Most types of cash buyers have the same goal: to buy your house for cash. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who want to cheat homeowners out of their hard-earned money.
If you want to sell your house for cash because it’s in poor condition, you are going through the foreclosure process, or you simply want to sell the property as soon as possible, working with a cash buyer is the best way to get an offer fast. At the same time, it’s important to keep an eye out for common cash home buyer scams so you don’t fall victim to extortion or get swindled.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you see any of these warning signs or red flags throughout the cash home buying process—especially if you encounter more than one—consider walking away from the offer.
When you reach out to the cash buyer and ask questions, you should get consistent answers each time. If you speak to different people and their answers don’t line up, it’s a warning sign that they might be a scam.
Legitimate cash buying companies are transparent about their process and in their communication.
If you receive unsolicited offers over the phone, in the mail, or via email to buy your house for cash before you’ve even started looking into local cash buyers, be wary. Most trustworthy cash buyers will advertise their services and let you reach out to them—not the other way around.
Selling your home is a high-level real estate transaction, and everyone should exhibit professional behavior through the process. If they are screaming at you, use unprofessional language in emails, or are non-responsive, it could be a sign that they are trying to scam you.
Reputable cash buyers are professional at all times and will promptly respond to your questions.
Cash buyers should be able to provide proof of funds before you sign on the dotted line. If you can’t verify their proof of funds, especially if they are unable to provide you with verification, be careful. It may be a scam.
Experienced cash buyers will provide proof of funds so you can ensure there’s no risk of the deal falling through.
High-pressure sales tactics are a classic red flag for scams. If the buyer is constantly calling, texting, or emailing you, or if they are putting pressure on you to accept a deal immediately, it’s a bad sign. Reputable cash buyers will give you the time you need to consider their offer.
Be wary of offers that are significantly above your asking price. If you’re experiencing a seller’s market, you may be able to expect a higher offer, but if that high offer comes hand-in-hand with another one of the red flags on this list, take a step back and consider if it’s too good to be true.
Trustworthy cash buyers will make a fair offer—one that benefits both sides of the equation.
Is the cash buyer upfront about the process? Are they trying to tack hidden fees onto the final contract? A lack of transparency about the selling process, fees, and offer is a major red flag.
Legitimate cash buyers will be transparent and upfront throughout the entire selling process.
Everyone has a digital footprint of some kind. Cash buying companies will likely have a website, and even individual cash buyers should have a social media profile or some kind of online presence. If you try to research the cash buyer and can’t find any information about them on the internet, it’s a warning sign that they could be a scammer.
Later in the selling process, a huge red flag is if the buyer sends you money by check but asks for a refund, either in part or in whole, because they claim they accidentally overpaid you. This tactic is common in many different kinds of scams, including in real estate transactions.
If you get a request for a refund, be cautious. Wait until you can confirm with your bank that the original check didn’t bounce—which may take a couple of weeks to verify.
References are an important way to verify the trustworthiness of a cash buyer. If the cash buyer refuses to provide references or claims they can’t share any with you, it’s a red flag. They could be trying to sell your contact at a mark-up instead of trying to make a legitimate offer.
Reputable cash buyers will not only provide you with resources but will also often offer them before you can even ask.
Some home buying scams involve tricking homeowners into wiring the buyer funds for a variety of reasons. If they want you to wire them money, it’s a sign that you might be interacting with a scammer.
Legitimate cash buyers will not ask you to wire them funds for any reason.
The best way to avoid home buying scams while still selling your house fast for cash is to work with a reputable, local cash buyer. There are many established, trusted companies like ours that have a history of making legitimate cash offers on homes, and working with one of these reliable and experienced cash buyers will ensure you avoid common home buying scams.
Using a trustworthy cash buying company like New Again Houses comes with a lot of benefits:
Find a cash buyer in your area to get an offer on your house.
At New Again Houses, we buy, fully remodel, and sell homes to new families to enjoy for years to come. Unlike other cash buyers, we will never sell your contract or your information—so you can trust us to restore your old home and give it the love it needs.
We’ve been in the business of helping local homeowners sell their homes since 2008. Based in Bristol, TN, and serving homeowners nationwide, the New Again Houses team would love the opportunity to invest in the community by making your older home new again.
Together, we transform not only houses but also the lives of our clients.
Are you ready to sell your house, get a cash offer, and close in a matter of days? Contact us today to get started.