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Cash Home Buyers: How to Spot a Scam

Are you wondering how to tell if a cash home buyer is legitimate? If you are selling your home, knowing how to spot a cash home buyers scam is important.

Selling a home can be a long and frustrating process. You have so many tasks to complete before you even list your home. Your checklist includes tasks like adding curb appeal, making minor repairs, renovating, investing in professional photography, and more. Even worse, your home can sit on the market for weeks, months, and even years while you anxiously wait for a qualified buyer to show interest.

For these reasons, many homeowners opt to sell their homes for cash.

Cash offers tend to be quicker, easier, involve fewer fees, and overall less stress for both the seller and the buyer. However, selling for cash can also be a little risky. Many people use a cash offer as a way to scam a vulnerable seller.

Fortunately, by knowing the signs and doing your research, you can avoid being scammed. If you want to sell your home for cash and experience a positive outcome, here are several ways to spot a scam.


The Buyer Is Too Eager to Share Financial Information

One sign you might be scammed is an overly eager buyer. If the buyer seems more than motivated and doesn’t want or need the normal information that comes with buying a home, they are likely scamming you. Look for a buyer who knows your community, the home specs, and more, before selling.

The Buyer Uses High-Pressure Tactics

A great tip for how to tell if a cash home buyer is a scam is if they are using high-pressure tactics. If the buyer wants you to decide on the spot and is pressuring you to sign a contract right away, it’s a red flag. Most buyers understand the process and will not use inappropriate tactics to make you sell right away.

The Buyer Is Unprofessional

One sign of a scammy cash home buyer is if they are unprofessional. If the buyer pushing their agenda, not responding to emails and phone calls, or is communicating disrespectfully, you might be getting scammed. Many real estate investors are professional and will go through the process without any trouble.

The Buyer Has Little to No References

A professional real estate investor should have reviews, ratings, and testimonials from past sellers. If you are considering a buyer who has little to no references, they might be a scammer. Research the buyer online and look for positive feedback from past sellers.

If you research the buyer and can’t find a solid business presence, such as a website, social media, a BBB page, and more, it’s another sign of a scam.

The Buyer Asks For a Refund Due to a Financial Error

One of the most common cash home buying scams is making a financial error. A buyer will intentionally send you more money than necessary and then ask for a refund to be sent back to their account.

This is a common scam, one that involves bank fraud and forgery and will result in potential overdrafts and even the closing of your account. If your buyer makes an overpayment, consider it a red flag.

The Buyer Wants to Buy Without Seeing the Property

A sign of a dishonest buyer is wanting to purchase the home without ever seeing the property. The average real estate investor will want to look at the property to try and determine if it’s worth the asking price. If you have a buyer who wants to hand you cash without ever visiting your home, be wary and careful.

The Buyer Does Not Want to Provide Earnest Money

If you are wondering, how do I know if a cash home buyer is serious, one way to tell is the earnest payment. This is a small deposit that shows the buyer is earnest with their intentions to purchase your home.

If the buyer backs out of the deal after making the earnest payment, you are not required to return the payment. If your buyer doesn’t want to make this payment, they are likely not going to purchase your home.

The Buyer to Always Busy or Unavailable

After finding a cash buyer, are you noticing the buyer is never available to talk to you? If so, this is likely a sign of a scam. When a buyer is always busy and unavailable and instead, directs you to a third party, they are likely hiding something. If you find yourself in this situation, consider looking for a new buyer.

The Buyer Doesn’t Live In the Same Country as You

If you are wondering, are cash home buyers legitimate, the answer is yes. However, while you might hear of wealthy buyers from other countries offering people large amounts of money for their homes, this is rarely the case. If a wealthy buyer from another country is interested in your home, proceed carefully as it can be a sign of a scam.

The Deal Seems Too Good to Be True

Ultimately, if the deal seems too good to be true, you should be wary. Scammers can be agreeable, easy to work with, and more because they have no intention of paying you for your home. Real estate is complicated and is rarely a fast and smooth process. If your cash buyer seems too good to be true, they probably are.

Cash Home Buyers: This Is How to Spot a Scam

By knowing these signs, you can avoid cash home buyers scams.

Start by looking for odd behavior from the buyer. They might give you financial information you never asked for, attempt to charge processing fees, or use high-pressure tactics. You might also notice the buyer does not have a business presence and is never available for a face-to-face meeting. Ultimately, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you notice any of these signs, look for another buyer.

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