Beware! You Should Avoid These Types of Real Estate Scams

Beware! You Should Avoid These Types of Real Estate Scams

No wants to fall for any real estate scams because it is both financially and personally devastating. There are tons of different scams and versions of them to watch out for, so it is important to know some of the biggest scams to avoid falling for them. We’ve curated a list of some of the biggest real estate scams and many places for you to find more information to ensure that you’re educated when you’re in the market for buying and selling houses.

Biggest Real Estate Scams

With the internet, real estate scams are easier to spread to other real estate scammers than it used to be, leading to this issue being relatively widespread. There are tons of scammers that will put out posters or ads to get your attention; this flashy use of advertising makes it important to know how to spot what’s real and what’s fake.

Foreclosure Scam

This type of real estate scammer preys on people who are at risk of losing their home or going through the process of being foreclosed on. They charge their victims money under the pretense of being able to save their home- however, this is completely false. Real help is available and is free, not to mention isn’t found through cold emails or flyers in the library.

False Listings

There are people out there that copy existing real estate listings and post them on websites that aren’t tightly regulated at a lower price. This often includes wiring the money to someone on a home that you haven’t seen before because the price is amazing. Be wary of a home on a website like Craigslist, but, it can even be part of some of the bigger real estate listing apps so a reverse image search is always a good idea when something seems suspicious.

A caution for people involved in real estate investing is that sometimes these false listings will have people that intend on selling to buyers who flip or resell homes. They list these fake homes and hope that investors will come along and fall for their tricks- they are all the same tricks but the wording is different. Instead of being aimed at the average person hunting for an apartment, there are a lot more keywords that people looking to flip a house would look for.

Fake Viewing

This scammer lets people think that they’re going to see the apartment or house that they’re interested in, making people think that ‘real estate agent’ couldn’t be a scammer if they could get access to the place. The only problem with this is that the scammer never got access to the place – they’ll call the person who’s on the way to see the house and lie about a reason they can’t make it. Why would someone go through the time and energy to set up and cancel a fake viewing? Who knows, but there’s a scammer for just about everything.

Escrow Scams

For a person selling their house, they might get a message that they need to wire the escrow money to a certain place. These scammers target people they know are buying a house or apartment and pose as the actual company that would be working on you with Escrow. If a person falls for it, they could be out a massive sum of money to some scammer sending out emails.

A good way to avoid this is to double check if you receive this type of email or call. Check that the phone number or email address that contacted you is part of the contact information of the company you are working with and if it doesn’t match up contact your lending company to let them know.

Signs of a Scam

Knowing the signs of a scam before you invest your money into a piece of real estate is an important part of avoiding the above real estate scams. Before you invest your money, check for the signs of a scam to ensure that you aren’t having your hard earned money swindled.

Wiring Money Before You’ve Seen the Apartment

This might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people fall for this because the scammer is a very persuasive person. They’ll convince the person they’re talking with that they don’t have time to see the apartment or house because people are looking at it. This sense of urgency over a great apartment at a price within their budget often hides all the red flags because people are trying to move too fast.

This is a common theme throughout a ton of different scams and is not a scam itself but is a sign of a scam. If anyone tries to push you into wiring money before seeing a property, cut all ties and think about reporting these people to the appropriate government facility. Reporting these scammers is important because it ensures that other people won’t fall for the scammer’s scheme.

Being Pushed or Rushed

Obviously, some sense of urgency is important for buying and selling houses, but if the person you’re working with is borderline dragging you along that is an issue. If they’re pushing you into making a decision you’re not sure about or that you’re not comfortable with, it’s best to do a little research on them. This tactic is used in combination with several other red flags.

Weird Website

If someone’s website looks fishy and information doesn’t add up, do a little more research. Websites that buy or sell houses should be consistent, have information on locations that the business is located, and contact information. If you’re unsure of how to spot a fake real estate website, looking at trusted real estate websites is a good place to start.

Our website has an about us page, which is easy enough to fake, but with a few clicks, it’s easy to tell we aren’t. This goes for other websites, as scammers aren’t going to use their own faces.

Doing a reverse image search on the supposed owners of the site is a good place to start when checking for a scam. Scammers also tend to steal their About Me page from other legitimate websites too, so looking up some of the text on the about me page can work too.

Staying Safe

As technology advances the real estate scams seem to get more complicated too. It’s important to know the general set up of these scams so that you can recognize them in the future. We hope this list has helped educate you and helps you along your real estate journey.

If you’re interested in looking into our company but are wary of all these scams, a good place to start is contacting us or checking out our website. We’re willing to answer any questions that you might have and make sure you have all the information you need.

