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We Buy Houses Scam: How To Avoid It

We Buy Houses Scam: How To Avoid It

We Buy Houses Scam: How To Avoid It


How can you tell that you’re on the brink of falling victim to a “We Buy Houses” scam? Well, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to sum it all up...“The money's the same, whether you earn it or scam it.” That’s a school of thought you want only Bob Heenan belonging to, else, run like your life depends on it!


There really isn’t an easy or sure way about this, because every con or scammer has just 2 intentions: to meet their ends (usually financial), and not to get caught. So while we’re busy preaching how to catch a scammer, they’re busy breaching the same.

Let’s get right into it then, grab a pen and paper if you have to because this is one checklist you’ll want to check before you get that check. (PS: Forgive the clichés, but you’ll be surprised at just how gullible you’re capable of being in the reign of a seasoned scammer...)



Is this a professional home investor?

You’ll want to look out for the tell-tale signs of a professional agent, it should be easier than discerning if that license or certificate is genuine or just a con artist’s masterpiece.

Right off the bat you should be able to pick on these pointers and know when to duck:


  • Is it easy to reach that agent whenever you have queries or are in need of clarification?


If you feel like an agent is often M-I-A and you just want to go C-I-A on him, maybe you should! But if you’ve got better uses for your time, then simply need to put an E-N-D to that association and find an agent that makes it all worth your time and money.


  • Has the agent garnered enough experience and for how long?


To be fair to the newbies and fresh graduates, you at least want to be dealing with a minimum of 1 year’s experience.

However, reality does not allow us to be fair and you definitely want to deal with an agent who’s been in the business long enough to have made a loss from the housing bubble, and long enough to have recovered, or at least, to have mustered the tweaks and tricks of survival, redemption and salvation.


  • Has the agent been in business for the last straight year?


You’re probably better off dealing with that agent who’s been in business for the last 2 years, than the agent that’s been in business for 3 years except the last 1 year.

The changing dynamics in the realty market necessitate a real-time broker who’s as good as his last sale/purchase; and if that’s over a year ago, then the request has timed out and you need to refresh.


  • Are there other real estate agents who can vouch for the said broker?


Do note the difference between bad-blood and healthy competition. You’ll not get anything good from an agent scorned, but if a couple of reputable brokers have positive feedback on a given agent, you’re a winner!


  • Does the agent have his credentials, certifications and license in order?


No need to say more...this is one of those black or white situations, no grays here. The agent either has the credentials or not, his license is either valid or not, the broker (and hence his business, your deal with him, and so on...) is either legitimate or not.


Can you get everything in writing?

It cannot be over-emphasized just how important it is to back all your dealings with a broker in form of writing—documentation.

Failure to this, there’ll be so much you can lose and just about nothing you can do about it.


Can you fully comprehend whatever’s in writing?

Don’t get too carried away with the “Is it in writing?” bit because even a fake document is in writing.

Considering that there’s just too much at stake with this, a good rule of thumb is to not only ensure that you fully comprehend everything presented in the documentation, but that you also cross your t’s and dot your i’s before you sign on that dotted line.

If you still need some more conviction, don’t sign any document like you had a gun to your head, stall and stall more if you have to, do your homework and research online or give your lawyer friend a ring.

Bottom line: Be sure to be sure.


Feeling like you have no options?

Ahh this should a favorite for many...those psychological games that leave you feeling like you have no choice in the world but to simply sell to that particular agent.


If you thought sales execs had the gift of gab, picture the guy that makes people buy homes post-Lehmann, and at a profit—what nerve you say!

Regardless of the irony, even foreclosure is an option; heck, even packing up and jumping town is also an option…

No matter what the situation with your home is, even if for good ol’ positivity’s sake, just never let any broker make you feel like you’re out of options, and especially if the only option binds you to THAT realtor and no other.


Does the deal sound too good to be true?

It would be so much easier to do a mini- exposé and just place some links here for self-explanatory reasons. But we’ve all been there before – that unquestionably familiar dopamine feeling...

Remind yourself again: Why on earth would you be beaming with pleasure when you’re so deep into debt, have a home that’s borderline to foreclosure—or stark underwater, when you’re just about to sell it for a cash amount that’s so many percentiles lower than the actual value...YET afford to have the false sense of endorphins?

If you so much as feel like a broker is offering a too-good-to-be-true (but-I-want-it-true) deal, know that positivity has nothing to do with it. Such are the times when realism needs to step in and give idealism a back bench.

Someone has got to draw the line and define a throw-away price even in a weak economy...and there are only two reasons why you’d fall victim to a “We Buy Houses” scam: Because you let it happen or because you let it happen. Here’s the one thing we’ll gladly make you feel like you have NO options for!