Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to your property and start a new chapter in your life? Are you looking to sell your house fast and use the money to invest in a new home? Although it’s exciting to be active in the real estate market in Utah, there are certain house buying scams that you could become a victim of. Selling your house on your own has a lot of advantages. You don’t have to pay commissions for agents, you’re in full control, and it could even be quicker.
But it also makes you more exposed to house buying scammers. To make selling your house in Utah a safer journey, we’ll share with you all you need to know about the house buying scams in Utah. We’ll explore the different types of house buying scams like a wire transfer scam, we pay cash for houses scam, cash offer on house scam, and more. We’ll also help you detect them on time and avoid them by giving you some useful tips.
Spotting a House Buying Scam in Utah
When dealing with house buying scammers, spotting a house buying scam is the first place to start. After all, how can you deal with the situation if you’re not even capable of identifying a house buying scam? There are different types of house buying scams but there are a few common signs that help reveal whether you are working with professionals or legitimate buyers and sellers or with scammers.
For starters, it’s worth mentioning that people involved in scamming in Utah usually look for properties in need of substantial repairs and renovations or homeowners who are hoping to sell their homes fast. The following behaviors can give away that you’re at risk of falling into a house buying scam in UT:
- Eagerness: If you’re communicating with a potential buyer who is eager and almost impatient to buy the property without even viewing it first, you’re probably right to suspect something’s wrong. This is a common starting point of a wire fraud scam. Even experienced property investors would normally want to see a house before they spend money on it.
- Unprofessional behaviour: Sometimes, you could spot a few details in the communication with a buyer that reveal their true intentions. For example, if you feel pressured or you’re not receiving enough information about the buyer, chances are that they have something to hide.
- You’re asked to send money: Under no circumstance should a home seller transfer money to the buyer. There are certain closing costs that the buyer is responsible for in most home sales but this is completely different and normally takes place towards the final steps of the home sale. If you’re communicating with someone who is asking you to transfer money, consider this a code red.
- A deed transfer: In some cases, house buying scams in Utah start with the house seller being manipulated into transferring the deed of the property to the scammer’s name. You’ll still get to live in the property but you’ll be responsible for taking care of monthly payments. In other words – you’ll be renting your home. However, if you move out, the scammer can legally rent out to another family. Scammers could use this situation to even get a loan and sell the property to another buyer.
- Constant agreement changes: If you notice that the potential buyer is coming up with new changes to the agreement you’ve already negotiated, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a scam. The final agreement will possibly look nothing like what you originally discussed.
- Inability to meet the buyer personally: Yes, there are cases when the buyer truly doesn’t live in the country and is incapable of attending a meeting with you. However, this is usually a sign of a scam. If possible, at least schedule an online meeting and request documentation to see who you are dealing with.
Now that you’re prepared for catching a house buying scam, it’s time to see what you can do to avoid it.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
By now you’re probably looking for an answer to the question of how to avoid being scammed. There are a few simple steps to take to prevent being scammed. House buying scams in Utah may be quite diverse but they are also similar in many ways. By being precise and aware of the way you communicate with buyers, you can certainly avoid a scam.
Let’s see how you can do that.
Know Who You’re Negotiating with
One of the most important things when selling your property to someone is to know your buyer. There are many different types of buyers who are associated with different kinds of negotiations. For example, a cash buyer could be interested in your property and they may be proposing a relatively low price for the property considering the advantages of selling to a cash home buyer. You could also be approached by someone who represents themselves as an investor.
Regardless of whether you’re working with an individual buyer, an investor, or another company that has introduced themselves as “we buy houses in Salt Lake City” or “we buy houses in Utah”, gain as much information as possible on the buyer. If it’s a company, are they experienced? Can you find information about them online? Have other house sellers left reviews? Can they show a portfolio of other properties they’ve invested in? If a cash home buyer has contacted you are they open to sharing their identity with you?
Next, verify the communication. For starters, make sure that the contact detail that the buyer has provided can be matched to the person they’re presenting themselves as. Make sure that any negotiations or offers made can be found in writing as you could use them to prove a point if there is a future investigation in case of a house buying scam. Be careful not to reveal too much personal information about yourself during communications. Refrain from revealing any bank details or other sensitive data.