10 Common Home Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

10 Common Home Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Are you thinking of selling your home, but worried about the condition? Concerned that there might be a few repairs needed that could scare off potential buyers?

It’s a fair concern to have. Many people feel the need to go out of pocket to bring their house up to perfect condition before putting it up for sale. A ready-to-move-in house should make for an easier sell, or so the wisdom goes.

The truth is that sometimes selling as is makes the most sense. It might seem counter-intuitive, but there are many situations where repairs before a sale just don’t make sense.

Keep reading for 10 reasons to sell your home as is.

1. Save Yourself the Stress

Home renovations are incredibly stressful to live through. There are many factors that contribute to this, and each can bring a heavy emotional toll.

If you choose to make repairs to your house, your first decision is whether to live in the home while you do so. If you do, you suffer the inconvenience of trying to navigate your day-to-day life around a construction site. Dust and debris will be everywhere, and it can be hard to find a place to relax.

If you don’t want to live on-site, you need to find somewhere else to stay. You could spend the money on a hotel or risk the goodwill of family or friends by moving in with them for a short while. But how ideal is that, really?

2. Save Yourself the Money

Meaningful repairs don’t come cheap. If your home needs major renovations, you need to find a way to pay for them.

If you need to sell due to financial duress, this is a clear pro for selling as is. But even if you have the flexibility to make the choice, paying for the repairs doesn’t always make sense.

The biggest concern is in getting a return on your investment. Is there better value in replacing the roof, or knocking some money off the asking price?

The idea most people have is to get as much as possible in the sale of a house. However, asking a lower price in recognition of the repairs needed may actually give you a larger profit margin.

3. Avoid Surprises

Another challenge in taking on the repairs is the risk that there’s more damage than what’s known. You may think that you’re just replacing a bathroom sink only to find extensive water-damage.

While it’s essential that you disclose all your knowledge of the home’s condition, you can’t reveal what you don’t know. That’s not to say that you’re off-loading a money pit to the buyers. Instead, you’re letting them take on the risk in exchange for a lower sale price.

4. Sell Quickly

If you’re looking to close the sale quickly, you can’t beat selling as is. Undergoing renovations requires time and patience. Any unforeseen repairs will push things back even further.

If you sell as is, your home can go on the market almost immediately. You can also sell to a cash buyer, which makes for an especially quick sale.

5. It’s an Inherited Property

Inheriting a property is a mixed blessing. Obviously, there’s the loss of a loved one to contend with first. Secondly, you’re now responsible for a home filled with someone else’s belongings.

If you’ve inherited the home as part of an estate, things get even trickier. This can be a recipe for disaster as everyone fights for what they believe is their fair share.

Selling as is lets a third-party come in and take over the responsibility. All members of the estate can then share in the profits.

6. Avoid Realtor Fees

The one thing a realtor offers is guidance. For those looking to navigate the home selling process, it can be reassuring to have an expert at their side.

However, this reassurance doesn’t come cheap. Selling as is makes the process much simpler, saving you from the need of a real estate agent.

This also helps keep more money from the sale in your pocket.

7. Limit Your Liability

It was mentioned earlier, but it’s worth repeating: disclose everything you know about the condition of the house.

Buyers that are willing to take on an as is property are already prepared to get the necessary work done. Don’t feel like you’re scaring anyone off.

Instead, you free yourself from the liability of a buyer who thinks you sold them a damaged home. Get peace of mind from the risk of an irate buyer.

8. Avoid Window Shoppers

One of the biggest frustrations of selling a home is getting a lot of walkthroughs without any serious interest. You could be inconveniencing yourself to make the house available to a curious neighbor that just wants to poke around.

You might have a smaller pool of potential buyers selling as is. But the ones interested will be much more serious about it.

9. Get Noticed

In a buyers market, offering a property at a lower cost than the other homes will draw attention. It can be attractive despite its condition as an easy way into the neighborhood.

10. Get Paid

Life is expensive. Sometimes owning a home isn’t worth the financial obligations.

Free yourself from home ownership and make your home’s value work for you. You can use it to travel, move into a rental, or anything else you want.

How to Sell Your Home As Is – Final Thoughts

Knowing how to sell your home as is knowing how to leverage your greatest asset. It is a great way to limit your expenses and stress while maximizing your profits.

For more articles on selling your home, visit our blog.

Get Out Fast: 8 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly in Austin, TX

Get Out Fast: 8 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly in Austin, TX

Austin, TX is among the top five housing markets in the US today. If there was ever a time to sell or invest in real estate in Austin, it’s now. The industry is full of opportunity.

