Unfortunately, scams are a part of real estate. Even more disheartening is the fact that most con-artists prey on those that are sick, elderly, or going through a rough patch. If you’re considering working with a real estate investor, here are a few things to look out for:
- The scammer asks for money. Legitimate investors are looking to BUY your house from YOU! Meaning they should be the one’s giving you money…not the other way around.
- When you search for the company online, nothing comes up. Most legitimate businesses these days have an online presence. Make sure the investor, or the company they represent, has a professional looking website.
- You’re guaranteed an outcome that is too good to be true. Scammers often promise the moon in hopes of using your emotions against you. If someone is telling you that they can solve ALL of your problems, they’re probably lying.
- They ask you for personal information right away. If the person you’re dealing with asks you for information like your social security number, banking information, or any other sensitive information, cease all communication.
- Make sure the person you’re working with is knowledgeable about real estate. Scammers are in the business of scamming, not real estate. If the person you’re working with doesn’t sound like they know much about buying and selling houses, then that should be a huge red-flag.
Just as you would when hiring a lawyer, an accountant, or a financial advisor, make sure you do some due diligence on the company or individual you’re working with. When you first meet the individual, treat it as if you’re interviewing them for a job. Ask as many questions as you’d like until you feel comfortable with them.
Ultimately, most investors are good people who are just trying to make an honest living. If you’re in a situation where you need to sell your home fast, a reputable investor can serve as a valuable life-line.