Last updated on August 1, 2014
If you’ve been driving around in Florida, chances are you’ve seen some billboards advertising companies that buy houses.
Often times they say things like “We Buy Florida Houses!” or “Cash For Your House”.
Are these “we buy houses in Florida companies” credible?
How do I know if the local house buying companies out there are honest and credible?
Well… sometimes they all look the same at the start… but below we’ll walk you through some things to look for in a local house buying company before you should work with them.
Buying and selling houses is a valid and respectable profession that can help communities and house sellers in many ways. But just like any other line of work – a minority of house buyers in any market are the ones who make the rest of us look bad.
There are people who are really great, ethical folks who improve their neighborhoods one property at a time.
Now of course our housing market is back on the rise, but still a lot of homeowners have trouble keeping up with there mortgage.
Because of this many dishonest businesses have popped up to try to take advantage of distressed homeowners.
They offer things like:
- “We Buy Houses Scams“
- “Government” Modification Programs
- Fake Loan Audits
How can you spot these scams?
The easiest way is if they ask for upfront payments for an “application fees” or “credit processing.” This should be a HUGE red flag. Stay away!
That’s even more likely if they are asking for payment in cash.
How to stay safe: Any legit real estate company i.e.- foreclosure counseling, loan modification lawyer’s now take their payment at the end when the transaction has completed.
Now Home Buyers will never ask for money at any time. We profit off of renovating your property and then renting it out or selling it. If you decide to go with a cash buyer like us, You will get paid instead of paying.
The main point you want to ask the “we buy houses Florida” people is:
“Are you just going to attempt to flip my home without ever closing on it, or are you the actual buyer and have your own cash to close on my home?”… Any legitimate cash buyer will have no problem putting a deposit and showing proof they have the funds to close. If not they are just trying to tie up your home by putting it under contract and then flip it to someone like us.
You would be much better off if you sold directly to us, the guys with the cash.
But let’s not focus on the negative – at least not yet.
First, let’s cover exactly what the best house-flippers are doing.
What Reputable South Florida House Buyers Are Doing
- Helping families in financial distress by getting the money they need now. When life happens and we need cash, we need it now. Whether it be from needing to move close to a loved one, medical bills, or behind on your mortgage. We will make it happen in a very short time.
- Helping owners with problem properties without the headache of dealing with a realtor, showing it multiple times, waiting months and still probably not sell it.
- Create many local jobs. Here at Now Home Buyers we usually have about 5 rehab projects we are in the middle of at any given time. We hire electricians, roofers, plumbers, realtors, mortgage brokers, contractors, title companies…the list goes on, people from all walks of life helping improve our community. On average a real estate transaction has 86 people involved from beginning til the end. Each investment we make help create real jobs for real people in Florida.
- Buy US made materials. We spend tons of money on materials that are made right here in the USA – that creates jobs in our timber mills, factories, supply shops, distribution centers and more. The US economy depends on steady improvement, and that requires investment from folks like us.
- Increasing the value of Florida neighborhoods. When we improve a house, we’re helping to increase the value of the entire community. We often repair abandoned and neglected houses, turning them into beautiful homes for families. That activity strengthens South Florida.
Most people don’t realize the major impact property investors have on our local economy.
Lots of people think of house-flipping as a get-rich-quick scheme.
So let’s get back to how you can use this information to find out if someone is a credible investor, and not just pulling a house buying scam.
How To Ensure You’re Working With A Reputable Local House Buyer
When you talk with a local house buyer to potentially buy your house… ask them some of the questions below to ensure they’re reputable, knowledgeable, and honest.
Ask open-ended questions like:
- How do you help your clients?
- What do you do for people?
- Can you tell me more about your services?
- What aspect of your business makes you the most proud?
- How would you describe your investment philosophy?
- How can I know that you’ll close on my house when you say you will?
Second, look for tell tale signs of tactics that those few shady operators tend to use.
- “Kitchen table closings” – If a property buyer tries to get you to sign the deed (ownership) of your house over to them at your house, rather than a professional place like a closing attorney or title company… be leery. Most reputable house buying services will perform the actual closing of the sale at a neutral 3rd party place… like a title company. This ensures everything is done right and on the up and up.
- Pressuring you into a fast closing – If a house buyer tries to pressure you into selling your house and says that you have to make the decision today, be leery. Most reputable house buying services will make you and offer and that offer will be on the table for at least 2-7 days (minimum) for you to make a decision. The reason reputable house buying services like ours at Now Home Buyers do place deadlines on our offers is because the market changes and values can change week to week depending on other sales in the area, also… we buy multiple houses a month and when we make you an offer we’re assuring you that the cash to purchase your house is ready and we’ll reserve that cash for several days so if you do want to sell your house, we can close on your schedule. If you feel the offer isn’t a fit for you, then we’ll assign those funds to help another seller with their home sale.
Most scammers are looking for a quick score, and not an in-depth interview.
Chances are good that they’ll find excuses to get off the phone and move on to someone who doesn’t ask too many questions.
True investors who run honest and ethical South Florida house buying services, however, are building long-term businesses based on relationships and community development.
So when you’re looking at one of the “we buy houses in South Florida companies“… never be afraid to ask questions!