We Buy Houses – How to Protect Yourself From Real Estate Scams
It seems everywhere you turn these days “We Buy Houses” signs dot the landscape. As more and more people face the possibility of foreclosure, numerous we buy houses for cash companies are popping up offering to solve problems for distressed homeowners by purchasing their home.
We buy houses programs can offer benefits to struggling homeowners. However, they can also cause more harm than good. Whenever there is an opportunity to make mega-money, you can bet there will be scammers. With the current housing market crisis, plenty of opportunities exist.
If you need to sell your house quick, chances are you’re already in panic-mode. In today’s recessed housing market it is hard to find a qualified buyer. Additionally, those who are buying want a low-ball price on an over-valued home.
Once a house falls into foreclosure the notice of default becomes public record. Chances are you will be contacted by companies offering foreclosure protection. Some will offer to buy your house for cash.
Others will claim to be certified bank loss mitigators who can help you negotiate your mortgage loan. Be aware that HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) is the only organization that has “certified” loss mitigators. Anyone else claiming such a title is lying!
In order to protect yourself from scams it’s usually best to avoid “We Buy Houses” programs offered through mail, phone and TV solicitations. Instead, seek out real estate professionals specializing in short sales, foreclosure and probate properties.
Financial experts suggest interviewing three or more real estate specialists prior to making a final decision. Other recommendations include contacting references and conducting research on the company or individual. Check with the Better Business Bureau and Real Estate Commission to validate credentials.