Have you ever gotten a mailer from someone asking to buy your house? If you own an NC house, especially in the Raleigh area, we’re guessing you have.

If you’re interested in selling your house when you received one of these mailers, you probably wondered, “Is this a scam?”

You may be tempted to just sell off-market and throw away the mailer. But if you’re interested in selling off-market, and you just don’t want to be scammed, there are questions you can ask.

As real estate experts, we’d like to share those questions. The answers can help you determine whether a mailer is a scam or not.

Questions you can ask before contacting them

Before you reach out to the contact on the mailer, we recommend doing some research online. The answers to the following questions can help you decide if you should reach out at all.

Does the contact on the mailer have an online presence?

If they don’t, it’s not necessarily indicative of an illegitimate company. But having an online presence can lend some credibility to their business.

Are they listed as a business on the NC secretary of state’s site?

Go to SOSNC.gov to search for the company. Click here to perform a search. If they don’t appear, it could be an indication that they aren’t legitimate.

Questions you can ask after contacting them

A lot of the mailers you’re getting are from middlemen. They are wholesalers, and they often have clauses that allow them to back out of offers. 

Often wholesalers pose as the end buyer. Without explicitly saying that they are the end buyer, they lead people to believe that they are the ones buying your house. It’s not illegal, but it isn’t clear.  

If you reach out to the contact on the mailer (someone who is likely a wholesaler), you’ll want to have three questions ready. Be sure to get answers to the following questions from the person you’re contacting.

Are you going to sell the contract to another buyer?

This is what wholesalers do. They will likely want to avoid this question. If they say “Yes,” then they are a wholesaler. If they say, “No,” they’re the end buyer. 

Ask them to be transparent with this question. Asking it is important, because deals with wholesalers can change dramatically. 

Unlike end buyers (like us), when a wholesaler gives you an offer, that offer could change

Is there any reason why you wouldn’t buy my property?

Wholesalers aren’t trying to be scammers, but they’ll back out if they can’t find a buyer. 

We know of a family that started moving out of the house because they thought the wholesaler was going to buy it. But because the wholesaler couldn’t find a buyer, they had to back out of the deal. 

The family had to put everything they moved out back into the house

Is there any reason why the offer would change?

If the wholesaler finds a buyer that is only willing to pay less than the initial offer, the price will change. Offers that wholesalers make are sometimes no more than suggested buying prices. 

Wrapping up

Off-market sales are often done best when you sell to an end buyer. Someone whose offer won’t change. Someone who is legitimate. Someone like us.

If you plan to sell your North Carolina house, give us a call today.