Thursday, August 14, 2008
Short Sale Scammers We Buy Houses
Have you ever seen the signs posted on telephone poles in the Metrowest area that says something to the effect "We buy houses". The headline usually reads do you need to sell your home quick? Are you in financial trouble? Do you need cash fast?
These companies are almost always looking to buy your home at 50 cents on the dollar. They are not going to give you anywhere close to the fair market value of your home!
Well there is a new twist to this predatory business that you really need to be on the look out for. There is a group in the Metrowest area that has been preying on people who call them to sell their home.
The Real Estate market in Massachusetts has been on the down turn for the last three plus years. Most recently there have been more and more short sales coming on the market. A short sale occurs when the value of the property is less than the mortgage balance and the lender agrees to let the home close for less than the mortgage balance owed. (Click the link for a complete explanation).
So here is what I just ran into. A client of mine who lives in Milford Massachusetts had gotten herself into financial difficulty and was having trouble making her mortgage payments. I had actually spoken to her about doing a Short sale but she did not act on my advice. She ended up seeing one of those We Buy Houses signs and decided to call them. What a mistake!
These people had her sign an agreement that locks her into being involved with them for a year.
To make a long story short these people had her sign an option contract. They then proceeded to act on their OWN behalf to submit a short sale offer to the bank.
The value of this property is in the low 200's. These predators submitted an offer to the bank for $131,000!!!. You can probably already see this picture very clearly. God knows if they get the bank to accept an offer like that the home will be right back on the market and these people will have put some good money in their pocket.
The bank did not except their offer but this story continues to get worse. The owner never signed a listing agreement with these people but now her house is on the market and listed with an affiliate of this company!
The home was listed for $240,000 in the Greater Boston multiple listing service. The owner discovered the home was listed and questioned these people and they said - why do you care you need to sell the home anyway. The owner never authorized this company to sell the home. She did not sign a listing contract. Her expectation was they would be buying it.
A few weeks later the property was reduced to $225,000 with out the owners consent! No price reduction signed. Nothing...not even a verbal request for a reduction. It was just reduced period.
One of the terms of the agreement that the home owner signed says " I have agreed to sell the property to the buyer and am now bound by the terms and conditions described in this agreement. I further understand that can not continue to market the property to any other party, except as provided herein.
So as it stands this home owner is locked into an agreement whereby this entity does not care for what the home sells for and is working on their own behalf to get the home as cheap as possible for their own benefit. It makes me sick!!!
The listing company who is affiliated with these people has it in MLS has 2 pictures. The Real Estate company sure looks like they are going to be giving it their best effort (laughs).
Sounds like the attorney general would like to hear about this. I have told this woman to contact her attorney immediately.
This is the perfect example of why you should have an attorney look over important Real Estate documents. The fine print and terms of this agreement have completely locked the seller into a terrible situation.
Another short sale situation that has become quite common lately is short sale investor fraud. If you need to do a Massachusetts short sale I would encourage you to read this article. The last thing you want to have happen to you is be involved in a short sale scam where you end up in foreclosure. There are lots of people preying on others misfortune! Don't get caught with your pants down.
I would encourage you to read a few articles I have written about short sales. The 1st link is a complete overview of numerous short sale articles that cover everything you need to know about completing a successful short sale transaction.
Massachusetts short sales
Avoiding foreclosure through a short sale
Short sales and deed in lieu of foreclosure
If you are listing your home as a short sale in Metrowest Massachusetts make sure you hire a Realtor who has knowledge of short sales and has the experience to get the job done. I am doing successful short sale packages . I work with a local attorney who has success getting short sale approval. Call me at 508-435-5356 to find out more about Metrowest Massachusetts Short Sales. You will get honest advice from someone who cares.
I cover Real Estate Sales in the following towns: Hopkinton, Milford, Ashland, Holliston, Westboro, Southboro, Medway, Upton, Mendon, Bellingham,Northboro, Shrewsbury, Natick, Framingham, Grafton, Douglas, Northbridge, Hopedale, and Uxbridge.
Visit my website at Metrowest Massachusetts Short Sales.