If you spot any of these red flags during a cash sale in Atlanta, you need to be on guard!
Unfortunately, some scammers pose as cash buyers trying to trick you into parting with your hard-earned money. This article explains typical real estate scams you may encounter when selling your home for cash in Atlanta. Being aware of these scams helps you stay on guard, protecting yourself and your property from unscrupulous swindlers.
Scam #1: Someone Who Needs to Relocate
You may get an email or a call from someone who lives in another country or area and needs to relocate to Atlanta immediately. The buyer may even give you convincing reasons why they want your property specifically. Usually, they offer to send you a check as payment. But the catch is that the buyer may request you to make a deposit in advance for the check to clear. Unfortunately, the check never clears, and you lose your money.
Scam #2: The Buyer Wants to Purchase Your Home Without Seeing It
Most legitimate buyers won’t be interested in purchasing your home without looking at it in person. If you get a cash offer from a buyer who appears too eager to close the sale, then you should proceed cautiously. If you get an offer that is too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
Scam #3: The Buyer Who Overpays
An offer to overpay is a relatively new real estate scam. The buyer visits your property and seems interested. Everything seems to be legitimate, and then you state the selling price. The buyer accepts it and writes a check. The catch is that the buyer has overwritten the check’s value. They come up with an explanation like, “I’ve mistakenly written the wrong amount on the check, and would you be kind to refund the extra funds immediately after depositing the check?”
The unsuspecting seller refunds the amount only to find that the check is forged. You end up paying the scammer and still haven’t found a buyer for your property.
Scam #4: The Unprofessional Cash Buyer
Not all-cash buyers are legitimate. If you call the listed number and the number no longer exists, it’s probably a scam. Even if they pick up, you may notice the buyer is unprofessional. Watch out for red flags like responding from a personal email account.
Remember that legit cash home buyers in Atlanta do not use unprofessional tactics like pressuring you to sign documents. Never sign any documents that you don’t understand. And if something looks suspicious, make sure to check with a trusted attorney before you go ahead with the sale.
Scam #5: The “No Money in Hand” Cash Buyer
Not all ads proclaiming, “We buy houses in Atlanta,” are genuine. Before you finalize the deal, make sure to verify the buyer’s bank details. Call their bank and confirm they have sufficient funds in your house to pay for the purchase. Or you can request a non-refundable deposit from the buyer. Asking for around 10% to 20% of the purchase price can weed out scammers from serious buyers.
Selling a home is tough. There are dozens of scammers and tricksters waiting to take advantage of your need to sell a house fast in Atlanta. Watch out for red flags and trust your gut. If something feels off, it’s always a good idea to stop the process and get opinions from a trusted real estate expert or attorney.
The author regularly writes about real estate market trends and helps distressed homeowners sell houses fast in Atlanta and the surrounding areas for cash.