If you’ve been searching “I need to sell my house fast in Washington,” you might have noticed online ads for cash home buyers. These ads usually proclaim, “We buy houses in Washington in any condition without any repairs.” Sometimes a cash buyer might even contact you directly to see if you’re interested in a quick, hassle-free cash sale.
The terms and conditions offered might sound too good to be true, making you wonder if selling your home for cash is a scam. The good news is that selling your Washington home for cash is not a scam. However, some scammers pose as cash buyers and try to trap you in a real estate scam.
So, how do you weed out legitimate companies from scammers? In this post, we’ll walk you through the ways to identify cash-for-home scams.
1. The Cash Buyer Doesn’t Offer References
Genuine real estate investors can provide the contact information of their previous clients. With this information, you can speak with homeowners who have previously sold their homes for cash. If you notice that the investor is not keen on sharing references or doesn’t have any, you are probably dealing with a scammer.
Before negotiating a cash sale with a prospective investor, get a list of homes they have recently purchased. You can verify this information at your local courthouse or hire a real estate attorney to help you with the verification.
2. The Cash Buyer Is Willing to Purchase Your Home Without Seeing It
You might have heard stories of foreign buyers investing in properties in the US. While these stories are true, they are rare. Be extra cautious if you receive a cash offer from a foreign buyer.
Even foreign buyers will likely inspect your property in person before they provide an offer. If the buyer seems too eager to purchase the property without examining it, the chances are that you’re dealing with a scam artist.
3. The Investor Uses High-Pressure Sale Tactics to Get You to Sign the Deal Immediately
Genuine and trusted cash home buyers in Washington will never deal with you unprofessionally. They take their business seriously and treat clients respectfully. They only want you to sign a document after you understand it clearly. Also, if the buyer pressures you into signing the deal and won’t let you consider other offers, this is a major red flag.
4. The Cash Buyer Makes a Naïve Financial Mistake
Often, a scammer will cut a check for an amount higher than the selling price. They offer some explanation like, “Sorry, but our accountant made a mistake. Could you immediately refund the extra funds to our account through a wire transfer?” The unsuspecting homeowner does what the buyer says, sending the scammer a large amount of cash unsuspectingly. Once the seller goes to deposit the check, they discover it’s a forgery, the account doesn’t exist, or there isn’t enough money in the account to cover the check.
Remember that experienced cash home buyers never make these rookie mistakes. If you notice these blunders, consider them a red flag and stay away.
5. They Do Not Share Proof of Funds
Most scammers who offer to buy houses for cash in Washington do not have the money to purchase your home. Instead, they are hoping to lure you into a financial scam. Before you sign the deal, ask for their bank details to verify proof of funds. Once they provide you with the bank details, do not call the number listed, as it could also be fake. They might even set up another scammer who acts as the bank agent.
To avoid this, do a Google search to find the correct number of the bank and verify the details provided by the cash buyer. You can also visit the branch in person to double-check if they have the funds they claim to have.
Stay Cautious to Avoid Scams
Scam artists have gotten sophisticated over the years. As a potential home seller, finding genuine and trusted Washington cash home buyers is essential. Use these tips to stay alert and avoid becoming a financial victim of home-selling scams!