Author Topic: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail  (Read 2895 times)

Mother Fussbudget

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Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« on: February 03, 2016, 03:44:54 PM »
The other day, I received a plain hand-scrawled envelope (with no return address) addressed to "Home Owner, <my street address>".
Inside was a badly done black & white 1/3 page 'flyer' stating:

"We will BUY YOUR HOUSE for $xxx,xxx.xx" 
<with XXX,XXX hand-written at purchase price + $30K>
<picture of a stack of $100 bill bundles>
------------------------------------------
All cash, any condition, 14-day close
or in 1 year No middle man or fees.
Call XXX-XXX-XXXX
or email
XXXXXXX@gmail.com"

A phone number, and a GMail address.  Seems illegitimate to me.

---------
So I *understand* what's happening - someone (who's name I have thanks to internet phone number reverse lookup) attended a *seminar* of the variety:  "Buy ugly houses for cash".
BUT... my understanding of the current "you too can buy ugly houses for cash" seminars is they're supposed to evaluate your house, and offer 0.70 (or 0.65) the anticipated SALE value of the house in question, less expected repair expenses.  In my case, it would seem they're anticipating selling it for ~$200K more than I paid.
I thought they were supposed to send out something professional looking than:  "Pssstt... wanna sell me your house?"

THIS 'flyer' looks like a kid did it on the library copier.  It gives a bad image to real-estate investors.  I was tempted to recycle it, but now I'm thinking there's a possibility of mail-fraud involved. 

Suggestions?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 03:47:08 PM by Mother Fussbudget »

Jack

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 04:14:32 PM »
It could be a tactic: since any sophisticated person (such as yourself) would be rightly skeptical of such a shoddy ad, anybody actually replying to it would be some kind of naive dumbass... and perhaps naive dumbasses are more likely to sell their houses at a discount.

iamlindoro

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 04:36:38 PM »
It's called "Yellow letters" or "yellow letter marketing."  It's a tactic to reach out to a ton of homeowners that might be interested in selling their homes at a deep discount.  You correctly concluded that it's being sent by a flipper (or possibly a wholesaler).  It's a very common tactic used by thousands of low level real estate flippers/investors.  It's a bit on the sketchy side, but there's little doubt that this person is actually interested in buying houses... however, the only people willing to sell for prices which this person would offer would have houses in very bad condition, be in dire financial straits, or both.

https://www.yellowletters.com/page/yellow-letter-samples

Jack

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 05:17:54 PM »
I find the psychology of those things interesting. Are there really people who can't tell the difference between machine-printed "handwritten font" mailings and something that's actually handwritten? If not, are there really people who can tell the letter is "fake-handwritten," but are more persuaded by it than a letter printed in a normal typeface anyway? I just don't get it!

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 05:42:07 PM »
It's someone trying to be a wholesaler. Not necessarily illegal, but some states are fining them on the basis that "they are engaging in real estate transactions without a license".

Just ignore it.

Another Reader

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 07:10:24 PM »
I get between 5 and 20 of these a week.  I can always tell when a real estate guru type has been through town, because the number of solicitations increases dramatically 2 to 4 weeks later.  If one looks like it has a new marketing angle, I might look at it.  I also look through them to see if a particular property is targeted.  Usually that's a sign the tenants haven't been mowing the lawn or are misbehaving, and the property manager needs to go by and have a look.

Throw them in the recycling bin.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 06:38:05 AM »
^+1. I dont get 5-20 a week BUT when there is a seminar in town i do get them for awhile. I just like most toss them but I am sure if the send enough out some one bites. I use to see signs all over as well "we buy ugly houses for cash" but i believe local ordinances have banned all that.  Just like "the poop lady" will clean dog poop. Dont see those anymore either.

arebelspy

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 07:06:23 AM »
Yup, I get these all the time as well.  If you think you'll ever be in an emergency sale situation and would take a giant discount to liquidate, file it somewhere, and you'll have some built up soon.  Otherwise toss it.
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Bearded Man

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 07:55:25 AM »
I got a fake hand written one recently, not the first. They come in once in a while for only one of my houses. The cheap one less than 200k, that's paid off. Title company sold my info, I later found out. They sell lists by any metric someone filters by.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 12:17:42 PM »
Thanks all.  Tossed.  ;-)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 12:38:37 PM »

https://www.yellowletters.com/page/yellow-letter-samples

Why does this company suggest investors make their letters look like they came from preschool children?

