You get a random phone call from a company that claims to be a trustworthy cash home buyer, or maybe you see signs posted saying “we buy houses for cash”. You might be wondering if this is real or just another scam for they make it seem too easy to sell your house.
You might have been searching on the internet “how can I sell my house fast” and find many companies promising this and that. It’s unfortunate that scammers do exist and many have fallen victims of real estate fraud. But you should also know that there are legit cash home buyers that offer a convenient and fast way to sell home fast.
So how do you separate the real buyers from the fake ones? You cannot simply go wrong when selling your house–your largest investment. Here are five ways you can identify a legitimate cash house buyer from a scammer:
A Clear Purpose in Purchasing your Home
Knowing what makes a cash buyer want to buy a home is one way to determine whether they will give a legitimate offer. A company such as the Cincinnati Property Twins gives clear information on their business model and how an offer on your house fits into their plan to update and resell your house as you can see on their website.
Beware of opportunity investors as they are most likely scammers. What they usually do is focused on telling a seller that they can save them from their financial difficulties, but they fail to tell you or are unclear on what they will gain from purchasing your house.
No Upfront Fees Involved
In conventional real estate transactions, no cash is exchanged prior to the closing. This is also true for reputable cash buyers. It is an automatic red flag if a seller asks you to pay fees upfront.
You should also be wary of independent buyers who readily give financial information without being asked. This document might be fake and all part of their act so you can trust them and push a contract along. A scammer might even pay a seller with a check unprompted, and then say that they paid too much and demand a refund. However, the check didn’t clear.
Offers Reliable Means to Communicate With Them
A legitimate cash buyer gives you reliable ways to contact them directly, usually a phone number and email address for one point of contact. A company who’ll pay cash for homes seriously should also have a trusted website which includes the information that can lead you, a seller, to their main contact.
Should there be any doubt about communications, for example a suspicious email, a seller should talk to their contact through a phone number they’ve used prior to receiving the email to make sure that the email is legitimate. The contact person should also not have an issue in offering an explanation for any changes or requests made by the seller. You, as the seller, should not feel pressured into doing something you are not comfortable doing.
Visits the House Prior to Finalizing the Offer
A physical visit of the house is often necessary for a buyer to assess its value, adjust their original offer, and come up with the final price. Legitimate cash home buyers will tell you this even before the selling process begins. If a buyer risks not visiting a home before buying it, you, as a seller, should carefully read the contract to ensure that the risk does not fall back on you.
Buyer Has Many References and Money
Reputable real estate investors like the Cincinnati Property Twins will be able to give contact information for people they have bought from in the past. If they cannot provide any references or refuse to share them, chances are you are dealing with a scammer. Also keep in mind that most reputable cash buyers are well-connected and have established that they have immediate access to the cash they’ll need to buy your house. For instance, the twins come from a well-known family in Cincinnati and have cash to buy your house immediately.
When choosing a company who buys houses for cash, it pays to do your due diligence. Only go with someone who is reputable to make sure you get a fair offer and to make sure the entire process runs smoothly.