The real estate markets have been on fire since the pandemic, ushering in significant volatility and uncertainty. Unfortunately, when this occurs, scammers infiltrate the industry looking for every gap and advantage to rip off unwary homeowners. The good news is that the red flags are easy to see if you’re looking out for them. Indeed, no matter how enticing a deal may look, nothing substitutes pulling on the reins and exercising patience before pulling the trigger. Doing your due diligence matters most, and this can follow numerous routes.
The first stop is the home cash buyer’s website.
When they don’t have one, it’s a massive alert signal.
So, we’d say that no website = cutting off discussions without further ado.
The most crucial site section or landing page contains the company’s customer reviews. Reviews signify experience, so the more, the better. We should point out it’s tough on legitimate home cash buyers entering the arena for the first time. Why? Because reviews are a critical consideration, and novices don’t have many of those. However, that’s not your problem.
When it comes to reviews, naturally, you want to inject some objectivity into the process – not only eyeball five stars ratings (i.e., but the ones companies also feature on their sites). So, we suggest you ask the home cash buyer what other sites feature his customers’ reviews. In other words, research broadly and look for ones on reputable review sites such as YELP.
Listen carefully to prospective home cash buyers.
Of course, the most accurate and substantial reviews emerge if you can directly communicate with past customers. You will be talking to the home cash buyer one-on-one at some point because the negotiations require that. So, raise the need to move past written reviews and solicit a one-on-one objective opinion. Their responses generally fall into three categories:
- “No problem. Go ahead, here are three you can phone. If you need more, let me know.” – Best response and a massive green light.
- Flat refusal with some flimsy excuse, like “I don’t want to disturb my customers’ privacy.” – A red flag flapping in the wind.
- Not a no or a yes. A guarded response saying, for example, they want to clear it with the clients. – That’s ok but keep at it and stay persistent until you get a go-ahead.
Check out the company.
When reviewing the home cash buyers’ site, focus on how you contact them, and all the company details you can find. Generally, Home Cash Buyer Professionals (HCBPs) specialize in specific areas. Home Buyers Birmingham, for example, creates the utmost clarity by making no mistake the company serves Alabama clients and narrows it down to one city. Moreover, their address is upfront, showing a physical office:
1821 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
The lesson from this is to pass on entities that are not region-centric and vague on office location. That said, even with the company details at hand, google it to see what pops up, remembering it’s not nearly enough. For example, did you know there are 57 online directories covering company profiles? Look for inconsistencies and leave no stone unturned to get to the crux of puzzling anomalies. Finally, when you doubt a home cash buyer for the slightest reason, our advice is to leave it out.
Understand how home cash buying works so you can ask the right questions.
The primary benefits of working with HCBPs are that they save you from:
- Paying the realtor’s commission (i.e., around 6% of the offer value).
- Spending money on curb appeal, fixups, staging, and decluttering without penalty to the seller.
- MLS inconveniences of prospects touring your home at inconvenient times.
- The aggravation of home inspections cutting into the buyer’s original offer.
- Disappointment when mortgage lenders’ appraisers value the property at less than the buyer’s offer. The latter event can crash the deal unless there’s a compromise.
All the above boils down to a massive time saving where you can get an offer in days and close within a week (versus weeks or months with a realtor).
On the other side of the coin.
Everyone entertaining a cash offer goes in sensing their home is not conventionally marketable. Typical situations are as follows:
- Sellers may be involved in a messy divorce or an estate where fast liquidation is crucial.
- Numerous liens hang over the property
- The house isn’t show-ready, and there’s no cash flow to resolve the issues.
- Sudden company transfers out of state enter the equation.
- The homeowner needs the cash urgently for whatever reason.
Scammers see these complications as weaknesses, while HCBPs sincerely want to help. As a result, HCBPs take the ups and downs in their stride without taking advantage of sellers’ dilemmas. Nonetheless, you should understand the home cash buyer is in the deal to make a profit. So, the question is this: Are you dealing with someone looking to steal your home at a ridiculous discount to the comparative value or an HCBP who will deliver a balanced offer?
To know the difference, go into the transaction:
- Knowing the ballpark value of your home in the neighborhood.
- Being realistic about:
- The disrepair and the cost involved in addressing it.
- Any other imperfections or obstacles to a conventional sale.
- Appreciating that you won’t get a “realtor-route” price even after accounting for the commission saving.
With that backdrop, does the home cash buyer’s offer make sense? If it doesn’t, break the connection.
Other things to look out for
Anyone bringing you an offer asking you for payments to cover inspection, administration costs, or other pre-closing expenses is the signal to run a mile. All closing costs and settling of liens should come into play on closing day when you receive the cash in your bank account. Moreover, HCBPs routinely spell these out, so there are no unwanted surprises. In addition, the latter systematically approaches the offer from end to end without pressure. Conversely, scammers are either over-eager or hesitate when answering your important questions.
Home Buyers Birmingham is the poster child of an HCBP as defined above. They say it best on their website, and we quote:
“Our team is highly experienced in buying homes, so we’re able to provide you with a quick, easy solution to sell your home. We offer you a hassle-free option without having to make repairs or pay fees, commissions, or closing costs. In return, you receive service that is honest and transparent from the day you contact us to when we buy your home.”
Whenever you interface with a home cash buyer in the US, use the Home Buyers Birmingham as a guideline. That way, you’re unlikely to make a mistake that can cost serious money.
Home Buyers Birmingham
1821 11th Avenue South Suite #55331
Birmingham, Alabama 35205