|Real Estate Information|
We Buy Houses Scams - How to Spot Them and How to Avoid Them
There are many reasons why a home owner would want to sell a house fast. Job change, relocation, debt problems, divorce and inheritance are just a few. Unfortunately, people in need also tend to attract predators who have no problem profiting from someone else's misfortune.
If you're looking to sell a house fast, here are a few scams to be on the lookout for and how to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
One of the most common types of "we buy houses" scams allows the "buyer" of the home to make off with most or all of your equity. It begins with you transferring your home's deed to the "buyer." The buyer may then have you make payments to him instead of the mortgage company, or he may have you move out so he can begin renting out the house.
There are several ways the buyer can then profit from this transaction. First, he receives some sort of payment every month - whether from you or from the renter. Second, he can use the equity in your home to secure home equity loans or other lines of financing. Third, he can simply resell the house without satisfying the outstanding mortgage.
Ultimately, once most of his profit is exhausted, he simply stops making payments on the mortgage and allows the home to go into foreclosure, because while he holds the deed to the home, he never assumed liability for the mortgage. As a result, you are left with a foreclosed home, no remaining equity and a significant black spot on your credit history.
Contract Bait and Switch
The contract "bait and switch" is a clever scheme that takes advantage of the trust between buyer and seller.
In one version of this scam, the home buyer inspects your house and makes a verbal offer that you accept. A few days later, he presents you with a written contract that he presents as "just a formal, legal version" of your verbal agreement. Because you believe it to be the same offer you had already agreed to, you simply skim it and sign on the dotted line.
In the time between signing and closing, he may also deliver one or more "minor changes" to the contract. He presents these as simply "a few tweaks" and nothing that really affects the original agreement.
At some point, though, possibly at the closing or even later, you discover that the last contract you signed actually bears little resemblance to the initial offer, and you are either stuck with a losing home sale or tangled in legal battles for months or even years to get out of the contract.
This scam is an interesting twist on the Nigerian Scam or 419 Scam. In it, a person outside the U.S. contacts you after seeing your house on a For Sale By Owner site, telling you that he is looking to move to the U.S. soon and can pay cash for your home. His story is compelling to the point that you actually feel good about helping him out - not to mention being able to sell your home.
Ultimately, though, his only goal is to get you to transfer him money and/or to get access to your bank account so that he can transfer the funds himself before you realize what has happened. And because he is outside the U.S., recovering your money can be next to impossible.
How to Protect Yourself from Scams
If you need to sell a house fast, here are a few rules for protecting yourself from falling prey to a scam like these.
Only Work with Professionals
The best way to protect yourself from scams is to work only with professionals who have an established history of home buying. These days, anyone can order a book from an infomercial and become a "professional home buyer," but real professionals have been in business for many years and have closed millions of dollars in real estate transactions. Their primary concern is the health of their business, and they will not risk that by cheating you or otherwise treating you unfairly.
Check Out the Buyer
If you have any concerns about the buyer, don't hesitate to check them out. Contact your state Attorney General's office, your state's Real Estate Commission, or your District Attorney's Consumer Fraud Unit. If they are an established business, also check out the Better Business Bureau. Always Understand What You're Signing
Not asking questions because you are afraid of looking stupid could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars or more if you end up in a deal that wasn't what you thought it was. A lawyer or even your mortgage company can help you if you want professional advice from a third party. Never, ever sign a contract that you don't understand.
Get All Agreements in Writing
If a disagreement arises about a verbal agreement, the issue becomes your word against theirs and often must go to a court of law to be settled. Don't risk that. Insist that all terms be in writing, and don't agree to anything that isn't. Be Willing to Walk Away
If you have any doubts about the buyer or the contract - or if it just doesn't feel right - just walk away. It's never worth the months (and maybe years) of future headaches to sell your house a few days sooner.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. So don't get so emotionally tied up in the sale of your home that you abandon caution and logic. Your home is both a major financial obligation and a major asset. Falling prey to a scam like these will have major repercussions many, many years down the road - and maybe for the rest of your life.
Duane LeGate is president of House Buyer Network, America's fastest-growing home buying service. Since 2002, the company's nationwide network of professional home buyers has helped more than 45,000 families and individuals who needed to sell a property fast - processing more than $7.5 billion in property during that time.
Moldy Homes are a Great Investment
Have you seen this in your classifieds? -"Will pay $$$ for moldy homes. Call 555-555-5555"All you have to do is watch the news and you know about mold problems.