So, you’ve made the decision to sell your home and get a new place. Daunting as the prospect may be, you have to offload your current home first before you can make the leap.

This guide explores 8 ways to sell your home fast. Read on.

Sell Your Home Fast 101

1. Skip the Repairs

When you need to sell your house quickly, renovations can be quite costly. More often than not, you don’t have the time or money to spend on expensive repairs.

Most real estate agents list houses that are in tip-top condition. So if yours doesn’t meet the mark, you might end up sitting on the market for a really long time or having to make costly repairs to attract traditional buyers.

Selling to an investor on the other provides a much better alternative. Investors are always ready to buy the house as-is. Selling to an investor will save you the trouble of having to incur repair/improvement costs.

2. Ask for a Cash Offer

Cash is king. There’s nothing as good as the feeling of cold hard cash in the palm of your hand (or bank account), especially when you need to sell your house fast. Cash offers are the most common way of selling your house to an investor. 

The whole idea behind this is to eliminate the lengthy property appraisals, loan applications, approvals and all other tedious processes that are synonymous with selling your house using the traditional routes. That way, once you receive your money in a lump sum, you can use it to move on and find another house, or, to tie up any pending urgent issues that need financing.

3. Closing Fast Is Key

It is important to know that an investor has the financial muscle to pay for your house in a lump sum cash deal. Nonetheless, how fast they can close on the deal is just as important when you’re looking to offload your property fast.

If you were to use the traditional method of having a realtor sell your home, you’ll have to jump quite a few hurdles before you can close on your property. Selling with a realtor will take at least 30-45 days AFTER a buyer has put in a contract.

Why? Buyers have to get inspections done, qualify for financing, have the house appraised, etc., and that takes time. A buyer has many contractual “outs” when it comes to buying your home, so just because it’s under contract, doesn’t mean it will close quickly or at all.

With an investor, closing on the deal is a straightforward process that’s free from bureaucracies. If you’re in a tough spot and need the money like yesterday, consider going with a reputable investor who can typically close in as little as 7 days.

4. Get out of Your Mortgage

You’re stuck in a 30-year mortgage and need to sell your house quickly. Maybe you’re having a bit of trouble keeping up with the payments, or you just want a fresh start somewhere else.

There are times when you may have little to no equity in your house and find yourself in a situation where you need to sell. Sometimes you are upside down in your mortgage. Sometimes a cash offer won’t cover your mortgage.

When a lump sum cash offer won’t be sufficient to wipe out your entire mortgage, an investor may be willing to take over the mortgage on your property entirely. They should be able to facilitate the transfer process or offer you some creative alternatives to help you get out of your mortgage fast.


5. Skip the Drama

Divorce settlements or inheritance issues surrounding the sale of a property can be quite complex given all the decision makers that have to be part of the process. Selling your house through a realtor will not give you the speedy sale you desperately need.

For starters, if the property in question generates revenue, like a rental property, the sale would most likely require the existing tenants to move out first before the property is put on the market. Not only will the process take time, but you may end up losing money as well.

An investor is often times willing to purchase a house with existing tenants in it. This way you can sell your house, tenants and all, quickly and without the extra time, money or hassles.

For inherited properties, it is usually much easier to sell to an investor, rather than going through the time and expense of fixing up and selling a property that is, often times, in a completely different state than you.

6. Cut on Costs

If you need to sell your home quickly, listing your home with a real estate agent will cost you money. Many times home sellers forget about some of the heavy hitting costs, such as realtor commissions, closing costs, concessions, and home warranties.

Typical real estate commissions are around 6% of the selling price of the home. If you do the math, that would be $18,000 on a $300,000 home. Closing costs are typically between 1%-2% of the sales price. The majority of sellers also have to come out of pocket or reduce the sales price due to what an inspector finds when doing a home inspection. Many buyers also want a home warranty, which can cost upwards of $500 depending on where you live.

Selling to an investor eliminates hefty real estate commissions, concessions due to repairs, home warranties, and in many cases, an investor will pay your closing costs.

7. Location Matters

You might find it difficult to get a real estate agent who’s willing to list your house if it’s in a bad neighborhood or if there are other factors beyond your control like by unsightly power lines, water towers, junky neighbors, etc.

These factors not only affect the offers you may get for your house, but it leaves you at the mercy of a very small subset of the buyer pool – retail buyers who are willing to look past eyesores. If you don’t live in a prime neighborhood and need to sell your house fast, you might consider contacting an investor rather than a realtor.

8. Remove the Stress and Hassles

Repairs, decluttering, people walking through your house possibly for months, keeping the house spotless until you have a buyer, having to run home to get the pets out of the house, offers that fall through and waste your time, inspections, criticism = HASSLE!

