A shortage of homes for sale, coupled with an increase in investors buying homes in the Memphis area, has led to an increase in calls to property owners.
Memphis homeowners are frustrated when they receive cold calls from strangers to buy their homes.
A shortage of homes for sale, coupled with an increase in investors buying homes in the Memphis area, has led to an increase in calls to property owners. The callers ask homeowners if they want to sell their homes for cash and close within weeks.
Industry experts said different groups of people are making the call. Local investors, international investors, home buyers, callers from call centers, and wholesalers are some of the callers.
Wholesalers are middlemen who find homes for lease and then find investors who buy the homes.
Investor Michael Stansbury said, “Right now the market is like ‘nuclear hot,’ so it’s overvalued. That’s why you’re seeing and hearing so much right now.”
Stansbury runs MemFixerUpper, an investment company that buys and flips homes in the Memphis area. Stansbury has been in business for 15 years.
Stansbury said he had to change his marketing strategy due to cold calling by many companies. Instead of random cold calling, Stansbury says he advertises, mails, uses social media and gets more business through word of mouth.
“We get a lot of referral business,” Stansbury said.
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“If it’s a direct telemarketing call and you’re on the ‘do not call’ list, they shouldn’t be calling you,” said Randy Hutchinson, director of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
Hutchinson said it is not illegal to call homeowners to ask if they are interested in selling their home. And even if someone is on the “do not call” list, people may not stop calling.
The callers offer to buy the homes “as is” and to close quickly. They often offer less money to owners than if they list homes for sale on the general market.
“These types of offers generally make more sense for owners who are under some pressure to sell a home, divorce or property situation,” Hutchinson said.
Stansbury says your best bet is not to answer the phone if you don’t know the number. Also, if you’re on a do-not-call list, let the caller know, even if the next person knows you’re not blocking them from calling.
“Ask them who they work for and ask them their name and then look them up online. Do they have a BBB profile, what are their Google reviews, what are their Facebook reviews?” Stansbury said.
Stansbury: If you’re interested in a sales pitch, try to find out as much information about the person or collect that information because you want the person to stop calling.
Jack Conway is one of many homeowners who continue to receive calls every week. Conway has residential and rental properties, and cold callers want to buy any.
“It’s a nuisance, I want it to stop. If I want to sell my house, I’ll list it,” Conway said.
Stansbury believes severe cold calls will continue until the housing market cools.
“There’s not a lot of inventory, and when that happens, you’re going to have a little bit of people scrambling to get into that market,” Stansbury said.