You need money.
With no other source of capital available, selling your house for cash seems the best way forward. You’re not alone! Indeed, around 17% of all house sales are bought in this manner.
Unfortunately, though, some companies that buy houses for cash are far from scrupulous. In fact, many of them are out for one thing alone: Profit.
Your financial interests aren’t always taken seriously.
Thankfully, they’re not all bad. Many more of these companies are trustworthy, reputable and have your best intentions at heart. The trick is knowing how to tell one from the other. Let us help!
Keep reading to learn exactly how to know which cash buying companies to use.
A good first step to establishing a cash buying company’s legitimacy is checking that it is, indeed, a company!
Many buyers out advertise their services with just a simple contact number alongside it. You won’t see any company logo, slogan or name. Be wary whenever this is the case.
Serious businesses almost always promote their name and brand alongside any marketing effort. After all, they want people to know about them, and not just their offer.
Be diligent in vetting any supposed company you’re considering working with. Verify the name (if you can find it) with the Better Business Bureau and/or the Chamber of Commerce, and trace the number provided too.
We all know that looks can be deceiving.
We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover.
It’s certainly possible for companies that look flash and professional to run illegitimate operations. Likewise, businesses that are amateur and low-class in appearance can work to the highest standards of professional conduct.
However, there’s still something to be said for paying attention to the cash buying company’s image.
A hand-painted poster full of spelling mistakes doesn’t exactly create an impression of trust-worthiness! By contrast, an aesthetically-pleasing ad in a prominent location sends better signals.
Modern companies know the importance of having a presence online.
After all, with so many people using the internet, it’s a key source of business.
Be sure to check if the company you’re going to solicit has a website. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a tell-tale sign of fraudulence. It should, however, raise alarm bells if there’s no website to be found.
Consider the quality of the site as well. Is it populated with content? Are there spelling mistakes and strange images? Is it formatted professionally, easy to navigate, and full of the information you’d expect to find?
Again, websites are an integral part of a company’s image. Thus, see it as a red flag if the site seems suspect for any reason.
The internet is often a great source of information for validating a business.
Think of it like going to TripAdvisor before going to a restaurant! Reluctant to waste time and money, you want to see what other people have to say about the establishment first.
Take the same approach with the cash buying company. Look for reviews online to see what past clients have to say about their experience.
A mass of 5* reviews is a good sign that you’re in good hands.
Looking for more information on the cash buying process? This post has everything you need to know.
Many scam companies employ a ‘sight-unseen’ policy.
Essentially, they’ll offer to pay for your house without even looking at it first.
That might sound appealing. After all, the property might be falling apart! Unfortunately, every legitimate business will want to know what they’re buying.
It isn’t in their financial interest to purchase a dud. Anyone saying they’re willing to take this approach is likely to be a con artist.
People hoping to sell their house in a hurry tend to like the sound of a verbal contract.
It speaks to a lack of red tape and bureaucracy- it’s a deal based on trust, which can proceed with none of the time-consuming contract negotiations, and so on.
It’s also a recipe for disaster.
You need to know the deal you’re entering into. Rest-assured that the verbal contract you enter into will end up being altered to your detriment!
Only ever sign a contract that’s written down.
Oh, and it goes without saying that you need to read the contract too!
We get it:
You’re in a hurry, which makes you feel disinclined to read a lengthy document full of legalese.
However, a common scam is for cash buyers to change the contract just before the seller signs it. People agree to a set of terms and the buyer goes away to write it up.
In the next meeting, the seller signs the document without realizing it’s been altered.
Failing to read the contract leaves you open to this eventuality. Always inspect and understand the terms you’re committing to.
Finally, it’s worth listening to your gut!
Always walk away if something doesn’t feel right with the company you’ve been in conversation with. These people will try and pressure you into using their service.
But stick to your guns. If you’ve done your due diligence and something doesn’t feel right, then be sure to look elsewhere.
Houses are often a person’s most valuable asset.
For that reason, selling it for cash is often a useful last-resort in times of financial hardship.
Unfortunately, among the plethora of companies that buy houses for cash, a certain percentage of them exist only to take sellers for a ride. Scams are common, and desperate sellers can lose huge sums of money at their hands.
Knowing how to identify the bad apples is vital to avoid such misfortune. Hopefully, this post will help you do exactly that.
Are you looking to sell your house in Austin TX for cash? Click here to learn how we can be of service and give us a call today.
Lisa is a local real estate investor in Austin Texas.