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Have you been getting unwanted texts from unknown numbers looking to buy your house? Are you worried if these unsolicited text messages are real or a scam? Many homeowners are in the same situation.
Unsolicited offers are typical in a hot real estate market. An unsolicited offer often comes from an agent, investor, or company who wishes to buy a property from homeowners that are not actively looking for a buyer.
If your home is not on the market, it can be confusing as to why someone is making an unsolicited offer on your property. Let’s break down why homeowners are receiving unsolicited offers, who is making them, and what you can do about them.
Why Am I Getting These Texts?
Because real estate is currently in a seller’s market, there aren’t enough houses for the numerous buyers. According to Freddie Mac, the U.S. had a deficit of 2.5 million units in 2018, which grew to 3.8 million by 2020. (I’m not sure if this is correct to add in sources?) The median price of existing homes has also risen to $403,800, according to the National Association of Realtors, making competitive markets spring up. This means buyers are competing against multiple offers in order to purchase a home.
Think of an unsolicited offer as modern-day cold calls. Homes in coveted neighborhoods tend to sell quickly. If someone rides by your neighborhood and likes your house, they might seek out a real estate agent for help. The real estate agent would then in turn send unsolicited offers to buy your house. Buyers don’t want to wait for desirable homes to hit the market.
On the other hand, investors tend to look for homes where they can make a deal. They will search for properties where they can provide a cash offer (often under the value of your home), fix it, and sell for a profit.
The demand for homes and shortage of properties could possibly explain why there are more unsolicited offers now than before. So while your home is off market, buyers are out there who wish to purchase your property.
Who Is Sending These Texts?
It can be confusing and bothersome to get unsolicited offers from multiple sources. Knowing who is behind sending these texts can help understand why it’s happening in the first place.
Property owners might receive phone calls or be on direct mailing lists in addition to receiving unsolicited text messages. If you receive unsolicited offers, you are probably wondering who is behind them. Let’s take a look at the different categories below.
We’ve all received texts from unknown numbers offering or asking for all kinds of deals. If you’re getting a text from someone asking to buy your property and there’s no company, investor, or agent connected to it, chances are it’s a scam.
One major scam to be aware of is “white knight.” Also known as a foreclosure rescue, a “white knight” scam is when a buyer will offer a loan to the homeowner in exchange for signing over the deed or title. This would help the homeowner avoid foreclosure.
However, once the homeowner is ready to pay back the “white knight,” they could have disappeared, sold the property, and possibly tried to force eviction proceedings.
Again, be wary of texts that do not have any kind of company, investor, or agent associated with the number. Always research who is contacting you before responding.
While wholesalers could be working for a legitimate company, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have your best interests when offering to purchase your home.
What exactly is a wholesaler? If real estate investors don’t have the time to find properties, they will seek out wholesalers to do all the work.
More often than not, wholesalers will send homeowners an unsolicited offer that is lower than the market price. Wholesalers and investors work together to ensure they are buying low on the property so they both make a profit.
Cash offers are often made so the deal can be handled quickly. In most deals, wholesalers will make the offer on behalf of an investor. However, sometimes wholesalers will purchase your property outright and sell it directly to an investor in order to make a profit.
Real Estate Investors
There are plenty of TV shows that boast house remodels and flipping. Investors will contact homeowners with unsolicited offers, sometimes involving cash. Investors will likely fix up a home and flip it to either sell for a profit or keep it as a rental property.
Just like wholesalers, investors will offer less than market value in order to make a profit. Investors might be house flippers or home buying companies that exclusively deal with cash offers when they buy homes.
Real Estate Agents
Unsolicited offers don’t always come from the ones listed above. A local real estate agent might work with their homebuyers to make offers on a coveted home or neighborhood. An agent might send an offer to make an off market deal to avoid a bidding war in a competitive market.
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What If I Want to Sell My Home?
Even if you haven’t considered selling your home in recent years, a cash offer might be enticing. However, you should always do your research first by taking into consideration the items below.
Get Help From Professionals
Working with real estate professionals will help when learning your property’s fair market value. A real estate agent can also help you determine the profit if you sell your house on the open market. Remember that real estate agents work for your best interests and will try to get top dollar for your house.
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If you decide to accept an unsolicited offer, consider hiring an attorney who can help with the process. Real estate transactions can be tricky and overwhelming. Having someone else look over documents could benefit your sale in the long run.
Know Your Home’s Worth
Before accepting a cash offer, do your due diligence on learning your home’s fair market value. Compare the value of your home to others in your neighborhood, determine what other buyers are willing to pay, and research any costs associated with listing your property for sale.
Take into account the following costs before making a decision:
- Staging Your Home
It can be quite expensive to stage your home before listing it on the market. While professional staging and photos could bring in more money to your home, accepting a cash offer means you won’t have to worry about this process.
- Conducting Repairs
Home repairs can also be an added expense if you decide to sell. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in repairs, you could accept an unsolicited offer.
- closing costs and fees
Most cash buyers will offer to cover the closing costs of your home. Don’t forget that working with a real estate agent means you will have to pay commissions as well.
- Marketing and Escrow Times
Depending on the current housing market, homes might stay listed for longer. Cash buyers can also close quickly. Take these factors into consideration if you are looking to sell your home fast.
Pros and Cons of Unsolicited Offers
There are plenty of factors to think about if you plan to accept an unsolicited offer. If you don’t want the stress of going through a real estate agent to list your house, an unsolicited offer might be a good choice. Always remember to do your own research when finding your home’s value before accepting an offer.
As previously mentioned, an unsolicited offer will often ask to purchase your home under value. Most often, buyers that send unsolicited offers will not negotiate because they are looking for a quick and low-priced deal.
If you are looking to make a profit on your house, working with realtors would be your best bet.
What You Should Do About These Texts
It can be confusing to receive an unsolicited text to buy your home, especially if you aren’t interested in selling.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut way to stop unsolicited offers to buy your house. If you definitely aren’t interested in selling your home, you can try to slow down the number of text messages in these ways.
- Put your phone number on the national do not call registry
- make sure to block any unwanted phone numbers
- ask companies or agents to remove you from their phone and mailing lists
- ask them not to contact you again
If the texts still continue, try contacting the Better Business Bureau or Federal Trade Commission.
In short, a low supply of homes and high demand will create a seller’s market. Investors and real estate agents will use this opportunity to send unsolicited offers to buy homes through texts or phone calls, even if you aren’t interested in selling.
While some of these offers are legitimate, others might be scams. Remember to explore all your options thoroughly if you plan on going with a cash offer.