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How To Identify Reputable Local Home Buyers from a Scam in Huntsville

James Anderson

July 9, 2020

There is a variety of "we buy houses" or "cash offer today" companies, but how do you differentiate the legitimate local home buyers from an online scam in Huntsville, AL. Be wary if you're redirected to call centers, asked to wire funds for closing without a title company, or feel pressured to sell. If something doesn't feel right, we'd recommend you walk away.

Those "We Buy Houses" Cardboard Signs in Huntsville, AL

We Buy Houses Bandit Sign

For several years now, real estate investors have nailed to power poles at intersections cardboard signs advertising their services in buying your house for cash. Some signs say“we buy ugly houses, while others say “we buy houses for cash. All the signs offer you is a phone number. Some even say they're local home buyers in Huntsville, but you are redirected to a call center scam when you dial in.

Most people have a legitimate reason to be wary of homemade signs unless they're for a yard sale or free puppies. These things are tangible, and prospective buyers can see and touch what's being advertised. A fleeting offer of hope on a cardboard sign just doesn't cut it for most viewers.

Legitimacy doesn't always come with a professionally manufactured sign or a professional building with offices. Yet many legitimate business persons have just that. Then why the cardboard signs? Why not a legitimate signboard such as those advertising a Huntsville open house with an arrow? How does a home buyer define legitimate? Let's examine the evidence.

Are Huntsville House Buying Companies Legitimate?

In a word, yes. Think about those who buy and sell companies such as AT&T, who bought out Time-Warner, who bought out multiple media concerns such as Turner Broadcasting and HBO, to name a few. Corporate mergers happen every day. So does real estate investing. It's simply called "we buy houses Huntsville."

Lots of people think they're the only home buyer in town. They buy a house, remodel it to suit their family's needs, and they enjoy it until the kids grow up and they need more space. It's the same with real estate investors. The only difference is that they flip the house instead of living in it. It's a totally legit endeavor.

Buying and selling are the basis of the business. There are those whose cut-throat business methods give others in the same business an undeserved bad reputation. It's all about the money, and who cares if the homeowner is happy?

There are, however, home buyer companies that work with the homeowner, choosing a closing date within the homeowner's schedule and timeline or helping find a place to live when the homeowner is downsizing. To these professionals, it's about making the homeowner happy. They have their money to repay the loan they took out to buy the house; the home will be remodeled and sold eventually, and everyone profits.

Legitimacy is about the valid or acceptable method of interaction. Great house buyers are in Huntsville, but you should know how to weed out the great from the not-so-great.

What Credible Local House Buyers Are Doing In Huntsville

First, though, you should know what legitimate house buyers are doing to revitalize neighborhoods:

Raise Home Values

Homeowners remodel their homes before a sale to get a better price. This raises home values in the neighborhood (called comps or comparable values.) It's the same with house buying companies.

Create Jobs In The Area

When a homeowner remodels, he hires contractors, electricians, plumbers, roofers, foundation professionals, permit professionals, and more. Alternatively, a homeowner can step away from the hassle by selling to a reputable house buying company that handles the home repairs expected by new home buyers.

Time And Money Are An Important Factor

Many people sell their houses to buy a new one simultaneously. Others sell theirs upon learning they've been stationed in another city, state, or sometimes country. Some people choose to sell an inherited house. The scenarios for selling a house are numerous. Time is the major factor, for listing a house for sale sometimes takes months homeowners might not have before moving on.

When homeowners don't have the wherewithal to remodel their house and must sell as-is, they might not have the funds to buy another house. Some homeowners may need to sell because of tight time constraints. Others simply can't sell the house because buyers aren't interested. These homeowners often turn to house-buying companies for the money they need right now.

Investing In American-Made Products

With so much manufacturing getting out of the country, Americans are turning more and more to American-made products. Jobs are created, and prices for said products are lower. Moreover, many Americans are only buying American-made products as a matter of belief and pride in Americans.

Taxes Are Important, Too

When buying a new house lifts you into a higher tax bracket. Those taxes are spent on schools, fire and police protection, libraries, and repairing and building new roads. These lift the value of our neighborhoods.

Home remodeling and flipping show only show us how to make a house pretty enough to raise its value. They don't show us how that value equates to whole neighborhoods and, ultimately, their towns. This is the reality.

How to Tell Which Huntsville House Buyers are a Scam or Legit

Legitimate businesses don't push or rush people. They don't abscond with the money the instant the contract is signed. They have a track record and don't mind you calling their clients for a review. They've also been in business for longer than ten minutes. Look for these things, and you'll be able to recognize legitimate local home buyers from scam companies when requesting offers on your Huntsville home.

Research The House Buying Company

The company should have a building with an address that isn't in the middle of the river. They should have a payroll, even if their employees work from home. Legitimate companies won't mind you checking upon them. As an example, our office is located at 8210 Stephanie Dr. SW Suite E, Huntsville, AL 35802. You can drop by and say hello just by walking in.

Ask for a list of previous clients. Call them for a review of the company. Real companies are happy to oblige because this is their proof of legitimacy.

Screaming Red Banners Of Which To Beware

Home buying companies asking for a survey of your home are seeking information about your house and the neighborhood but drag their feet when you ask for them to give you a cash offer. This bait and switch tactic won't lead to a cash offer because these fake home buyers are scammers trying to collect data or personal information. If you realized you'd called a bad number, hang up and call the next company on the list.

Next, if a deal sounds too good to be true and includes a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, it can be a good idea to have an attorney go over the contract before you sign. Scammers sometimes include a clause where they can void the contract at will, but you're 100% obligated to the contract for an indefinite period. You want to avoid these situations. Otherwise, you'll feel like your hands are completely tied. Other scammers include hidden fees for outrageous purposes. An attorney will spot these immediately and protect you from the scammers.

Keep it real. Make sure a real person from a real company is walking alongside you every step of the way. You can always ask a legitimate local home buying company to meet you in person. When calling these companies, if you're redirected to a call center or offered work-from-home assistance, you've most likely spotted a scammer. Hang up and start calling the next set of local home buyers because life is too short to deal with a scam when trying to sell your Huntsville home.

Common Practices Among Industry Leaders

Industry Leaders In Home Buying Have A Local Presence

Remember that scammers are in a hurry to the sale (often at your kitchen table) and pressure you into signing. Local homebuyers in Huntsville will hold the closing at a local title company (our preferred title company is South Oak Title, which has locations throughout Alabama). A legitimate home buying company will recognize the homeowner's reasons for selling, resulting in a few days to a two-week sale with no pressure.

Also, keep in mind that legitimate real estate investors are more concerned with the value and longevity of their town's neighborhoods than with a fast score. They build instead of scampering off into the woodwork. Homeowners who are curious about Huntsville house buying companies can work with legitimate, legal entities without fear of advantage being taken.

You must educate yourself on the common behaviors of legitimate local home buyers and how to spot a scam when selling your house in Huntsville, AL. When you call the number on the cardboard sign, ask some of the questions we've outlined above. Ask your own questions that would narrow down the choices for you and give you confidence in the company buying from you.

Finally, even if you don't ultimately sell your house to us, please feel free to give us a call with a competing offer, and we can walk you through how we'd do business so you can have a true apples-to-apples comparison. Veritas Home Buyers will be happy to make a cash offer on any property in Madison County or Northern Alabama.

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