If You Got a Text Message Asking to Buy Your House, It's Likely a Scam

The real estate market may have cooled a little, but if you received a text message asking to buy your house, you may want to investigate.


Apr. 4 2023, Updated 3:58 p.m. ET

Does it seem like you’re being inundated with scam texts every day from Netflix, Amazon, and PayPal? Whether you’re a customer or not, you could become a victim of any of these text scams simply by clicking on the link.

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Now there’s a new text message scam popping up that’s taking over the real estate industry, and it’s leaving some property owners wondering if the texts are legit.

If you received a text message asking to buy your house, what does it mean and what should you do next? Let's see if the text is a scam or legit.

Why did I receive a text message asking to buy my house?

People walking into an open house
Source: Getty Images

While it isn't always a scam, if you receive a text message from a random number asking to buy your house, you should probably ignore it. Most of these texts are simply trying to get personal info from you, and trick you into sending funds or your bank account info.

Even if the source is legitimate, you should ask yourself why someone would text you out of the blue to ask if your biggest investment is for sale.

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Who is sending these text messages?

If you’re receiving texts, emails, and unsolicited calls from people who want to buy your home, you aren't alone. Real estate investors and people looking for real estate deals are known to use these tactics to score great deals on off-market properties.

Let’s find out who could be sending these texts to you and why.

Real estate investors: If you’re a fan of reality TV, you’ve seen real estate investors buying up foreclosed properties at an auction. In the real world, they’ll contact homeowners like you with unsolicited and solicited cash offers for your home.

House flippers will lowball you so they can fix and flip your home or hold onto it to rent out. Sometimes you may deal with multiple investors who will pool their money to buy your home for cash so they can turn around and profit from the sale.

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Wholesalers: Sometimes these offers come from legitimate sources like a wholesale company, but it isn't in your best interest to say yes to them.

Wholesalers will offer cash for your property, so they can fix and flip it. They may also hold on to the property and add it to their pool of rental housing. They’ll usually offer you less than market value because of the cash offer and try to get you out of the house quickly.

Scammers: There are many ways people can try to scam you into believing they want to buy your house, but they want to trick you into selling your property, steal your info, or get money.

Home buyers and their agents: Legit homebuyers and their agents may approach you to sell your house because they like your neighborhood or school district, or you own their dream home.

They may send you an off-market deal to avoid competition, make a cash offer or send an offer backed by financing.

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You can stop the unwanted solicitation.

A realty sign outside a house for sale
Source: Getty Images

Sadly, there’s no real way to stop these unsolicited offers, but you can take steps to protect yourself and cut down on the interactions.

  • Add your number to the Do Not Call Registry.
  • Block the calls on your phone and silence calls from unknown numbers. You can also download call-blocking apps to keep you protected from illegal calls and scams.
  • Ask the companies to remove you from their phone and mailing lists.
  • Sign up for the Data & Marketing Association’s marketing list op-out service.
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How does the text message scam work?

They'll send you a random text asking to buy your house. Once you respond, they’ll follow up and try to get your personal info.

Fake buyers may ask for your bank account number to wire money or claim they need to run a title search to see if they really want the house. A prospective real estate investor may even offer you a loan to help you catch up on payments and avoid foreclosure, but this will require you to “temporarily” sign over the deed.

Then, with the property in their name, they can do whatever they want with it, whether they lease it back to you under unfavorable terms and monthly payments, or they might even try to evict you.

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