your offer in 24 hours (after evaluation)
- You’ll get paid immediately
When you sell to Property Spot, you don’t need to worry about home repairs and renovations, inspections, or the fees and paperwork that come with using a real estate agent. We do most of the paperwork for you!
On top of that, there are no home inspections. We will send someone to evaluate your property (in person or virtually) to get an idea of the layout of your home and its base condition. We are not looking for cleanliness or if your home is outdated – all we care about is the floorplan and the bones of the home (such as the condition of your foundation).
If you don’t want your home to be evaluated, then we’ll ask you some questions about the property. Once you have submitted the details of your property to us, we will be able to evaluate and provide you with a fair cash offer. Keep in mind that we may be able to give you a better offer after an in-person evaluation.
You have plenty of time to decide if you want to accept or not – we will never push you to accept our offer! If you do accept, you get to pick when you close. It can be as quickly as 7 days or as far out as six months!
Most importantly, cash for homes companies should be built around the idea of helping you – if you get a lowball offer that doesn’t even cover what you owe, or the company is overly pushy about their offer, you could be getting scammed with a bad offer. Always shop around and do what is best for you!
If you need help, or if you aren’t sure which method of sale is best for your home, visit our website to learn more!