There are many reasons you might choose to seek out a cash home buyer. For example:
- A cash home sale is generally quicker than a traditional sale, which can be important if you need to pay off debts.
- A quick sale also eliminates upkeep costs and property taxes while you wait for your home’s value to rise.
- And “cashing out” can free up valuable financial resources so you can invest them more wisely.
However, it’s important to take the time to choose a honest cash home buyer. There are a number of scam artists that pretend to make a cash home purchase only to instead cost you the value of your home.
For example, one common scam is for these dishonest buyers to write you a check for deposit—once you deposit it, they have a change of heart and beg you for a refund.
Perhaps they say there’s been a major change in their financial situation; a family member is deathly ill or there’s been some other form of personal disaster. Naturally, you feel badly; you never intended for anyone to be “stuck” with your home, so you agree and refund them their money immediately.
However, you later find out their check never cleared the bank and now you’re out the full value of your house—and still have a home to sell.
Discerning an Honest Cash Home Buyer From a Fake
With a bit of due diligence you can avoid being taken in this way and can still benefit from all that a cash home sale has to offer.
Here’s what to look for:
A Locally Based Company. Finding cash home buyers in San Antonio is as simple as doing a quick Google search—but going with someone local can help you when it comes time to make sure they’re legitimate. Often, you can find other homes they’ve purchased and visit their offices, which can provide an important sense of security for your sale.
Proof of Funds. An honest home buyer will be able to furnish proof that they have funds available to buy your home. Generally, this will be either in the form of a bank statement or a hard money letter. If they can’t show you they have the money to make the purchase, they’re not the buyer you want.
An Offer Too Good To Be True. Cash sales are already a pretty good deal—but if a buyer offers to pay all cash and doesn’t even bother to negotiate with you on price, be suspicious. Honest cash home buyers operate as a business; that means they’ll negotiate to maximize their profits. If they don’t, beware.
Proof of other transactions they have closed. If the buyer is operating a cash home buying business, this won’t be their first purchase. Ask for proof of other purchases, to verify that they follow through. Feel free to ask how long they’ve been a cash home buyer; if less than a year, proceed with caution.
Do they reference a partner or “lots of buyers?” If so, beware. Agents sometimes pretend to be cash home buyers to secure a listing; in other cases, false cash home buyers avoid showing proof of anything by alluding to a “partner” who will magically reveal the requested information—but who never appears.
Ultimately, make sure you’ve done your best to investigate the cash home buyer you’re considering—look them up with the Gov Public Access, or another organization that will do background work for you.
And if you’re still not comfortable, choose another buyer.