Are home buying solicitors legit or a scam? WREG uncovers the truth

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — From the phone calls to the endless mailed post cards, home buyers are on the prowl in Memphis. Even if you are not looking to sell, you may be on their radar.

They’ll say you have a house they’re interested in, and that you’ll want to call them.

“If you are looking to sell a house, any house for that matter, if you have about four to five minutes we would like to talk to you and ask you some questions about it,” a voicemail stated.

But put on your brakes. Before you even hear their first pitch, consider this.

The Better Business Bureau has seen this type of marketing before. They say a lot of times these companies are really investors who want to get your property for as little as possible.

“They are trying to get it at a lower price so they can make some money by renting it,” an official with The Better Business Bureau said. “They are probably looking to buy houses in your area but aren’t looking to pay top dollar.”

So why do all the different companies keep calling? There is a reason for that too.

“Some of these companies, some of these investors, share their tactics with other investors to help them maximize their investments. So if it’s working for one company, and they are getting some call backs on it, they are gonna share that information with another company,” The Better Business Bureau said.

Lee McWaters is a professional Real Estate agent with his own agency, and also heads up the Memphis Realtors Association.

He says he doesn’t send out these mailings and has a warning for people considering them.

“These look like generic post cards that they send out to you. They are trying to find an easy way to sell their house. But they could be leaving a lot of money on the table.”

McWaters says you stand to make more by opening up your home to the full market, putting it on the MLS and hiring a professional realtor.

That could more than make-up for the lower offer you get from solicitors.

“There has to be money left on the table in order for this to be successful for them,” he said.

McWaters says with low inventory in markets like Memphis, people are trying to get homes any way they can.

So we called companies sending the mailers.

Some were hard to reach. But one that we did talk to told us how they get your name.

He said it’s really about direct marketing.

The company will send out thousands of post cards through the city of Memphis to thousands of addresses.

He also admitted that you may not get top value for your home with them. A lot would be based on repairs that would be needed.

But what he did promise was cash.

He says he will set the appointment to inspect the home and come back with a cash offer in 24 to 48 hours. And if the buyer accepts, they’ll close within seven to 10 days.

But the Better Business Bureau warns there are other things to consider too.

In any big transaction like Real Estate, you need to make sure your interests are protected when it comes to payoffs, taxes, closing costs, inspections and terms.

There is nothing illegal about this. But check this out, when you get these cards and decide to respond, experts say to be sure to weigh your options.

Sometimes quick money doesn’t always mean the best deal.

If you’re still unsure about the companies that are calling you, check out the company name with the Better Business Bureau.

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