Scam Offer Letters: What to Look Out For (Part1)

Scam Offer Letters: What to Look Out For (Part1)

Hi, I am Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. Today we’re going to talk about scam offer letters. Those are the letters that come in the mail to you offering to buy your rural vacant land. Are they all a scam? What do you need to look out for when you’re contemplating working with an investor to sell your vacant land to them for cash?

The big question is: are all these letters that you receive in the mail, are they all scams? It’s hard to say, but right now we know that there’s enough scams out there that you absolutely have to be careful. Today I got an email from supposedly PayPal saying that my account had been hacked and it instructed me to email somebody to get my money back, but I could tell from the email address that it was a scam email. Sadly, we’re seeing these scams everywhere. What do you need to do to protect yourself and what questions should you ask to weed out the scams from a potential investor who might actually be able to help you out and buy your property from you?

While I cannot offer legal advice, one question that I would ask first when it comes to working with an investor is: how do you plan on closing on the sale of the property? Some land investors or real estate investors, they will want to close the transaction themselves. They can do that in various ways. They might say, “Listen, I’m going to do the paperwork. I’ll record it with the county. I’ll have a local notary come by your house. They’ll have the check in hand, so when you sign the deed to sell it, I’ll give you the check at the same time.” Can that be a legit process? It can be. Is there a potential for a scam there? Absolutely. What if the check bounces? Who knows what could happen if the paperwork’s not done right? For me, I would feel more comfortable closing through a title company. Think about this: when you buy or sell a house, you’re closing through a title company, right? They’re a good third-party intermediary. They do this type of paperwork everyday and they know what they’re doing. They are also not going to close on the transaction until all things are complete: they have to have received certified funds from the buyer, the correct signed and notarized paperwork from you as the seller, and also all of the correct paperwork from the buyer. Until then, they will not close the transaction; closing through a Title Company provides protection for both buyer and seller.

A second question that I would ask is, do I have access to contact the title company directly? Can you chat with them throughout the process? If they don’t want to reveal the title company is, or if they don’t want you to have access to them, or if they don’t want to answer your questions, to me, that would be a red flag. I think the most important thing for protection would be working with a title company to close the sale of your property, but also having access to the Title Company so that you can contact them as often as you wish directly with any questions is extremely important. It could be something such as, “Hey, I don’t want to get paid by wire transfer anymore. I want to get paid with a check.” Or: “My brother and I own the property and we want to split the proceeds evenly.” Whatever that is, you should be able to contact them. And if the buyer, if that real estate investor, doesn’t want you to have contact with them, that would be a red flag to me not to work with them.

There are other questions or concerns I would like to address when it comes to scam offer letters and what to look out for, but I’m going to split that up into another video so that these don’t get too long. Here at TB Properties Buys Land, Tim and I work together. He’s up in Oregon and I’m here in Texas. We buy land 10 plus acre lots generally, all over the country. When it comes to buying your property, it’s really important for us that our contract is very simple to understand so you will find that it’s just one page. In addition to this, we’ve always closed through title. Typically, we have title companies that we work with on a regular basis, but if you have a title company you prefer, we’re happy to work with your preferred title company. It doesn’t matter to us, so long as they’re reputable and they work and are licensed in the county where the property is located, we’re fine with that. We always close through title and we pay in cash so that we can close quicker. It’s very important to us that our sellers are able to contact title directly as often as they need.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. I’ll try to make a follow up video and discuss a few other questions or concerns when it comes to these scam offer letters and how to determine if are they legit or scammy. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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