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“We Buy Houses” Scams in Sacramento

Where do I safely sell my home fast for cash? 

When you’re looking to sell your home in a secure and speedy way, considering your options can be tricky. Real estate investors; also known as cash home buyers are some of the best companies that buy houses for cash. To sell your houses as-is for cash is a great way to move your home when you need to do so quickly. People often use this method of selling their home when undergoing hard life circumstances like divorce or foreclosure but it is also an easier way to sell the home when it cannot be sold via traditional real estate processes. Issues including tax liens, water or roof damage, disorderly tenants or other situations may call for a quick as-is sale and your options may seem slim to you but fortunately, they are not with cash homebuyers being available. Cash homebuyers usually intend to buy homes in these circumstances to flip the home and make a profit later. 

By finding a great cash homebuyer in the Sacramento area, you can sell your house for cash fast regardless of its interior and exterior conditions. A lot of times, however, there are a handful of scammers that are waiting to take advantage of your need to sell your home fast. It is important to learn how the off-market buying process works and what to look out for when it comes to scammers “offering” cash offers for homes. We’ve compiled a list of red flags to be aware of and explained how the undertaking should go.

Do some investigation on the interested company 

Although the business may have a simple house buyers website and company cards, it is important to verify some basic information. It is much harder to fake a physical address or phone number that can be confirmed. Checking the BetterBusinessBureau website for customer reviews can also help rule out the fake businesses and help you better decide who to do dealings with. Validate that the reviews look genuine and that the details look legitimate. Anyone can claim “we buy houses”, but until you can actually verify who they are, take a step back. Any of the following information you can find is the best way to avoid being scammed:

  1. Name of company + associate 
  2. Physical Address
  3. Who owns the company?
  4. Is the address provided a location that you can visit?
  5. Does the company have a website with more information?

The most crucial takeaway is that the more information you can find on a business, the more likely it is that you are dealing with actual companies that buy houses and not scammers. A legit real estate investor should be more than willing to provide any documentation having it readily available to ensure you, their customer, that you feel at ease about the sale of your property. This should be their greatest priority. 

A valid investor asks for details about the home they are trying to buy, makes efforts to schedule an appointment for a walk-through assessment of the property, and makes a reasonable offer based on the conditions and the market at the time of doing business. 

When a meeting takes place, it is important to get on the same page. Check the companies or person’s contract to make note of their policy on making changes or backing out of the sale should you need to. A solid “we buy homes for cash” buyer always provides a way for their sellers to say no if you decide that selling is not in your favor after all. 

Take Note of the Potential Investors’ Behavior 

When doing business with a real estate investor, you want to feel comfortable in communicating over all of the affairs that have to be done in order to complete a successful sale. Sometimes when sellers are in a rush to sell their home, it is harder to identify when the potential buyer is acting overeager about the sale since you are also trying to speed up the process as well.

 No matter what your selling circumstances are, it is important to take note of someone who is showing signs of impatience or even hesitating when you make reasonable suggestions or requests. Observe any extreme behavior or reactions towards rushing you into making the transaction of purchasing your home.

 When a business is overextending its cash offer without collecting the proper amount of information about your property, this is a clear sign you are dealing with a scammer. This is especially true if there is no arrangement for them to see the home or ask any upfront questions about the property but instead, guarantee they wish to go through with the purchase. Someone who is genuine and truly buys houses for a living will want to do proper business with you and will not offer money for an estate they know nothing about. 

You should expect to talk to an actual person and meet with them to walk through your home together; discussing the sale and price offer with the same person. If the only interactions you encounter with the homebuyer are over the phone, this should heighten a signal in you that something could be off. When an individual or company puts in real-time and works on the sale, that’s when you know you are dealing with a legit investor. If your only line of communication is digital or phone-only, it’s harder to track them down when they take advantage of you. 

