Buy Your House for Cash Scams: 7 Signs To Help You Dodge Real Estate Cash Scams

Selling your house for cash can be a great tool– people under a tight deadline to move for job relocation, change in relationships, or even pending foreclosure can all massively benefit from a cash transaction.

Unfortunately, many people try to take advantage of the pressure to sell homes quickly by posing as qualified cash buyers. This makes it much harder for people who need to sell to know who to trust. The prevalence of cash home buying scams means it’s crucial to be cautious and aware of potential red flags.

Luckily, a few tips and tricks will go a long way! Many cash scammers use the same scam tactics, making it much easier to identify who you can trust and who you can’t.

Here are seven red flags that will help you identify– and dodge– cash for homes scams.

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1. They send an unsolicited offer to purchase property.

Fake real estate buyers often try to cast a very wide net to trap homeowners, meaning they often send offers to buy your home for cash without you showing any public signs of listing your home. Even if you know you’ll move soon, that shouldn’t be public knowledge until you officially list your home.

So, if you get cash offers in your mailbox, through texts, or notices left at your door without a “For Sale” sign, you can rule out the solicitor as a scammer.

2. They pressure you to skip steps to go faster.

One of the most significant advantages of selling your home for cash is to expedite the process. But trustworthy cash buyers will still present a minimum standard of due diligence, including:

● Seeing the property in person, even if it’s through an assistant.
● Providing transparent financials at the appropriate time.

A fraudulent buyer will often offer cash “site unseen”—especially if they aren’t a US resident. Others will offer (fake) financials far too early in the process in an attempt to get you to jump.

So, if you’re getting pressured messages to sell with offers to skip reasonable due diligence, you’d better talk to someone else.

3. They don’t respond professionally to your messages.

Reputable businesses care about customer service– it helps them close deals and build trust with current and future clients. But fraudulent buyers don’t care about customer service. Instead, they focus on casting a wide net, creating confusion, and pressuring people so they make mistakes.

Beware of communication that:

● Has many spelling and grammatical errors.
● Uses harassing or fear-based language.
● Fails to respond to messages in a consistent, timely manner.

If the potential buyer is unpolished and provides poor customer service, they’re likely a fake real estate buyer who doesn’t care about building a long-term brand of trust.

4. They don’t have a website.

Doing a web search of your potential buyer might be the easiest way to discover if you’re talking with an authentic company or a scammer.

A professional company interested in cultivating relationships with its community will always have a website—the more complex the website, the better! That means a scammer might put in the effort to create a simple landing page, but reputable companies will often have complex, multi-page websites with up-to-date information.

Always search for the name of the person or company asking to buy your property—every time.

5. They can’t or won’t offer you reviews or recommendations.

Successful businesses know that the modern market relies heavily on reviews from past clients– so they’ll make it easy for you to find them!

They’ll show their experience by leaving client reviews on their website, offering names and contact information of past clients, or having Google Business Reviews active online.

A scammer won’t have those reviews or may pretend they have them but give reasons why they can’t provide them to you. Even new business owners will have someone to vouch for them– so don’t buy it if a cash buyer claims they can’t provide a review.

6. They ask for personal information that isn’t part of a cash transaction.

Real estate transactions are complex, and most homeowners don’t participate in them often. That leaves homeowners who want to sell for cash vulnerable– you don’t always confidently know what information to give during a home sale.

Real estate scammers often try to press their advantage by insisting they need personal information that is not part of a valid home sale. They usually ask for the following:

● Your social security number (which is never needed in a cash sale!!).
● Bank information or account numbers.
● Answers to seemingly trivial questions that can help them hack your online accounts (like your first car make and model, your childhood dog’s name, or the name of the street of your childhood home).

An easy way to confidently sidestep any of these questions is to have potential buyers work through a legal or financial professional, like your attorney or bank.

7. They ask for refunds or wire transfers.

Scammers often reveal themselves through their use of money. Many real estate scammers will ask you to wire them money up front for so-called “legal fees.”

They may also send you money, then claim they made a mistake and ask for you to refund part or all of the money. Refunds are a very common scam method because the scammer’s transfer will bounce within a few days. If they can get you to refund them before the transaction bounces, you’ve actually sent them your own real money rather than returning a portion of theirs.

You should consider partnering with independent legal and/or financial professionals if you’re ever selling your home for cash. Qualified, reputable businesses should expect you to involve professional help– but scammers will always discourage you from getting help.

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Sell Your House for Cash Safely

Selling your home for cash is a very vulnerable process and usually means you’re tight on time. But that doesn’t mean you need to risk your investment. Make sure to deal with legitimate buyers who are transparent about their process and fees, responsive in their communication, and have established relationships with title companies.

At Carolina Home Cash Offer, we work within the greater Charlotte, NC, area to protect our clients’ money, time, and energy. With no processing fees, closing costs, or repair work, you can confidently choose the day you sell your home.

Reach out to us today to find out how much you can get in cash for your property!

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