BuyOwner.com / Acquisition
Boca Raton, Florida
United States - 33431
I am a Realtor in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I had a client who has his home listed with me, and he previously had it listed with BuyOwner.com (also known as MLS Realty). Long story short - they didn't bring him any buyers and he had to move out of state soon so he called me. We got an offer on his home and the title company ran a title search to check for any outstanding liens. Guess what? 'MLS Realty' had placed a lien on my clients home and he had no idea why. Neither did I! So I called BuyOwner and asked why there was a lien on my client's home and the rep I talked to said 'Ooops we forgot to remove it' - even though they had already been paid in full by my client appx. $2500 for doing nothing. I asked why they place liens on Seller's homes and they told me they do this on every home they list, regardless of whether they are paid up front. This makes no sense to me. It was a huge hassle to get the lien removed and my client said that they had never mentioned to him that a lien would be placed on his home - no doubt it was buried in the fine print. I am a Realtor - I don't get paid upfront. I only get paid when I sell your home - so why does this company do it differently? Beware of any discount brokerages because there is a reason they are discounted. The saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, rings true here. I've heard of may other people finding themselves in similar predicaments with BuyOwner lately too. There are reports on complaintsboard that say the company is being investigated and I certainly hope so.
Though I have been critical of Buy Owner in the past, I can now honestly say that my issues with the company were based on misunderstandings between myself and the individual salesperson involved with my transaction. I am at this point, totally satisfied with Buy Owner and its services. Buy Owner, has been a reputable company for many years, and has matched up home sellers with countless home buyers across the country. They have proven to be an honorable company with all those happy customers, and an honorable company with me as well. It is extremely beneficial for sellers like myself, to realize that it is an advertising service designed to connect you with buyers, while saving you from paying a hefty Realtor's comission. It is not a Realty. I know a lot of us out there cringe at the thought of paying these high comissions for something we can do ourselves - show our homes to interested buyers. Buy Owner facilitates this for you. To take full advantage of what Buy Owner has to offer though, you should determine how they can best help you market your home, and pick your marketing plan accordingly.
As with any business transaction, it is of the utmost importance that you read what you sign, and that you pick a package that you are ultimately comfortable with. With all this said, it is also of note, that the market right now is quite slow, and no matter how you choose to sell your home, it may sit for longer than in better times. For all the prospective buyers out there, you should really check out the homes on BuyOwner.com. You can probably strike a really great deal, since the sellers aren't shelling out a huge comission. This way, they can pass the savings on to you. Best of luck to everyone.
In reading the letters that were sent in to you I would like to comment and make a suggestion for these sellers. I am an out of town buyer and used Buy Owner twice with great success to purchase both properties. My complaint is with the people selling on this site. First of all I would like to have seen more pictures of the properties I bought before jumping on a plane and flying out of state to see if I really wanted them. I also did not like having to weed through a lot of outlandishly priced homes before finding sellers I could deal with to make it worth my while flying to see them. I might also add that in both purchases that I made the sellers both came down over $50,000.00 to consummate the deal. If the sellers on this site want more action I would suggest that they show as much of the property as possible and get more realistic on their prices!
I've been reading all of these letters being sent in about how Buy Owner didn't do their part of the bargain and live up to their company's word. After going over all of these diffent home seller, who are selling their home on their own, I have a comment for you, the sellers. I am an out of town buyer and have used Buy Owner twice, with great success. My complaint is with some of the sellers on the site. I came across many properties that seemed to have fit into criteria I was looking for, but when you went to thier personal page they had either provided few pictures or the seller had the home priced so ridiculously high above what was feasibly financed, and alot of times both problems were present. I am going to be much more intereseted in hopping onto a plane to fly out of state to tour this property if alot of these sellers had displayed more of the home, especially with the virtual tours they have that make it seem as if you are in the room of the home themselves. I did not like having weed through the outlandish prices and minimal representation of the homes just to before I could find sellers who were serious about selling thier homes to deal with to make it worth my time flying in to meet with them to make a deal. I might also add that I made he sellers both come down over $50,000 to consummate the deal. If these sellers complaining on this site want more action, then I would suggest that they show as much of their property as possible and get more realistic on their prices.
