How to Avoid “We Buy Houses” Scams
Many people have fallen victim to “we buy houses” scams. These people want to sell their house quickly and easily, so they contact a company that says they will pay them cash for the home. The problem is that these companies often turn out to be fraudulent and take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. In this article, we discuss how you can avoid being scammed by one of these companies.
According to 2018 statistics from the FBI, over 11,000 victims lost a total of nearly $150 million through real estate wire fraud during that year. Find out how to not be one of the 11,000 in the article below.
Don’t Make it Personal
Never give out your personal information to a potential home buyer you’ve never met. You should never make the mistake of giving out any personal information such as social security number and banking details to anyone that is not well known or trusted. There are many scams in which people will pretend they want to buy property from someone, but their intentions are just for identity theft.
Don’t Forget Your Research
The best way to avoid being scammed is by doing your research. Always do a background check on any company you are dealing with, and make sure they have an office in the area where you live or want to buy property. Some fraudulent companies will claim that they’re based in another state but actually operate out of someone’s basement somewhere else entirely.
Pay Attention to Any Contract
If you are going to sign a contract with someone, make sure the terms and conditions of your agreement will be fair for both parties. Scammers often create contracts with lots of hidden fees or clauses in them without telling anyone about it beforehand. Remember: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Watch Out for Hidden Fees
Be sure to watch out for any hidden fees that may seem suspicious. For example, if you’re looking at a contract and they want an up-front fee from you of $500 as well as the monthly rent, make sure there is no other clause in the contract stating that this money will be refunded back to them should you break the agreement. You could end up losing your hard-earned money.
Some home buying scams will try to get your attention by sending you a survey. Unfortunately, these surveys are often just for data gathering purposes, and they do not offer any benefits at all. Instead, they’re trying to find out more about who is interested in purchasing property so that scammers can then target people with their potential scams.
Don’t Give Anyone Any Money
If you want to sell your house, the first thing that you should not do is give anybody any money. If they say, “we’ll buy your house for cash,” but they have no resources or reviews backing their dependability, then they’re most likely a scammer looking for an easy payout.
They will often try and make you feel as if there’s an urgency with applying before someone else does or use another tactic to get more information out of people like their name, address, phone number, etc. Don’t fall victim by giving them anything — hang up the phone.
One of the best ways to avoid a “we buy houses” scam is to ask questions. Questions like, “How much do you charge for these services?” and “Exactly what will happen during this process?” should be asked before agreeing to anything with anyone who says they’re going to sell your house.
Also, you should ask yourself:
Do I have sufficient information about their business model? If not, then don’t agree verbally or in writing until all the details are precise. Always understand exactly what service(s) they offer so that there are no misconceptions later on.
Who am I entering into a verbal agreement with? Is this person reputable in my area? Be sure to check reviews and online ratings and verify that the company is a member of any trade associations like the BBB or Chamber of Commerce.
If you can’t find a clear answer to your questions, then it may not be worth moving forward with them. It is always best to know more than less when dealing with something that involves money and property.
The best way to avoid being ripped off by a real estate scam is to be aware of the signs. Scammers constantly come up with new ways to trick unsuspecting homeowners into giving them their hard-earned money, so you must stay educated on how these scams work and what they look like.
Don’t let yourself get scammed! Make sure you follow our tips in this article before you do anything else when considering selling your home or property. If you’re looking to sell your house in Connecticut through a reputable company, we buy houses in Connecticut.