It is important if you’re considering selling your house to a real estate investor that you do your due diligence to find a reputable firm. In light of the recent news of real estate scams here in Dallas, we are well aware that there are unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of sellers in a situation of distress. Don’t get caught in a scam! Find a reputable real estate investor to help you evaluate all your options and solutions to find the best one for your individual circumstances.

First, don’t trust just everyone who says he or she is a real estate investor. Find out what qualifications and experience they have! How many transactions? What are their areas of expertise? Do some research before doing business or accepting an investor’s offer. You’re dealing with your largest asset, your house. There’s a risk of fraud in any financial transaction, but it is especially critical to avoid scams here. A high offer from an investor will not benefit you if they don’t actually close. Listen to your gut and watch for red flags!

The best defense? The Internet. You have all the information you need at your fingertips. Get the name of the investor as an individual, and the name of the company that they do business under. Google their individual name, and Google their company name. Read any reviews you can find, see if you can find legitimate business listings online. Do they have a website? Does it offer relevant information and contact details? Find out if they have any local associations they are a part of. All these things are indicators of a legitimate business. If you can, find their office address and even go visit to see for yourself that there is a brick and mortar establishment. One of the best places to go for online reviews is the Better Business Bureau. Even if a business doesn’t have a listing on the BBB, consumers can still file complaints there.

This one might be understood, but we have to say it anyway: Don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Ever. Make sure if you have questions, that you ask them. We always recommend hiring an attorney to review the purchase contract with you. No question is a dumb question. You should never feel pressured to sign a contract or agreement; take the time you need to fully understand what you are signing. A trustworthy real estate investor will want to partner with you and explain all the details.

It is always a good idea to ask for referrals that you can speak with. Before engaging a real estate investor’s services, get phone numbers for three references and ask them how their experience was, and if they would do business with the investor a second time. Ask the investor who their business partners are – what title company do they use, who is the closing attorney? Research those businesses as well whether online or through a phone call.

Working with a real estate investor can be an excellent experience. It should be comfortable for you and help to alleviate your distress, not add to it. By following these guidelines you can avoid any real estate scams and feel good about your decision to sell your house quickly to an investor. Never underestimate those little warning signs you feel, as intangible as they may be. Pay attention to first impressions and the professionalism they display towards you.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with an Attorney or financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual situation.

Author: Sandra Nesbitt

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