Selling Your House For Cash? 3 Key Things To Consider
There was a time when it was your dream home, but now you can’t stop dreaming about what you could get for it if you sold it for cash. Visions of a quick and lucrative transaction have you thinking about moving out and moving on with a stash of cash you can use to pay off bills, take a vacation, buy a luxury item (or two or three!), or add to your savings.
The good news: Buyers looking to pay cash are usually up for a quick transaction and generally aren’t overly concerned about improvements or repairs. And since real estate agents are involved you won’t be hit with the cost of a broker’s commission. Oftentimes the home inspection consists of merely a walk-through, followed by a quick and easy as-is closing.
But be aware that scammers abound in the cash-for-your-house industry. Knowing what to look out for — and avoid — can mean the difference between a sale that’s more than you ever dreamed of and one that’s a total nightmare.
1. The potential buyer communicates only via email
Potential buyers or investors may contact you through a variety of methods, but once a deal is agreed upon someone should arrange to inspect the property in person. If the buyer only wants to engage with you via email you could be dealing with a scammer. Individuals who are legitimately interested in purchasing a property will ask to do a walk-through to see exactly what they’re getting for their money.
2. Negotiations have gone out the window
Buyers looking to make an as-is deal aren’t interested in paying the market rate for a property; they’re hoping to negotiate a low price that will take into account any needed repairs but still allow them to resell the home for a profit. If you’re looking to make a deal with a cash buyer, you’ll most likely need to accept an offer that’s significantly lower than your asking price. If a potential buyer requires no repairs and offers top dollar for your home, you might want to shut the door on the deal as it’s probably the work of a scammer.
3. An offer from a foreign investor can be a shaky foundation for a deal
Alarm bells — not the doorbell — should go off if you’re offered a deal by a buyer in a foreign country who isn’t readily available to communicate with you via phone or video conference. Scammers make themselves scarce and never seem to be available to speak in person or through a local representative. Some scammers even go so far as to submit legal-looking documents or direct you to a website that appears professional. Another house buying hustle avoid: Scam artists will sometimes send a foreign check with a ‘mistaken’ overpayment, which they ask the unsuspecting homeowner to refund. Not surprisingly, the check doesn’t clear and the homeowner is on the hook for whatever monies were transferred out. Ouch.