Avoid “We Buy Houses” Scams

Don’t Be Fooled!

A lot of individuals and companies are out there, trying to piggyback on our famous We Buy Ugly Houses® trademark.

The name We Buy Ugly Houses® has been around for decades, and for those investors trying to cut corners, using our mark is an easy way for them to use our credibility for their own gain. But don’t be fooled — HomeVestors® and our franchisees are the only entities legally allowed to call ourselves the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” people.

In fact, there’s a number of “cash for homes” and “we buy houses” scams out there, not to mention the self-proclaimed real estate gurus promising easy cash for little work.

If they call themselves “We Buy Ugly Houses® people” and they aren’t with HomeVestors®, they aren’t legit.

"Cash for homes" scams and “we buy houses” scams

The national housing market is on the rebound, but many homeowners are still in financial trouble.

That’s led to scores of shady businesses popping up to take advantage of these people, offering everything from fake loan audits, foreclosure counseling, “government” modification programs and even “we buy houses” scams.

How do you spot one of these scams?

If they’re stealing our trademark, that’s an easy way. Most others ask for upfront payments for “application fees” or “credit processing.” That’s a major red flag that you’re dealing with someone who is going to take the money and run.

That’s even more likely if they are asking for payment in cash.

How to avoid these scams: Legitimate real estate businesses, such as lawyers who handle loan modification and foreclosure counseling, usually take their cut at the end.

HomeVestors® does not ask for any money at any point in the transaction. We make our profit by renovating your house and either re-selling it or offering it for rent. You are the one who gets paid when dealing with us.

Real estate investment scams

The improving housing market is also bringing the “real estate gurus” back out of the woodwork, promising easy cash to anyone with money to burn.

How do they work?

It starts with an innocent pitch. Most start online these days, offering torrents of real estate advice at a low-cost seminar, but once you arrive at the seminar, they have you hooked.

The entry fee was just to get into the door. Now to get the “real secrets,” you have to shell out even more money. Then you’re promised a list of surefire leads for tens of thousands of dollars.

The seminar and the leads all turn out to be phony, and the worst part is that by signing up for the seminar, you release the people running it of any liability.

It happens way too often in this business. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How to avoid these scams: Do your homework. Just like the “cash for homes” scams, be wary of anybody who charges an upfront fee or asks for payment in cash.

HomeVestors® has been in the business since 1989, and we’re proud to have been named to Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 for franchisee satisfaction for the eighth consecutive year. You can see a list of all of our awards and credentials here.