Many of the "I Buy Houses" signs you see posted on street corners and in front of homes belong to private real estate investors. In today's recessed economy, a large percentage of homeowners are struggling to attract buyers. When property owners need to sell their house quick they oftentimes turn to individuals or organizations that specialize in buying houses for cash.
Before calling the number on "I Buy Houses" signs, it is important to engage in due diligence and determine the source. Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the world and currently the real estate market is a prime target.
Thanks to the Internet it is relatively easy to locate information about anyone. Business owners are required to register in each state they wish to conduct business. In most states, the Department of Revenue oversees business registrations. Other states utilize the Secretary of State office.
The Attorney General's office handles consumer complaints; as does the Better Business Bureau. Realtors and brokers are licensed through the Real Estate Commission.
To locate any of the sources above via the Internet, type in your state plus the name of the organization, eg; California Real Estate Commission. These agencies can help to ensure you are working with a licensed, legitimate, complaint-free business or real estate investor.
I buy houses in southern California and work with a group of nationwide investors. Nearly all of us have heard horror stories of innocent homeowners losing their property to foreclosure scams. Mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, offers an article on how to avoid foreclosure rescue schemes.
As an investor, people call me nearly every day, begging me to buy their house. The biggest problem I encounter is the fact that people wait too long before they take action. By the time they call me they are panic-stricken and desperate. It shouldn't be that way.
I'll give you the same advice I give to everyone else. If you are delinquent on your mortgage, you need to call your lender now. I realize you might believe your lender is the devil incarnate, but most banks will work with you if you don't ignore their requests. Once a house falls into foreclosure there is little room for negotiation.
If there is no hope of getting back on track, ask your lender to engage in a short sale. Lenders agree to accept less than is owed on the loan if the borrower can sell their home within a certain time frame. Short sales are relatively complex and require time and patience.
Short sale real estate is typically priced around ten percent under market value. In some areas, short sale properties are being sold up to 50-percent under market value. It's best to work with a real estate investor who possesses short sale experience and understands the process.
Selling your home to a private real estate investor is no different than selling to any other buyer. The exception is that investors are experienced and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Working with an experienced investor can simplify and expedite the process.
In closing, be certain to read and thoroughly understand any legal documents prior to signing them. It's always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review the documents to ensure they are legally-binding and will stand up in a court of law if necessary.