SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– If you own a home, you may be receiving messages from companies asking if you want to sell. But is that a deal you want to make? One real estate investor in Springfield, Michael Thomas, says the answer to that question depends on the legitimacy of the offer.
“There are actually some people who I want to call ‘wholesalers’,” Michael Thomas says. “They renovate the house and they use it for a rental, which is completely fine.”
While Thomas says there are genuine and hyper-efficient homebuyers out there, it’s often difficult to tell if you’re dealing with one, as oftentimes people claiming to be a “wholesaler” are actually just people looking to connect homeowners to buyers for a fee.
“If you’re advertising that you’re a wholesaler that just wants a fee, you’re not actually buying the house,” Thomas explains. “Pretty much you’re trying to trick the person into saying you’re buying the house, you’re not, and then you’re selling to somebody else for a fee.”
Avoiding a trap set up by these uncalled for middlemen is as simple as asking upfront if they genuinely have the money to buy your house or if they’re planning to search for someone else who does.
If they don’t have the money, Thomas says they may try to get you under contract – a common time-buying tactic while they look for a real buyer.
Jeremy Brandt, CEO of WeBuyHouses.com, says most legitimate flat-rate home buyers won’t settle for free advertising (like those fliers you find wedged in your door).
“You can usually tell how legitimate a company is by how professional they are out in the marketplace, so advertising in classified ads, advertising on Craiglist, any free advertising, it’s really risky to call any of those because you don’t know who’s behind them,” Brandt says.
A tip both Thomas and Brandt agree on: Avoid calling random, independent “wholesalers” or businesses, as they often have “atypical” methods for buying and selling homes that may end up costing you more.