It’s hard to miss the billboards in Charleston advertising companies that buy houses. Often times they say things like “We Buy Charleston Houses!” or “Cash For Your House”.
How to Spot an Honest and Credible Local House Buying Company
At first glance, many local house buying companies may seem the same. But there are a few key things you can look for to ensure you’re working with an honest and credible company.
1. Do your research.
Before you contact any company, take some time to research them online. Check their website for reviews, and see if they have any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau. You can also search for news articles about the company to see if there have been any reports of unethical or illegal behavior.
2. Get everything in writing.
Once you’ve found a company you’re interested in working with, make sure you get everything in writing. This includes the offer they make on your home, the terms of the sale, and any fees they’ll charge. Don’t sign anything until you’ve had a chance to read it carefully and understand it.
3. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the company you’re considering working with. This includes questions about their experience, their process, and their fees. You should also ask them to provide you with references from past clients.
4. Trust your gut.
If you have a bad feeling about a company, don’t work with them. There are plenty of other reputable companies out there. It’s important to find one that you feel comfortable with and that you can trust.
Remember, buying and selling houses is a valid and respectable profession. But there are a few bad actors out there who give the rest of us a bad name.
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 Charleston House Buyers Are Doing
- Helping folks improve their lives by accessing the money they need right away. People often need the cash in their house to cover unexpected medical expenses, or to relocate to be close to a relative. We can make that happen in just a few days, and we deliver peace of mind.
- Helping sellers get rid of a burdensome property without the hassle of having to list it with a broker and wait months and month for a sale.
- Creating local jobs. We hire plumbers, contractors, electricians, brokers, title reps, loan officers, administrators and many other folks along the way. The average real estate transaction involves 86 people from start to finish. Our investments help create real jobs for people around Charleston SC.
- Buying US products. 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 Charleston 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 Charleston .
- Increasing the tax base. When a new buyer takes over one of our properties, they’ll pay a higher tax rate based on the new and improved value. Those taxes go to pay for our schools, fire, police, libraries, streets and other valuable pieces of infrastructure. Again, improving our neighborhoods.
Pretty cool stuff, right?
Lots of people think of house-flipping as a get-rich-quick scheme. That’s fueled by silly “reality” shows that amp up the drama because the reality of what we do on a daily basis is actually pretty boring.
Most of our work is coordinating with lots of people to make sure things are happening on time. We have to keep track of lots of moving parts.
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 proudest?
- 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 South Carolina Homes 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.
Scammers are looking for a quick score. They’ll often make an offer that sounds too good to be true, and then they’ll try to pressure you into selling your house quickly. They may also try to avoid answering your questions or they may give you excuses to get off the phone.
Honest investors are building long-term businesses based on relationships and community development. They’re more likely to be interested in learning about your situation and working with you to find a fair price for your home. They’ll also be happy to answer your questions and explain their process.