If you’ve thought about selling your inherited property to an investor, you’ve probably also wondered how to avoid being taken advantage of. It’s a large, important transaction, and it’s one that many people aren’t very familiar with. After all, a home investor will probably buy many homes over the years, but they’re likely to sell only a few. Selling your home will have a big impact on your financial future, so it’s important to deal with a reputable home investor company.
As with anything else, there are some unscrupulous investors out there. These are often individuals without much of a track record, and they’re looking to make a fast buck. They often prey on people who have inherited a home, because this situation can present stress and problems for bereaved relatives. Relatives who inherit a home may worry about how to clear the title or clean out the house, and they may not know where to turn.
With the right home investor company, you can receive the help you need while understanding exactly what you’ll receive and when. You’ll be able to alleviate the burden of selling inherited property you don’t want to own, and the cash you receive will enable you to move on.
These five tips will ensure you’re dealing with reputable home investors:
1. Look locally
If you just look online and never see anyone face to face, you won’t know who you’re dealing with. You won’t know if a home investor company has a local presence in your area. This is important for trust, and for knowledge of your community. A local home investor company will know the market and will be able to put a more accurate, true value on your home. After all, an investor across the country won’t fully understand why your inherited property may be worth more because the school district it’s located in is the one all the local parents want their children to attend.
In addition, if you meet someone face-to-face, you have more assurances. You’ll want someone who represents a local, trusted company instead of a firm that’s all the way across the country or someone who’s a fly-by-night investor.
2. Check out the company’s reputation
Look for customer reviews on the company’s own site. Check to see if they’re a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The fact that a company isn’t listed doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative, but if a company is a member, that’s an indication of an established, professional business presence. Each company is assigned a letter grade, and you’ll be able to check out any complaints against them and see if and how those issues were resolved.
In addition, if a company has been a BBB member for a number of years, that’s another sign of stability. Evidence of awards related to customer service and satisfaction is also a good sign. Big State Home Buyers has won the BBB Award of Distinction & Pinnacle Award for Excellence 2012-2015.
3. Don’t pay money up front
Don’t hand over application fees or any other upfront payments, since these could be signs of a scam. You shouldn’t have to pay a home investor to come look at your property and make you an offer.
Legitimate home investors like Big State Home Buyers make their money by having established resources, teams of repair crews, and years of market knowledge – not through upfront fees.
4. Beware of extra fees
Beware of companies who try to charge extra fees for tasks such as clearing the title or fixing up your home. The cost of these services should already be factored in by the company when they make you an offer for your home. Experienced home investors understand the time and work needed to put your home on the market or rent it out, and they’ll factor this in when they make you an offer.
In fact, they’ll often provide help with potentially sticky issues such as selling an inherited home without a will or selling a home with a lien on it. These services are provided to you at no additional charge, much as a Realtor spends time showing your home and suggesting improvements without charging a fee for these services. They can be invaluable, however, since most people don’t have experience dealing with these issues, but companies like Big State Home Buyers have seen just about every problem imaginable – more than once!
5. Pay attention to when you’ll be getting the money
Companies like Big State Home Buyers are able to pay the full amount owed for your house in cash at closing. You can be paid with a check, or if you’d prefer, you can have the money wired to you upon closing.
If a company doesn’t have the financial solvency to pay you quickly, that’s not a good sign. Part of the reason selling to a home investor can be a good option is because you’ll be paid quickly and won’t have to wait around for your inherited home to sell after being on the market for months. An experienced company will have the cash on hand to complete the transaction quickly.
Before you sell your inherited property to an investor, research the company and trust your instincts. Ask the questions you need to feel comfortable, and turn the deal down if you feel pressured. Contact Big State Home Buyers if you have any questions about selling inherited property, and our experienced staff will be more than happy to answer them!