Selling your house for cash can be a dream come true. In these cases, the buyers is often an investor looking for a quick transaction. They aren’t generally to concerned with the condition of the home and typically submit as-is offers and are willing to make repairs and updates. In most cases, the inspection is largely a formality. These as-is cash closings are generally a piece of cake, however, all that glitters isn’t gold and the industry is rife with scammers looking to swindle you, and you should be careful working with individuals who advertise a service to buy houses for cash on traditional media sources, online, and/or street signs (we’ve all seen these signs nailed to telephone poles and stuck on the side of the freeway off ramps).
If you’re considering selling your house for cash to an investor, make sure you do your homework, and back away if you detect any of the following red flags.
It’s a foreign investor
People who contact you offering to buy your house sight unseen should set off alarm bells, however, if the buyer is foreign this should be of even greater concern. In some cases, scammers submit legal-looking documents or direct you to websites that look professional and legitimate. They might suggest they are moving to the states for work. However, these people are either never available to speak in person, or don’t have a local representative to work with directly. In some cases, the scam artists will send a check (often a cashier’s check) with a mistaken overpayment. They ask unsuspecting homeowners to refund the overpayment only for you to later find that the check was fraudulent and a forgery and doesn’t clear. This leaves the homeowner on the hook for whatever monies they remitted to the alleged buyer.
Be wary of dealing with buyers in foreign countries who aren’t readily available by phone, video conference or in person. And never take any action with funds deposited until you’ve waited the requisite time for a check to clear, even if they provide a cashier’s check which are no longer accepted as an alternative to cash because of the high degree of fraud that now surrounds them. If you do receive a check, take it to the issuing bank as they will be able to confirm the legitimacy of both the check and the account from which it is drawn.
They only communicate via email
Investors may contact you through a variety of methods. However, before a deal is consummated, the investor should want to inspect the property in person. If you’re dealing with a potential investor who only wants to communicate via email, you might be dealing with a scammer. Legitimate buyers have no problem showing up and walking through a property they intend to purchase and wish to make sure the home they are purchasing is a sound investment.
The investor doesn’t attempt to negotiate
As-is cash home buyers are in this market to find deals. They aren’t interested in paying full market value for any property, especially one that is in need of repairs and update. True investors will negotiate the price down to account for any repairs and updates the home requires so they can sell the home again for a profit after they’ve renovated the home and covered the costs associated with the sale including the Realtor commissions, staging fees, title expenses, etc. Homeowners willing to sell to an as-is cash buyer must be willing to accept an offer that accounts for all of these factors and realize that they too are benefiting by avoiding the costs and hassles associated with repairing and/or renovating the home themselves. Professional investors do not pay retail and rather they are able to secure discounts on the labor and materials associated with these repairs based on the volume of work they do. Thus it costs them less than it would cost you to make the repairs your home might require, but the same applies to the real estate commission rates, staging fees and title expenses they pay.
But if you’re communicating with a potential buyer who indicates they will require no repairs and are willing to pay you more than you feel your home is actually worth, run. Anyone offering full price for a house without requiring any work on your end is likely trying to rip you off.
How to avoid a scam
There are plenty of legitimate investors or buyers who are willing to pay you cash for your home as-is. This type of transaction works well for those who don’t have the money to make repairs or renovations needed. You may also appreciate the idea of a fast, hassle-free closing. Maybe you’ve become an accidental landlord after relocating, or you’ve inherited a house from a family member and you want the house sold and out of the arrangement.
There are plenty of good reasons to approach a quick-buy investor, and homeowners can still make smart choices in pursuing this type of transaction. Here’s how to do it right.
Google the investor
Always do a Google search and look for independent reviews online. Angry people who are swindled out of money tend to leave a trail in cyberspace. Start with a quick search on the company’s or investor’s name. You should also check to see if they’re members of the Better Business Bureau, or if there are any complaints with the State Attorney’s office.
Hire a Realtor or a lawyer
While not required, hiring an attorney can help ensure that the process is followed correctly and legally. Legitimate investors will welcome this process. You may also be able to hire a Realtor to serve merely as a transaction facilitator, and at a fraction of the typical cost of their full service representation.
Follow up with their references. Legitimate investors will have worked with other homeowners who can share their experience — good or bad. Ask to see examples of other homes they’ve purchased in the past and check the auditor’s site and the transaction history of the home to confirm the investor did in fact own the home.
Pay attention to how they present themselves
Keep an eye on their professionalism. If their correspondence is laden with typos, or their forms of advertising are sketchy (illegal posters nailed to light posts, for example), you should avoid them. If an investor doesn’t present professionally and you want to sell your home for as-is for cash, find someone who does.
Talk to our Investors
We have investors and investment companies who purchase our clients homes which they then rehab before relisting the properties, or make available as rentals. Our investors are qualified and verified by us and thus we take the risk out of working with and seeing your home to an investor.
To qualify, your home must be free from any listing obligations in order to be eligible. Our investors will not pay a commission on the purchase of or Home Trade-In. The Home For Sale or Trade-In Home and you as a buyer must be free from any listing or exclusive agency obligations in order to be eligible.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please give us a call and we’d be happy to assist you!
The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Downtown Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Galena 43021 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickerington 43147 Polaris Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235