Scams are constantly surrounding us and most of the time, we aren’t even aware of them until it’s too late. The real estate market is also flooded by house buying scams that could turn house selling into a nightmare for homeowners looking to sell their homes.
There are different types of house buying scams to look out for if you want to stay protected. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the house buying scams in Texas, we’ll explore the details of spotting a house buying scam in Texas, we’ll show you how to avoid being scammed and what to do if you’re scammed when selling your house. We’ll also give you tips on how to know the best home buyers to avoid working with scammers.
Below, you’ll also discover information on how to know who you’re negotiating with, how to verify communications, research the house buying process, keep your information safe, and how to spot a cash offer on a house scam, among others. Cash home buyers in Texas are a great way to ensure a quick and easy house sale but only if you’re working with legitimate buyers.
Spotting a House Buying Scam in Texas
Before we dive into the nature of different house buying scams in Texas, let’s talk about the process of identifying a house buying scam in the first place. There are a few signs that can help you in spotting a house buying scam in Texas before jumping into one barefoot. If you’ve been searching for companies that can “buy my house in Forth Worth” or other areas in TX, here’s what to look out for:
- Lack of legitimate references that you can rely on
- Available references that you can’t verify
- Bandit signs
- The use of an email service that is free of charge and unprofessional
- An unreliable phone manner – if the company you’re working with picks up the phone with a simple “hello” or “hi” instead of directly presenting themselves, their job title, and their company, this may be an indicator for a house buying scam.
- Willingness to invest in your property without even organizing a viewing
- Unwillingness to involve an attorney or another third party to examine the documents and contracts
- Not easy to reach
- Unprofessional documentation used
- Lack of a real estate license or another form of certification for a “we buy houses” company that you’ve found after searching for partners to “sell my house fast in Granbury” or another area in TX.
When it comes to Texas house buying scams, the most essential things to look out for are administration or processing fees, attempts to transferring buyout money immediately without even looking at the property, and manipulations to give away financials.
Although scammers are usually experienced in what they do and have their tricks into manipulating you, you can still stay protected. Now that you’re aware of tricks to spotting house buying scams, let’s look at how you can avoid them.
How to avoid being scammed
If you’re certain that now is the best time to sell your house, you can do so without falling victim to house buying scams in Texas. If you want to avoid being scammed, there are certain steps that you can take to prevent falling into the hands of scammers.
Know Who You’re Negotiating with
The first thing you can do is know your house buyer. Although this doesn’t sound like an easy task at first, as long as you’ve received the legitimate name of the person who has contacted you, you could do your research online. Most professional house buyers are active on social media channels and platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Perform a quick search to see the type of activities the person is involved in.
Do they have a lot of shared content on property-related topics? Is there are a lot of positive engagement from other users? If you do a search and notice that the profile only has a few followers and the account looks new, chances are that it’s not a good idea to get involved.
The next thing you can do to avoid house buying scams is to verify the communication. Selling your house will inevitably involve a wire transfer at some point. When the time comes, it’s best to call the recipient and verify the account information with voice verification. You can also put any doubts aside or confirm them by calling the email sender by telephone to make sure that they’re the person that sent the information.
This is vital if the message urges you to take actions that you find unordinary or the call to action is providing sensitive information. The last thing you want is for your bank details and personal data to be sent to scammers in Texas.
It’s also advisable to check email addresses twice before taking any action. Oftentimes, users simply read the subject line to identify who they’re communicating with. However, if you notice any discrepancies between the email addresses of the person you’ve been communicating with, this could be a sign of a scam.
Research House Buying Process
Another thing you can do for avoiding house buying scams is to research the house buying process. Being poorly informed makes you an easy target as you are more vulnerable to following instructions that may have malicious intent.
The house buying process does vary slightly according to the state in which you’re located. Get as much information as possible on the steps necessary to take for a home sale in Texas. If the buyer asks you to engage in activities that are not part of the process or asks you to provide ownership of the property too early in the procedure, beware as you might be targeted as a victim. Working with a professional real estate broker or partnering with a legitimate and eminent company that buys houses can keep you protected against these negative scenarios.