A Real Estate Investing Primer
There are a great many books and web sites devoted to real estate investing out there, but most of them concentrate on one specific area of investing. It's often hard to find a general description of real estate investing, one that lists the various real estate investing strategies and how to get started.
Setting Goals for Real Estate Success
The power of goal setting has been well documented and communicated so before you skip over this point because you've heard it all before I'd like you to consider how well you are doing it. I'm a firm believer that you don't truly understand something until you are doing it.
The Listing Contract: Its All in the Details
Now that you've chosen a real estate professional to sell your home, you'll need to work together to complete a listing agreement. This legally binding contract authorizes a broker and his or her real estate professionals to find a buyer for your home, according to the conditions specified in the contract.
Selling Your Home Quickly, Even if You Have No Money For Repairs
Do you need to sell your home quickly? If so, don't be tempted by the ads you see that say "We Buy Houses" or "Sell Your Ugly House in 9 days for Cash." Those types of ads are placed by real estate investors who are looking for sellers under duress, and they'll only pay up to 70% of the low end market value for your home.
Avoiding A Bad Investment Is Easier Than You Might Think
Human nature being what it is, none of us can get serious about the idea of buying a house without experiencing at least a few small twinges of worry. What we fear, of course, is making a mistake.
Does Staging Work?
Staging can involve minimal effort on the part of a seller. Merely rearranging furniture can show a house off to advantage.
How to Make Money from the California Real Estate Gold Rush
What do the Californians know that we don't?What is so special about California? Why is the average price of a house there five times higher than nationwide? Why on a salary of $100,000 per year, you can hardly afford to rent a decent apartment in the large cities there?It is true, Californians have a nice looking Pacific coastline. They also have a pleasant climate.
Industrial Income Property Financing: Part 3 of 3
Financial ConcernsOf the three types of income property, industrial property requires the greatest degree of technical expertise and experience. Likewise, financing the acquisition of an industrial income property can be, at best, very risky without adequate planning and know-how.
Selling Investment Houses: Psychology of Mirrors
Discover new interior Design Psychology strategies to increase your real estate profits. One technique, using mirrors as props for staging houses helps you sell your investment properties for more money, and fast.
Flipping or Fixing Houses for Profit
Many real estate investors make $5,000 to $10,000 or more by flipping houses. These investors buy a home from a distressed seller and resell it quickly for a profit.
Will a 1031 Property Exchange Solve Your Problems?
If your problem is listed below, a 1031 exchange may or may not be your solution.1.
Staging Homes for Top-Dollar Sales
Wouldn't it be nice to have Roger Hazard's design team from "Sell This House" come visit for a weekend?Many "redecorators" and designers offer "Staging Homes" services from $250 to $5,000. These services usually give good advice, some help with the actual work involved, and others even move in new furniture for you.
Basic Real Estate Valuation
Given the current interest (dare I say hysteria) associated with investing in dirt and buildings, I thought it might be interesting for our readers to have a quick, dirty manual on real estate valuation. My perspective comes from years in the industry as well as some time learning at the knee of some of the better real estate minds in academia.
Fixing Houses for Resale: Three Beginning Steps to Increase Profits and Have Fun
Real estate investors specializing in fixers make higher profits when they have a detailed work plan and know how to get around the future resale appraisal issues.Before you begin your fixer makeover, taking a few extra steps helps you make more money, avoid future appraisal pitfalls, and have more fun.
Getting Raw Land, Not a Raw Deal!
There is more to buying raw land than meets the eye and more than a few individuals have wished they'd had a second chance upon finding themselves duped, conned, misled, ill-advised, uninformed, oversold, undereducated and often unprepared. They realize, often too late, that a raw land purchase should be properly investigated, evaluated and negotiated using a logical and rational plan.
10 Tips to Sell Your House Faster!
Here are some Handy wee Tips to help you Sell Your House Faster. These are all 'tried and true' tips we've gathered over years of Buying and Selling Houses, so I know for sure that they work!1.
Purchase Your First Home with Confidence
If you are making the transition from renter to homeowner, you're not alone. In 2004, 40 percent of homebuyers were purchasing for the first time, according to "The 2004 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Real Estate: Choose a Realtor You Can Trust
Today's volatile real estate market involves complex laws and fluctuating financial conditions. Maybe you've outgrown your first home; maybe you're in the process of turning over your fourth.
Commercial Real Estate Industry - Is the Condo Craze Over, or Just Gaining Steam
Over the last two years there has been so much condo activity that many commercial real estate lenders are starting to express concern over the future stability of condo markets. Some lenders have recently found themselves over allocated in condominiums as a result of the recent activity and have therefore become wary of all but the best opportunities.
|home | site map|