We’re sure you know by now – there are a lot of scam artists out there. You can spot them in a variety of industries, a notorious one among which is the housing market. In Canada, many people are alerted when approached by a “Cash House Buyer”. They claim to buy your house as-is, without any renovation or cleaning. You get a no-condition offer on the spot, plus handsome savings on realtor commissions. Is that too good to be true?
Like in every industry, there is a mix of legitimate real estate investors as well as shady scammers and money launderers. And you have every right to put them under scrutiny. After all, it is your house at stake here. However, it’s not always easy to tell the good from the bad, especially if you are desperately looking to sell your home! That’s why we put together this guide at Fast GTA House Buyer to help home sellers identify Six warning signs that you are working with a scam artist home-buyer.
The Buyer isn’t Local.
If the buyer is foreign, has never seen the property, yet makes you an offer during the first call or email – that is a red flag. Unlike many other products and pre-construction condos, it is almost impossible to determine the value of an existing home without an actual visit.
You can’t reach them.
This is a sure warning sign! If you or your lawyer can’t get hold of this supposed buyer, there is a high chance that they have a hidden agenda.
They give you too much information.
Volunteering too much information isn’t necessarily a good thing. Trust your gut on it. I would be a bit wary if a cash house buyer shares their bank statements or personal information early in the process, especially if you haven’t even asked for it. It’s obvious that this information is supposed to convince you. But it really has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their offer.
They’re asking for fees of any sort.
The money in a real estate transaction should flow from the buyer to the seller, not the other way around. A reputable cash house buyer should never ask you for any money. On the other hand, a scammer may offer you a really good price on your home but ask for a hefty “administration” or “processing” fee in return. The next thing you know, they have run away with the fee you pay, and you’ll never hear from them again.
Seeing their ads nailed to telephone poles or bulletin boards with “WE BUY HOUSES” and just a phone number could be a sign. A good, reputable company or investor will put good funds into their marketing strategies. We’re not saying that ALL of those with poor advertising methods are scam artists, nonetheless, if you decide to contact them, you should proceed with caution.
If they don’t have a proper email address or pick up the phone with a way too casual greeting, it might be a scam. Keep in mind – If they are putting little to no effort into their OWN business, how much effort will they put into buying/selling your home?
Well, here we are: a list of 6 identifiers of a scammer at work. Don’t be discouraged with all direct house buyers. Under certain circumstances, it could be a good option to sell your house to a real estate investor, especially when the traditional realtor route has failed.
Fast GTA House Buyer is a local real estate investment company, offering flexible sale options to homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area and other locations in Ontario. Check out our website https://www.fastgtahousebuyer.ca/ for ways we can help and testimonials from other happy home sellers.