Selling to an investor can remove all of these stressors so that you can focus on your future and get out of the house that is burdening you!

The Bottom Line

Real estate is a tricky business – more so if you need to sell your house quickly. The longer your house stays on the market, the more value it loses.

Taking steps to sell your home fast is always a great plan no matter what your motivation might be. 

Are you ready to sell your home in Austin, TX? We buy any house in just about any situation. Reach out to us now and we’ll get you our top purchase price right away.

Get Rid of Your Home with None of the Stress: Benefits of Selling “As Is”

Get Rid of Your Home with None of the Stress: Benefits of Selling “As Is”

In the United States, 5.34 million homes were sold in 2018. These home sales consisted of new homes, renovated homes, and everything in between.

Today, most retail buyers are looking for a house that is “move-in ready” and that doesn’t need a bunch of repairs. Television and advertisements stress the importance of renovating your house for resale purposes, so selling a house “as-is” may seem more difficult, but it truly doesn’t have to be.

Keep reading to learn about the best things to do when you are trying to sell your house without making too many changes.

Selling a House “As Is”: What Does That Mean?

Most of the time, people do a lot of things to a house before they sell it.

They may add a new coat of paint to the exterior or add landscaping around the outside. On the inside, they may redo the floors, cabinets, or even put in new appliances.

Many people do these kinds of updates in order to try and get more money when they sell their homes. Obviously, this is a good thing when you are able to do it, but not everyone has the time or funds to make it happen this way.

Making the types of changes that others often make on their homes costs money, so if you don’t have it, selling “as is” may be your best option.

Why Would You Sell Your Home “As-Is”?

Selling your home without doing renovations or updates to the appearance may seem like a bad idea to some people.

The main idea behind selling a house is usually to make more money than you put into it and capitalize on the investment.

In today’s economy, a lot of people are selling their homes because they have to. It can be very expensive to be a homeowner – often times the hidden costs of owning a home aren’t evident until things begin to break or deteriorate.

If you have repairs to make or haven’t been able to keep up with general maintenance, your home may be in bad shape. 

You may face unexpected bills, you may have been recently laid off, you might have gotten divorced… there are many reasons why a home may suddenly be a burden instead of a blessing.

In the end, it comes down to improving your financial situation, and your peace of mind.

Benefits of Selling a House Without Making Changes

Cost of Repairs

Your current financial situation may not allow you to make any changes, including basic repairs or maintenance. Roofs wear out and are expensive to replace. Foundations crack, plumbing breaks, HVACs go on the fritz, fixtures become outdated – all of which cost lots of money to remedy. 

If the property you want to sell has these types of defects and you can’t do anything about it, consider selling it as-is.

A real estate investor is often in the business of purchasing houses “as is” rather than you having to make those improvements. They can often come up with some creative solutions to your unique situation.

Stress of Selling a Home

Some homeowners are unable to handle the stress of selling a home because it can be a long process that takes quite a bit of time and energy. If you already have a lot of stress in your life, selling “as is” could be much easier on you. 

Life’s hectic demands often times require our time and attention full time, leaving little for house maintenance, constant tidying, people walking through your house each day, and wondering when an offer will come in.

Selling to an investor “as-is” can help to eliminate those stressors. Investors buy houses without you having to do any repairs, tidying, multiple walk-throughs and they can typically close very quickly – getting you out from under your mortgage or helping you to move on to more positive life changes much faster than selling on the retail market.  

Life Changes

Many people sell a home “as is” because they are facing an unexpected financial situation. However, more and more people are needing to move in order to adapt to life changes. It takes a lot of time and money to get a house into tip-top condition to sell.

Today people are wanting freedom from the chains of being tied to a house. They are wanting to buy RVs and to travel, move closer to aging parents, pursue better job opportunities, downsize, retire, and countless other reasons without the burden of a owning a house.

HOA fees, maintenance, insurance, lawn care, furnishing, utilities, etc. are some of the costs that can sneak up on you when owning a house. Sometimes it’s just easier to move on and pursue other ventures that suit you better.

Selling your house to an investor “as-is” often times results in a quick sale, which allows people to move on to their new endeavors quickly, without the hassles and stress of making costly repairs and updates.

Sell Your Home Today

More and more people are foregoing the headaches and hassles of repairing and updating their homes in order to sell. There are people who will buy your house quickly for cash and help solve the house problems you may be having. 

Work with experienced and trusted professionals who will help you with your home selling needs. Contact us at 512-598-5418 to tell us how we can assist you today.


