How to Avoid Cash Home Buyer Scams in Central Florida
Every industry has its share of scams, but the real estate industry seems to attract more scammers than others. There are a lot of legitimate cash home buyers in Central Florida, but there are also a lot of scams. You’ve seen the yellow signs handwritten with Sharpie at the intersections all over town. Are these cash home buyer scams in Central Florida? What about the letter you received in the mail from the “local investor” who wants to buy your house? Is that guy a scammer or is he a legitimate cash home buyer? There are ways to tell if you’re dealing with a legitimate cash home buyer in Central Florida or a cash home buyer scam. Here are some of the most common signs of a cash home buyer scam in Central Florida and some tips to avoid being ripped off.
1. Check Cash Home Buyer Reviews In Central Florida, Look For Testimonials, and Verify Licenses
One of the best ways to avoid cash home buyer scams in Central Florida is to do your research on the company before dealing with them. Here are some of the best ways to check for cash home buyer scams in Central Florida and verify that the company you’re dealing with is a legitimate cash home buyer.
- Search for cash home buyer reviews online. A Google search may reveal all that you need to know about the company. If they have a Facebook page, check that out too! Do they have good reviews? What are other people saying?
- Ask the cash home buyer for testimonials or references from previous clients! A legitimate cash home buyer should have a long list of client testimonials and good references. Check out what our clients say about us!
- See if they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. My Florida Home Buyers currently has an A rating with the BBB and no complaints. What about the other guys?
- If they claim to have a real estate license, verify it! In Florida, you can verify real estate licenses at myfloridalicense.com. This is a great way to verify all types of state licenses, not just real estate licenses.
If you do the above research on cash home buying companies, you should be in pretty good shape. You will have done more homework than most people, and hopefully weeded out any cash home buyer scams in Central Florida. Now that you’re ready to move forward with getting a cash offer on your house, here are some other things to watch out for.
2. Watch Out For The One Page Contract
Many cash home buyer scams in Central Florida will present an offer on a brief, one or two-page contract that gives them plenty of ways to back out of the sale if they choose to do so. These short-form contracts often leave out seller protections and heavily favor the buyer. They may also specify that the cash home buyer can advertise your property on the local MLS. While some legitimate cash home buying companies do still use them, a one-page contract is often a good way to spot a cash home buyer scam in Central Florida.
A legitimate cash home buyer will most likely use a contract called the FAR/BAR “AS IS” Contract. This is the same contract you would sign if you had listed your house with a Realtor and sold it the traditional way. It is a detailed, 12-page contract that has been approved by both the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association. It provides protections for both the buyer and the seller and addresses almost any issue that may come up. Most cash home buyer scams in Central Florida will not use the FAR/BAR “AS IS” Contract.
3. “You Have to Sign TODAY!”
You’ve seen this aggressive sales tactic used at the car dealership, but it’s also prevalent among cash home buyer scams in Central Florida. They’ll often send someone out to look at your house and take photos. That person will then pull out the one-page contract and pressure you to sign right then and there. You may be in a bad situation and need to sell your house fast, but you should never let someone pressure you into signing a document without having time to review it or think it over.
At My Florida Home Buyers, we’ll never pressure you into signing a contract. One of our representatives will visit your property, perform a quick inspection, and collect any relevant information from you regarding your house and your situation. In order to pay you the most money possible, we never make offers on the spot. Instead, we’ll take the information we collected at the visit and do thorough research before making you a fair, no-obligation cash offer. If you decide to accept the offer, great! If you would rather not, that’s fine too! Unlike cash home buyer scams in Central Florida, we will never pressure you into making a quick decision and signing a contract without the opportunity to think it over first.
3. They Ask You to Pay Them For An Offer
Yes, you read that right. There are cash home buyer scams in Central Florida that involve the scammer asking the seller for money upfront in order to make an offer or purchase their house. This may seem like an obvious cash home buyer scam, but many people fall victim to this every year. If you’re dealing with a legitimate cash home buyer in Central Florida, they will never ask you for money. Offers should be free and you should not have to pay money upfront in order to close. Anything else is most definitely a scam.
Wholesalers: Cash Home Buyer Scams in Central Florida or Legitimate Companies?
There are a lot of legitimate wholesalers out there and they are not a cash home buyer scam in Central Florida by definition. However, because of the many “get rich quick” real estate seminars and online courses, many inexperienced people fall into wholesaling because it is taught as a way to make money in real estate without any of your own money. This inexperience can spell disaster for you as the seller and leave you in an even worse situation than you were before.
Here’s how wholesaling works. Most wholesalers will represent themselves as a cash home buyer in Central Florida. They’ll promise to help you out with your situation by purchasing your house and ask you to sign a contract for the sale. However, a wholesaler doesn’t intend on actually purchasing your house. Most of the time they don’t even have the money to be able to purchase your house. Instead, the wholesaler will shop the contract around to legitimate cash home buyers like My Florida Home Buyers. We receive hundreds of emails every week from wholesalers asking us to buy a contract from them. In exchange for the contract, they want to be paid an assignment fee at closing. This means wholesalers operate more like real estate agents than actual cash home buyers. Except when you get involved with a wholesaler, you may not even know that they’re getting paid a fee at closing for facilitating the sale of your house. You may think that this falls under cash home buyer scams in Central Florida, but it’s actually perfectly legal in the State of Florida.
The big problem with wholesaling comes when the wholesaler is unable to find someone to purchase your house in time. This happens quite often because inexperienced wholesalers often put the property under contract for too much money. If they don’t have their own money, the only options they have are to either renegotiate the sale price or back out of the contract. This can cause huge issues with you as the seller. We’ve seen cases where the seller was packed up and ready to go, only to discover on closing day that the wholesaler had backed out and was nowhere to be found.
At My Florida Home Buyers, we’re actual cash home buyers in Central Florida. We have our own money and we actually close on the properties we purchase. Because of this, we offer sellers a guaranteed closing. When you sell to us, you won’t have to worry about cash home buyer scams in Central Florida.