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How to Avoid a ‘We Buy Houses’ Scam

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There are many reasons why a person might want to sell their house quickly. Maybe they’re moving out of state, they’ve been hit with a sudden job loss, or they’re dealing with some other emergency.  

In these cases, selling your house to a cash buyer can be a godsend. You can get a quick offer, and move on with your life quickly. 

There is, however, a downside to selling your house to a cash buyer: scams. Many people who buy houses “off market” will claim to be legitimate cash buyers but may actually be trying to take advantage of you. Learn how to avoid these scams by understanding how off-market buying works and how to spot the red flags. 

What is an ‘off market’ purchase and why would someone want to make one?  

An off-market purchase is a sale of real estate that occurs outside of the traditional listing and buying process. Typically, this involves selling a home to an investor or private buyer who is willing to provide cash for the property. 

This type of purchase can be attractive to homeowners for a number of reasons, such as selling quickly due to a job relocation, an emergency, a life-changing event such as a divorce or death in the family, or to save money and time by avoiding agent commissions and timelines.  

However, there are also a few potential risks to be aware of before entering into an off-market deal, such as scams.  

One of the most common scams in the real estate industry is the “we buy houses” scam. This type of scam typically involves a company or individual claiming to be interested in purchasing a property, often for cash, but then disappearing or refusing to follow through with the sale once an agreement has been made.  

How do you spot a scam when selling your house to a cash buyer?  

There are a few things you can look out for when trying to determine if a cash home buyer is legitimate. Many scammers will try to rush you into making a decision, or they may not be able to provide all the information you need upfront. It’s also important to check reviews online and see if others have had negative experiences with the company. 

Here are a few other things to look out for:  

  • The company is not able to provide all the information you need upfront. The investor you’re working with should be able to provide proof of funds or other financial documentation that qualifies them for the purchase of your property and have them at the ready. After all, this is what they do for a living. 
  • They try to rush you into making a decision or move too slow in the process. A legitimate investor will move at an appropriate pace required to reveal the appropriate documentation, provide proof of funds and other financials, and make sure you feel comfortable about the sale.  
  • Extreme or aggressive behavior when reasonable requests are made 
  • The company/investor makes you an offer without knowing anything about the property, has never seen the property, or asked questions about its condition. 
  • They won’t return your call or give you their full name. 
  • They have no references, won’t give you the name of their escrow officer or the title company that they use, or are willing to give you any contact information with companies or individuals who know their reputation. 

The Benefits of Working with an Off-market Buyer  

When you’re selling your home, it’s important to work with a cash buyer who is interested in doing right by you. Off-market buyers are those who purchase homes outside of the traditional real estate market. These buyers are often investors who specialize in purchasing homes that need repairs or updating, and can offer sellers a quick sale at the best possible price. 

One of the major benefits of working with off-market buyers is that they are not subject to the same constraints as traditional homebuyers. They do not need to secure financing from a bank and can offer you a cash purchase, which can be especially appealing if you need to sell your home quickly. Additionally, off-market buyers do not require appraisals or inspections, so there is no risk of your offer being rejected due to poor market conditions or problems with the property. 

Work with South and North Carolina’s Premier Off-Market Buyer 

Many legitimate companies and investors buy houses for cash. These companies will usually have a good reputation and do what they say they will do. It is important to do your due diligence before selling your home to one of these companies to avoid any problems or regrets later on.  

The first step to avoiding a ‘we buy houses’ scam is knowing who you’re dealing with. Always verify the details of someone’s identity as much as possible before moving forward with any transactions.  

In addition, double-check all banking information and keep careful records of all transactions in case you need to file a complaint later on. By being diligent and taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid becoming the victim of a ‘we buy houses’ scam. 

Contact Carolina Homes Buyer today for a free, no-cost, no-obligation cash offer on your home. We close on your schedule and you pay no commissions, fees, or closing costs. 

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