I have long preached the 'if it's too good to be true...' mantra. According to a recent report from Kelsey Owen at BBB, folks that may be attracted to the idea of getting in the high velocity and potentially lucrative business of flipping are just getting their wallets flipped. Owen says while there are reputable flipping workshops, many unscrupulous workshop leaders are only concerned with making a quick buck – and that buck is yours. Her advice:
- Know the costs. While the initial seminar is free, additional seminars and training materials can cost thousands of dollars.
- Don’t fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics. Take the time to carefully research the opportunity carefully and don’t sign a contract until you fully understand all of the terms.
- Get everything in writing. Check out the refund policy and be sure to get all promises in writing. BBB gets several hundred complaints a year from consumers saying they didn’t get what they paid for from flipping workshops. And, when they tried to get their money back, they ran into a brick wall. Just like buying a home, when it comes to flipping workshops, it’s buyer beware.
- If it sounds too-good-to-be-true, it probably is. Many inexpensive homes on the market have been empty for long periods of time or may have been vandalized, which will make for costly repairs and will make it difficult to sell quickly.
- Know what you’re responsible for. If you purchase a home with violations, you could face fines or criminal penalties for failing to fix them.
- Make a budget. If you plan on financing the purchase of a house, be sure to budget for the appraisal, filing fees, insurance, taxes and maintenance of the house until it is sold.
- Do your research. Always check out the company with BBB before doing business. Be sure to check out a company’s BBB Business Review and complaint history at bbb.org first.
For more consumer advice, go to: bbb.org.