Foreclosure Assistance and “We Buy Houses” Scams
Posted on June 11, 2013 | Back to blogSelling a House
Keep your eyes peeled for handwritten signs with “We Buy Houses!” written on them, usually with a sharpie marker. In areas where it’s considered vandalism to post them on public property, people stick them into the ground. You’ll find them in just about every neighborhood in America, including your own.
We Buy Houses is NOT the same as We Buy Ugly Houses
People who post free signs in public claiming to buy houses probably don’t. Some of them do, but a lot of them don’t. Think about it. If they’re too cheap to pay for advertising, how much money do you think they have to buy and fix your ugly house? Many of these signs are posted by unscrupulous businesspeople who don’t want to buy your house. They want to list your house for you and take their commission when it sells. The phrase “We Buy Ugly Houses” is trademarked by us, HomeVestors Inc., the nation’s #1 home buyer.
We really do buy ugly houses
As the nation’s #1 home buyer, buying houses for cash, fixing them up, and selling them is our business. If you’ve talked to a realtor already and really need to sell your house fast for cash, a phone call to a HomeVestors franchisee could be just what you need. You’re never obligated to sell. You don’t pay any of the closing costs. We take care of all of that for you. Most HomeVestors franchisees close deals within 30 days of making the initial offer. We make the transaction happen fast, so you can move on with your life.
Make sure you’re dealing with the real thing
Before you call someone from one of those yard-side signs in the neighborhood, give us a call. Our franchisees are professionals of the highest order. They are respectful of your time, your property, and your situation. Their passion is making sure your transaction goes smoothly, and you have a positive story to tell about your experience when it’s all finished. When you call one of those jokers who posts a handwritten sign in public, you have no idea who’s going to show up, or what their business really is. They may claim at first to buy houses, but what they really want is to list your house. Listing a house for a seller is a far cry from buying it outright, in cash, as fast as humanly possible.
It gets worse – foreclosure assistance scams run amok
It’s one thing to list your house with an unscrupulous “real estate professional.” Foreclosure assistance scams are a different, and much scarier, ball of wax. It’s a simple fact that scam artists prey upon. People facing foreclosure are vulnerable and prone to doing things and believing things they wouldn’t otherwise do and believe.
Watch for the warning signs
Plenty of companies advertise themselves as foreclosure assistance specialists, claiming to help homeowners stave off or avoid foreclosure entirely. Most of their scams are simple. They promise to save your house from foreclosure. The catch is there’s a fee. They skip town once they get their fee, leaving you with less money and a still festering foreclosure they made you believe they were going to fix for you. Don’t fall for it. Watch for these warning signs:
- Claims to be able to stop the process, no matter what
- Tells you not to call anyone else, including your realtor, lenders, or lawyers
- Requests a fee up front
- Asks you to make mortgage payments to them, not your lender
- Offers to fill out paperwork, claiming it’s very difficult for the layman
Don’t be afraid to go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right. When it comes to real estate, make sure you’re dealing with professionals who present themselves well, street side, online, in public, and in private.