Are Real Estate Investors Scammers? (What to look out for!)

Are Real Estate Investors Scammers? (What to look out for!)
Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land and a question that I often see in the community is: are land investors scammers or how do I know I’m not going to be scammed if I work with a land investor? This is a great, great question because we see a lot of this today. In every avenue of life, it seems like people are out there trying to scam you and it’s a terrible thing. With that said the first thing that I would want to say is if you’re looking to work with somebody who’s interested in purchasing your property, ask them your questions. If they’re not willing to answer your questions in a clear manner, that should be a huge red flag to you.

The first thing that you should know if you are selling your property or if you’re considered working with a land investor is to understand what is the actual process by which you sell your property? The way in which you convey your property to somebody else is by signing a deed to that person and getting it notarized. You can safely know that your property is not leaving your ownership until you have a copy of a deed to your property with the legal description of your property and you sign it in front of a notary. After that it gets recorded at the county level.

I do know of some real estate investors where they will send a deed over to a land owner and they ask the landowner to go and sign in front of a notary and they promise to send a check to them in the mail or some other means. So I do know some people who will do that and they’re legitimate and they’ll do that for you, but it is just as likely that someone could try to scam you and they receive your deed, and they never send you that money? I would be leery of sending a notarized and signed deed to somebody without having received payment.

Another way that some investors work is they’ll have a mobile notary come to you and they’ll have you sign in front of that mobile notary and the notary gives you the check on the spot. Be aware that if they give you a personal or business check that it can bounce. If you’re going to agree to close in this manner, I would make sure that you’re getting certified funds in the form of a cashier’s check or a bank check.

To me the safest way to sell your property is by going through a title company. The title company is a neutral third-party. They will prepare the paperwork, they’ll prepare the deed, they’ll do the title commitment and they will request the certified funds from the buyer. They will only take a cashier’s check or a bank wire. They’re not going to file that signed and notarized deed with the county until that deed is in and all the paperwork is signed, and the funds are there. After that, they disperse the payment to you as the seller and then we receive a copy of that deed, and then it’s recorded there at the county level.

So can you get scammed? Absolutely you can get scammed and I caution you to be careful with who you work with. That’s why TB Properties Buys Land always closes through a title company. We do not self-close. We do not makes promises to send you a check in the mail. We exclusively work with title companies who only accept certified funds from sellers. Working with the Title Company will assure that everything is done correctly.

Another consideration when working with a real estate investor is to ask what does that contract look like? Is that contract really, really long? Is it confusing? Is there a lot of fine print? If there is, then I would be a little cautious about working with them. Make sure you understand what it is that you’re signing. Make sure you understand who’s paying for closing costs because what if there is a survey that needs to be paid for? Who’s paying for the title company? Who’s paying for the recording fees? Who’s paying for excise tax if you’re in a state that requires that? These are questions you want to ask, and you want to make sure that it’s spelled out very clearly in that purchase agreement.

This is why when working with TB Properties Buys Land, our purchase agreement is a one simple page. We cover that we’re going to pay for all the closing costs and we spell those out. We say that the only thing that you as a seller will pay for are any liens. If you have a lien against your property or any encumbrances, then you would pay for that. But the thought is that you don’t have those and if you do have liens, you want to let us know in advance so we can try to work through that.

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Can you get scammed working with a real estate investor? Absolutely, if you’re working with the wrong real estate investor. If you want to work with somebody who’s trustworthy who’s closed tons of transactions all over the country, we’ve worked with many title companies. We have reviews on our website from people we’ve worked with in the past. Give us a call, shoot us an email or find us on our website. We’re happy to work with you. We’re happy to answer any questions that you might have because we understand that you want to be clear with what’s going on and feel comfortable with the transaction. Thanks again for listening.
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