Two Key Pieces to Selling Your Home: Handling the Money and the Deed

Another major principle to follow is that when dealing with companies or individuals that buy houses for cash, you should not be coerced into paying any money upfront or after even if the fee sounds reasonable. You may have to pay a small service fee based on the percentage of the sale, but not every company will require this. Scammers like to use hidden fees and/or service charges like market risk fees to attempt to get money out of you without the actual intention of buying your home. This is something to keep in mind and to look out for. If the homebuyer does charge you a small fee, the funds should not be collected by them or deducted from the property price until closing. 

Doing business with  cash house buyers or real estate investors should have an order to the process that you should be aware of, if something is off in this process, you should reconsider the buyer:

  1. Gather information on the property 
  2. Exchange property and business information and possibly arrange a way to meet on the property for examination and proof of business 
  3. They give you money to buy your home
  4. You sign over the deed. 

Signing over your deed should take place with an attorney or local escrow company. If the investor asks for your signatures before evaluating the home in person or exchanging their own documentation and business proceedings, this is a sign that you are dealing with a scammer who is trying to take advantage of your time and money. Don’t sign anything without either first taking counsel from a lawyer or until you have the money in an escrow company. 

Keep in mind that the home buyer does not gain ownership of the home until you have the money in hand for your home. Signing over ownership early or signing documents without full disclosure could leave you still own your home with the remaining mortgage payments and no cash for the home. 

Most real estate investors will extend a deposit to indicate good faith in the sale, however, they will usually ask to come to an agreement before handing over a deposit. Even if this isn’t the case,  you should ask them to provide proof of funds to ensure that this is a reputable investor and has the cash to buy the home. Some people need time to secure funding but even then they should be upfront and not string you along/hesitate to provide proof. 

Let’s Recap, Here are all of the Red Flags to Watch For: 

🚩Vital information about the business/buyer is missing or cannot be provided in a timely fashion including (but not limited to) physical address, contact information, proof of funds, etc. 

🚩Extreme reactions towards you, the home sellers reasonable requests, especially if they haven’t arranged to meet to see the property.

🚩Disorganization is the process of fairly evaluating your home, learning about its conditions, and coming to a mutual understanding of pricing and fees. When someone is rushing you to sign a contract that you aren’t comfortable doing, it is okay and sometimes necessary to back out. 

🚩Digital or phone-only communication is a red flag that the company may not truly exist and a scammer is the one handling the potential transaction putting you in a position where they can’t track you down. 

🚩Charging you any fees upfront and signing ownership over early before the proper steps have been taken. Legit real estate investors don’t ask for money before closing with the deed. 

🚩Random phone call(s) claiming to know you and your properties’ circumstances and posing as a cash home buyer with no confirmation that it is a company you know or can be traced. 

Best Companies that Buy Houses for Cash

Selling your home is a major decision and undertaking for you and for your families. Whoever you decide to do business with selling your home should treat you with respect and work towards mutual understanding, taking care of any questions and hesitations you have in the affair. You want a company that backs up what they say they will do in action and answer your reasonable questions in a timely fashion. Selling your home off-market can seem like a tricky process and the more knowledge you have about how it all works, the quicker you can sell your home and avoid any scams. 

If you have decided to choose the off-market option for selling your home, consider partnering with Invesco Property Solutions and skip the hassle of finding the right buyer. People take advantage of this simple and stress-free process every day when selling their Sacramento house. 

It is ultimately up to you whether you should sell to a company that buys houses. Make sure you work with a company that matches your schedule, financial situation, and comfort level.  When you make a direct sale to Invesco Property Solutions, you don’t have to worry about cleaning out everything or doing repairs. You can simply walk through your home, take what you want, and leave the rest to us.

Invesco Property Solutions buys as-is with guaranteed cash closings in as few as seven days. And if that’s a little fast for your plans, we can schedule the closing date around your move, making the process as easy as possible. Let us compare what you’d earn by selling your home via a traditional listing vs. what you’d earn with a direct sale, and you’ll see that our offer is fair. We want you to compare for yourself to help you make an educated decision about the best way to sell.

If you’d like to get a fair cash offer on your house, Invesco Property Solutions buys houses for cash in any condition in Sacramento county. Contact us today at 916-455-8515 to learn more about a different home buying process.