Selling An Inherited House: The Ultimate Guide

Selling An Inherited House: The Ultimate Guide

In the final quarter of 2018, the average home in the US was selling for almost $400,000.

If you’ve inherited a house from a loved one, figures like that might influence you to consider selling it. But selling your family home and selling an inherited house are two very different real estate transactions.

When you’re thinking about selling inherited property, you need to know everything from who can sell it to when you can sell it. You should also be prepared for some of the most common issues that occur when selling an inheritance property.

Keep reading for all of that and more.

Your Options When You Inherit a Home

If you inherit a property, you have three options. Your option includes moving into the home, renting it out, or selling the property.

Some people will choose to sell their family home and move into the property they’ve inherited. Others may choose to keep the property and rent it out for additional income. But most people decide to sell off the items of the estate and then sell the property.

There is one additional option, but it’s not available in all cases. If the property has environmental concerns or if the money owed on the property is more than its value, you might be able to opt not to inherit the property. Check with the laws in your state to see if the option to not accept an inherited home is available to you.

Who Can Sell an Inherited Home?

Not just anybody can sell an inherited home. Before selling an inherited house, you must determine who has the authority to sell the home and distribute the assets. 

If an executor is named by the deceased in their will, that person is responsible for carrying out all aspects of a person’s will. The executor is the only person who is legally authorized to sell an inheritance property. 

If the inherited property is in a Trust, then a trustee is responsible for the sale of the home and the distribution of assets. A deceased person may appoint an aide or even a trusted real estate firm in this arrangement.

If the deceased didn’t have an estate plan that included a Will, then they’ve died intestate. The intestate laws of your state will determine who is responsible for their assets and property. 

When Can You Sell an Inherited House?

There’s a process that needs to be finished before you can sell an inherited property. In the majority of cases, all assets of the deceased including their home must go through probate.

Before selling inherited property, the probate process needs to be completed. After probate, the executor can distribute the proceeds of the home sale to the beneficiaries. 

If you’re receiving the home through a title transfer, then you must wait until the title is transferred to you before selling. You can’t sell the inherited home until you’re the legal owner.

And if the property was a property held in a Trust, the home can be sold by the trustee. The trustee can sell the home without going through probate. They’re then responsible for transferring the proceeds to the beneficiaries

How Much Will You Get For Selling an Inherited House?

Perhaps part of your decision for selling inheritance property is based on the money you’ll receive from the sale. In that light, you might head online and check what you can expect to receive.

Looking at comparable properties in your geographic location might be a good place to start. However, you need to consider the condition of the house as well as the current housing market before making any estimates.

Often times inherited properties have been vacant for a while and are outdated and in need of many repairs. Many times inherited properties are located in different states than the heirs. It’s often easier to consider selling the property As-Is rather than racking up costly expenses and time fixing up a property that could be hundreds of miles away.

Many times heirs have visions of grandeur when they inherit a property, only to find that the situation is not nearly as lucrative as they initially believed.

In addition, there may be other costs that lower the value you’ll receive in the end. For example, you should think about how much is left on the mortgage. Whatever remains on the mortgage will have to be paid before you receive your portion.

There may also be other debts to consider. If the deceased owed any other debts, you may have to use the proceeds of the sale to pay those off as well. If there are real estate or tax liens on the property, it can get even more complicated and can further reduce proceeds.

When calculating how much you’ll receive by selling an inherited property, you should also think about how many beneficiaries there are. If the proceeds have to be split among five rather than two individuals, your share is quite a bit less.

Potential Issues When Selling an Inherited Home

There are some common issues that arise when selling an inherited home. Being prepared for these in advance can make your experience that much smoother.

One of the first big issues people face when selling an inheritance property is disagreements among the family. What happens if one sibling wants to sell the property and the other wants to rent it out? Or what if one sibling thinks that repairs should be handled by a professional while the other prefers to do the work themselves?

Disagreements between siblings can happen even between siblings who get along, especially when it comes to money and sentimental value. This not only causes delays, but it can lead to resentment and fights that go on for years.

Similarly, trying to equally distribute assets can also can problems between beneficiaries. While splitting everything equally sounds easy in practice, it becomes challenging when it comes to determining the value of sentimental belongings. It can also be complicated by some siblings feeling like they’ve done more to help and are therefore entitled to compensation for their work.

Selling Inherited Property Fast

If you’re thinking of selling an inherited house, you should know when you’re legally allowed to sell it and who is responsible for handling that. You should also be prepared for some common pitfalls, such as disagreements between siblings.

But if your biggest concern is selling inheritance property fast, then we can help. Find out how it works and contact us to get started.