Keep Your Information Safe
Information is one of the most valuable things on the planet. One of the ways to avoid Texas house buying scams is to keep your information safe. You can do this by ensuring you use two-factor authentication and secure passwords for your emails, social media accounts, online banking, and others.
You may be asked to reveal personal information during the sales process. Avoid doing this and if it’s absolutely necessary, only do it in the presence of an authorized individual. Additionally, ensure that any documents and contracts are sent safely. These documents will often contain data like the property’s price, the deposit terms, loan amounts, closing dates, and more. With this information, scammers could easily achieve their goal. It’s best to send such information via transaction management systems as opposed to email.
Types of House Buying Scams to Look Out For
Great, you already know how to spot a house buying scam in Texas and how to avoid one. But what are the type of house buying scams out there? The Texas real estate market does have a set of popular house selling scams like the cash offer on house scam, the “we pay cash for houses” scam, and the wire transfer scam. Let’s look into them in more detail.
Cash offer on house scam
Cash offers are a great way to sell your house quickly to buyers that are not dependent on a mortgage. It saves both parties time, money, and other resources. However, there are also a lot of scams in the cash offer on house space.
Under this type of house buying scam, the scammer convinces the buyer to significantly reduce the asking price and manipulates them into selling the property for much less than it’s actually worth. You may be tempted to engage as you think you have no other option but the reality is that by partnering with a legitimate real estate agent or company that buys houses, you can make a lot more money from the sale. Also, be careful not to be tricked into providing ownership of the property before you have received your money from the buyer.
We pay cash for houses scam
Although there are legitimate companies who provide the service of buying houses for cash, there are also a lot of scammers in this area. The “we pay cash for houses” scam includes a “company” manipulating you into signing over the control of your home. Once this is done, they have the legal rights to lease it to tenants and make a profit. The original owner will have no rights over the property but will remain responsible for paying off the mortgage for the house.
This is an extremely undesirable scenario that you should avoid at all costs. Not only will you be left without a property, but you’ll also have to make regular payments for a house you don’t own.
Wire Transfer scam
The last one from the types of house buying scams in Texas we’ll look into is the wire transfer scam. You’ve spent time communicating with the potential buyer and everything seems great. They like the house and they’re ready to buy. Just as you’re near the final stage of closing, you receive an email with all the information about the title. You’ll also receive instructions and information to wire a transfer to a provided account. However, if you’re in contact with a scammer, your money will likely be sent to an offshore account, where it will be difficult to trace it. The money will be gone and you’ll be left with no property.
What to do if You’re Scammed When Selling Your House
These are just a few examples of house buying scams. Scammers are becoming more and more creative when it comes to tricking victims and falling into their webs is nothing surprising. However, it’s important to be aware of what you should do if you’ve been scammed. Knowing what you should do if you’ve been scammed and acting quickly could help you recover your losses and most importantly – put in jail the scammers who’ve done you harm.
If you’re been a victim of a wire transfer scam, it’s vital to act quickly. Get in touch with your bank and inform them about the situation. Make sure to also notify the local law enforcement and the FBI. Additionally, make a list of everyone you’ve communicated with for the transaction and call them. For any other cash-related house buying scam, immediately contact your local authorities and explain the situation in detail. Store all of your communications with the scammers and provide them to the authorities to help in the search.
By instantly responding to the scam and getting in touch with the right authorities, your chances of recovering your money or your stolen property are higher. Especially in a wire transfer scam, time is key! It’s best to be prepared in advance and have a list of people, institutions, and authorities that you must contact in the case of scams before starting to sell your property. This will help you avoid losing time when it’s an essential and expensive resource.
The Bottom Line
The reality is that scammers have enough clever tricks to ensure that even the most suspicious and informed house sellers can be manipulated into making the wrong decisions. However, having enough information about the types of house buying scams in Texas and knowing how to spot them could help you significantly lower the chance of falling victim to a house buying scam. We hope that this article will come in handy and will help you stay protected from scammers. If you’re eager to learn more about the topic, check out our case study on house buying scams in TX.