And the fake coffee stain?  I too do not understand the psychology behind this.

arebelspy

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 12:57:34 PM »

https://www.yellowletters.com/page/yellow-letter-samples

Why does this company suggest investors make their letters look like they came from preschool children?

And the fake coffee stain?  I too do not understand the psychology behind this.

There's lots of research behind what types of yellow letters work and what doesn't.

My guess on those is people like the idea of dealing with what they think is a small mom and pop type investor.. like a big guy may take advantage of them, but the dude handwriting letters won't, or something, so they immediately feel more comfort and trust talking to that buyer.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Jack

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 01:07:51 PM »

https://www.yellowletters.com/page/yellow-letter-samples

Why does this company suggest investors make their letters look like they came from preschool children?

And the fake coffee stain?  I too do not understand the psychology behind this.

There's lots of research behind what types of yellow letters work and what doesn't.

My guess on those is people like the idea of dealing with what they think is a small mom and pop type investor.. like a big guy may take advantage of them, but the dude handwriting letters won't, or something, so they immediately feel more comfort and trust talking to that buyer.

That would make sense, but only if the letter were actually handwritten with an actual coffee stain. I don't understand how something contrived to appear that way doesn't cause exactly the opposite effect.

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 01:13:54 PM »

https://www.yellowletters.com/page/yellow-letter-samples

Why does this company suggest investors make their letters look like they came from preschool children?

And the fake coffee stain?  I too do not understand the psychology behind this.

There's lots of research behind what types of yellow letters work and what doesn't.

My guess on those is people like the idea of dealing with what they think is a small mom and pop type investor.. like a big guy may take advantage of them, but the dude handwriting letters won't, or something, so they immediately feel more comfort and trust talking to that buyer.

Makes sense to me. But that isn't what this is- it's not a dude handwriting letters.
But a dude paying someone to produce a product that looks like it was written in crayon and with a graphic of a coffee stain makes me think scam. 

And actual handwritten letter, I still would toss, but I could see how someone might think they are working for a down to earth, small time investor.

arebelspy

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 01:32:12 PM »
i realize that, and you do, but they literally test this stuff, A/B testing.

send them out in all kinds of fonts (like handwritten).  with and without stains.  etc.

Sometimes weird stuff works. 

Like green ink can do really well, for some reason.

/shrug

i can't tell you why, just that i believe in data and results
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

gaja

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 02:01:59 PM »
It is the same reason Nigeria scammers add typos and use google translate. People who can't spot the difference between fake handwriting and real handwriting, or that can't spot bad grammar, are on average easier marks. They don't want to waste time on people who are going to double check stuff.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2016, 02:04:50 PM »
It is the same reason Nigeria scammers add typos and use google translate. People who can't spot the difference between fake handwriting and real handwriting, or that can't spot bad grammar, are on average easier marks. They don't want to waste time on people who are going to double check stuff.

But this isn't a scam. Yellow letters appear to be a commonly used tactic by actual real estate investors, who are really wanting to buy your house.

gaja

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Re: Sketchy "We Will BUY Your House for $xxx,xxx" in the USPS mail
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2016, 02:12:44 PM »
It is the same reason Nigeria scammers add typos and use google translate. People who can't spot the difference between fake handwriting and real handwriting, or that can't spot bad grammar, are on average easier marks. They don't want to waste time on people who are going to double check stuff.

But this isn't a scam. Yellow letters appear to be a commonly used tactic by actual real estate investors, who are really wanting to buy your house.

It is not scam, but they are looking for "good deals"; properties they can easily resell for profit. They don't want to spend time bargaining hard with people. It is clear in some of letter samples that were linked above; they are targetting desperate people with large debts. That is where the easiest profit is.