When roaming through the suburbs and residential areas in San Antonio, TX, it’s quite hard to miss a “We Buy Houses!” Sign on the roadsides. And if you are looking to sell your house, these road signs may come as a relief. The decision to sell your home in San Antonio may be triggered by a lot of factors including financial difficulty, relocation, a job change, inheritance or even divorce just to mention a few. That’s why you may be thrilled to have found a buyer for your home. But before you rush to make the sale, here’s what you need to know:
‘We Buy Houses’ Scams Exist!
Unfortunately, like all other booming industries, real estate has attracted all kinds of participants. And while many may be looking to make investments, there are always some who are looking to unfairly and illegally profit through property scams. And that’s why it’s always wise to be cautious before you buy or sell property in San Antonio, TX. So, how can you identify real estate scams? Here Are the Most Popular We Buy Houses Scams in San Antonio and How to Avoid Them:
1) Bait and Switch Contracts
Like the name suggests, Bait and switch contract scams occur in two steps where the buyer makes a compelling offer but later changes the terms of the offer without your knowledge. Here’s how these scams often play out:
Step 1: Making the compelling offer.
This is often during the initial stages upon selling your home when the buyer comes to inspect. During that time, they will give you verbal offers that are too good to refuse while at the same time winning your trust.
Step 2: Signing the actual contract.
This is when the buyer later presents you with a written contract in order to formalize the verbal offer and actual purchase. Blinded by trust and the urge to sell your house fast, you’ll spend very little time examining the document and the contract’s fine print hence failing to notice the changes the buyer may have made to the initial verbal contract.
By the time you realize you were duped into signing the wrong contract, it may be too late to salvage the situation. It’s a simple scam that may end up costing you a lot in future.
2) Upfront Fee Scams
If you are selling a home for the first time, then you may not be aware of this type of scam. It involves the buyer (company) asking for a small upfront fee to process your request. However, you should note that companies that buy houses for cash in San Antonio, TX, never ask for any fees. They will always inspect your home for free and make you an offer. If you are happy and satisfied with their offer, you can proceed to sell your house to them. Any company asking for such fees is likely to be a scam.
3) Equity Skimming and Mortgage Scams
This is by far one of the easiest and quickest way to lose your home’s equity which often ends in foreclosure and a scared credit rating. How does it happen? Well, it starts when the buyer makes the purchase. Thereafter, you’ll transfer your home’s deed to the buyer. But, the buyer will insist that the mortgage remains under your name. If you agree to this, here are a few possible outcomes that may land you in trouble and financial crisis:
. For starters, since the buyer holds the deed to the property, they will be able to secure home equity loans or other loans using the home’s equity.
. The buyer may decide to resell the home without clearing the home’s outstanding mortgage.
. They may also decide to stop paying the mortgage hence leading to foreclosure.
At the end of it all, you’ll be left with a foreclosed home without any equity because you’ll still be considered culpable for the unpaid mortgage.
4) Agent Commission Scams
This is when your first house buyer tells you they’ll send some people to come check out the house. In such cases, these people are usually the real buyers and the first buyer is just an agent looking to earn some commission from your sale.
These are just a few of the many scams you should expect to find in San Antonio’s property market. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to steer away from such scams.
How to Avoid We Buy Houses Scams
• Always Read the Contract’s Fine Print
To avoid getting into an unfavorable or tweaked contract, always read through every sentence to ensure that everything is as you had agreed. Feel free to ask questions and preferably have your lawyer around to look at the contract so that they can help you to spot any legal loopholes that may exist.
• Ensure All Agreements are In Writing
You should know that verbal agreements don’t hold much water in court. Therefore, to avoid stressful legal confrontations, it’s always good to have a written contract just in case disagreements arise.
• Do Your Research
Before committing to a buyer, you should always do a little background check on them. Information about such companies is easy to find. Be sure to check out their client reviews and ratings, their BBB rating, and you can ask about them from the Texas Real Estate Commission among other sources.
• Make Sure They Are Professionals
The best way to tell whether you are working with professionals or not is by looking at their home buying history, is it legitimate? Are they licensed? How long have they been in the industry? Expert and established buyers will always strive to give you a great home selling experience in an effort to maintain and improve their reputation.
So, Why Should You Choose Us?
We are cash buyers of houses in San Antonio Texas. Aside from being fully licensed and recognized by the state of Texas, we have years of experience in the real estate industry and an impressive service track record. We can do an all-cash offer with the ability to close fast-depending on your timeline.