Research House Buying Process
Research the house buying process in order to be prepared for what’s coming next. If you’re selling a house by yourself without the help of a real estate agent or another experienced professional, you are extremely vulnerable. Especially if this is your first time selling a property, you could be overwhelmed by the number of steps and the amount of information you need to go through before finalizing the sale process.
Make sure that you’re fully prepared by having as many insights as possible on the house buying process. If you notice that anything suspicious happens during the process that you haven’t found in your research, double-check everything to ensure that you’re not a victim of a house buying scam in UT.
Keep Your Information Safe
A lot of house sellers neglect to secure their information when communicating with potential buyers. The idea of selling your property is so exciting, especially if it has been on the market for a while, that all other details are often neglected. However, one part that you should never forget is to keep your information safe. Protect your personal details, professional information, bank details, and other data that could be used against you.
Types of House Buying Scams to Look Out For
Now that you know how to spot and avoid a house buying scam, let’s move on to the type of house buying scams. Different house buying scams have different approaches and if you spend enough time researching the house buying scams in Utah, you’ll learn how to quickly detect and avoid them.
Here are some of the most popular house buying scams in UT:
Cash offer on house scam
Although selling your home to a cash buyer is usually a piece of cake if the process is legitimate, there are also cash offer scams that you could fall victim to. The cash offer on house scam means that someone will get in touch with you to make a cash offer on your property for sale. They’ll most likely point out all the advantages of selling your house for cash. The closing process is quicker as the buyer is not dependent on a mortgage, you can sell your home as-is instead of investing in repairs, and the closing costs are little to none.
However, be aware as the cash home offer could be a far cry from reasonable and fair. Scammers could take advantage of your situation, especially if you’ve mentioned that you’re looking to sell the home fast, and make an offer that is far below the actual value of the property. Their intention is most likely to buy the property at a significantly low price and resell it at a price closer to its actual market value.
We pay cash for houses scam
We pay cash for houses scams normally start when you are approached by someone who says they are a real estate investor interested in purchasing your property as-is and intending to pay for the house in cash. We pay cash for houses scams that can be detected by the sense of urgency. They will usually use pressure and manipulation to speed up the selling process so they can gain ownership of the property quickly. You can avoid being scammed by asking questions. Get all the information you can about the company, ask for a physical address or a face-to-face meeting, check who the company owner is, and look for a website with legitimate information.
Wire Transfer scam
A wire transfer scam, also known as escrow wire fraud or international wire transfer, is one of the most popular types of house buying scams in UT. If you’re a victim of this type of scam, you’ll receive wire instruction to transfer money to a third party. Perhaps you’ve been tricked to send a fee for preparing certain documents or to pay for closing costs once the deal is finalized.
The scam usually starts by receiving an email, phone call, or text from someone who’s presenting themselves as part of the title or escrow company that you work with. Check for spelling mistakes in the emails, any deadlines for the transfer, suspicious use of language and no opportunities to contact or call the company for more details.
What to do if You’re Scammed When Selling Your House
Keep in mind that there are extremely professional and experienced house buying scammers who know exactly what they’re doing. It’s possible that even a trained expert won’t be able to suspect anything until it’s too late. If you’ve been scammed when selling your home and it’s too late to stop the events, it’s time to get the help of the authorities, institutions, or other experienced professionals.
Here are some of the things you could do to get help recovering lost money or property as a result of a home buying scam in UT:
- Contact the authorities
- Contact the police
- Contact your bank
- Document everything that could be used to track down the scammers
- Keep all relevant records
- Keep communications that could be used as traces to locate the scammers
Selling your home by yourself does go hand in hand with a lot of advantages. However, one of the main drawbacks is that it leaves you vulnerable to house buying scams, especially if you’re not experienced as a house seller. Being informed about the different types of house buying scams could help you stay protected and safe. It could also help you spot a scam early on to prevent negative consequences and substantial losses. We hope that this article will help you go through your house selling process with confidence and certainty that you are not a victim of a scam.