By Max Goowdin
Home owners have seen an increase in aggressive tactics by some investors looking to buy houses. The market price for houses have increased significantly over the past two years, and some homeowners may not realize by just how much.
According to January statistics from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, the average sales price of a house in Jackson County has increased by 16.1 percent. The housing market is more competitive than ever with 70 percent of home offers written by agents facing bidding wars, Redfin reports. Real estate bought by companies or institutions has also hit an all-time high.
Pierre Heidrich, a real estate broker with Chartwell Realty, spoke to the South Kansas City Alliance February 22 about the phone calls, postcards, and signs on the street that claim to offer a simple process to sell your home for cash, but Heidrich says it’s important to read between the lines of these claims.
Heidrich listed off the claims that are often heard in these advertisements. Buy-as-is, fast close, no realtor.
“The more you have people soliciting you, the greater you have a probability of believing your home might be worth less than you originally thought it might be,” Heidrich said. “That’s the problem. [Homeowners] actually do have a distressed scenario and they only know what they’ve heard.”
Those distressing situations are often what lead to people selling their home for less than it’s worth, whether it be loss of income, inability to pay bills or taxes, or not being able to fix and maintain a property. There are always better solutions than selling your home to one of these solicitors, Heidrich says.
“They aren’t in business to take a loss, they’re in business to make money,” Heidrich said. “People are taking your equity when they try to get you to sell your home for less than you really should.”
It could be well worth the homeowner’s time to check all options before selling a home quickly to a solicitor. There is more help for people in a distressed housing situation than they might realize. There are often community groups, churches, or local government programs that can help.
The city also manages a Home Repair Service program that can help homeowners with small repairs to keep them in their homes and keep up with any potential code violations. The program will begin accepting applications for 2022 in May. The program is offered for single-family KCMO homeowners. The program does not service rental properties.
KCMO has distributed nearly $17 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds that can help pay utilities as well as rental assistance. ZIP codes in the south Kansas City area have received some of the highest numbers of households receiving ERAP funding.
Heidrich encourages homeowners to sell through a professionally licensed real estate agent. However, they shouldn’t assume that all real estate agents are looking out for their best interest, but it will at least mean there are ethics and guidelines they have to practice.
Heidrich says it’s important to have a designated, full-time agent. Finally insist on going over the agency disclosure brochure with the agent.
“If they don’t do that it’s a red flag already because they’re supposed to do that on first contact,” Heidrich said. “They’re supposed to go over a brochure explaining what the capacities are and what their duties and responsibilities are.”
As for receiving the solicitations in the first place, Hiedrich recommends keeping personal information to yourself. That’s where solicitations stem from.
“These people are getting your personal information, that’s why they’re calling you, mailing you,” Heidrich said. “They’re trying to sell and make money on your property.”