I fell for their crap. I have not seen any billboards, along the I-95 corridor from Ft. Lauderdale to Daytona. I was told there was many and I was also told that Buy Owner would advertise on TV. I think I have seen one or two TV ads when I record the old NYPD Blue's from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
I will be filing a formal complaint with the Florida state attorneys office. What the victims of Buy Owner really need to do is to file a class action law-suit. They probably don't have any money, but good legal counsel, should be able to find this out.
Since, Buy Owner crosses state lines with it's crap, it may be subject to FCC action or even FBI action for fraud.
If you are reading this then you must be researching the BuyOwner.com business. If so, I can help. DON'T DO IT!! TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY! Here are a list of my complaints:
1. Their salesman will boast of BuyOwner's accomplishments without providing proof. Ours in the Louisville, KY market told us that 6 homes in our immediate area sold using their company. He told me only 26% of the homes that use BO have to resort to a realty company. Unfortunately, the only homes selling in my subdivision used realty companies.
2. He claimed that their website works like a match making company. They have thousands of prospective buyers that they will match us up with. He said he already had 150 people searching for a home like ours. In addition, we can keep count of the number of views we have on our home through the website. Although nearly 200 hundred people have claimed to viewed our home, not one has contacted us. Funny, huh?
3. Our home will be advertised in the the local newspaper. Actually their company is advertised and they relate that to advertising our home. Nice twist.
4. Our home will have a beautiful color spread in the BuyOwner magazine. I have never seen this magazine. Even at places like WalMart that have numerous other home magazines, BuyOwner has never been there. Does it really exist?
In a nutshell:
BuyOwner will come out and give you a beautifully packaged marketing plan filled with lies and deceit. Either is simply does not exist or just doesn't work. There are numerous other avenues you can take for thousands less that are more effective. You can buy an nice For Sale By Owner sign and even create your own website showcasing your home. BuyOwner does nothing but deliver you a sign for your yard and post your house on their website that nobody seems to use. If you think I am an isolated case then research the web and you will see that I am not an isolated case. Florida already has a class action lawsuit against them. Their complaints mirror mine. Please don't through away your money. Contact other BO customers in your area and see how they feel.
Whatever you do, do not use BuyOwner.com, especially in South Florida. They blitz the airwaves with those ridiculous commercials, and you falsely believe that this is a legitimate company. IT IS NOT. In today's Real Estate market, which is sadly almost at it's worst, home sellers are feeling particularly vulnerable, and are easy prey for BuyOwner. They falsely claim that you will save money by signing up with them, when in reality, they will scam you out of thousands of dollars that you will never get back. It is a trick. Please don't be fooled. Ask them about their sales statistics. They won't give you any. Gee I wonder why?!
Let me break it down for you: Buy Owner essentially sells you a trumped up advertising package of redundant photos and virtual tours that no one will ever see. All of those "hits" they claim you will get, won't happen. The few people that do browse your profile are just lookyloos, and other BuyOwner desperate sellers, checking on the competetion. No serious home buyers go to BuyOwner.com, only sellers like you. Think about it, all of those ads you see on TV are aimed at you, the seller, and not the important BUYERS. You never see them saying, "Come to our website to buy your home." It is always "Sell your home with BuyOwner." By the way, those "sellers" in the their commercials are actors. It's all really a big, giant scam aimed at you, to line their pockets with your money. Yes, if your foolish enough to sign their contract, you will quickly realize that they will get all the money upfront, or else put a lean on your house. Folks, they are truly bad news. Just take my advice, and either use a legitimate Realtor, or a legitimate FSBO company who will only charge you a couple hundred bucks to list your house with plenty of pics. When BuyOwner asks you for thousands of dollars for a bogus service, you have to know something is wrong there. Run in the other direction. In fact, do not invite these people into your homes in the first place. You will regret it immediately.
I have been with www.buyowner.com for over 3 months. To this date i have had 653 hits and 153 tours. Not one person has called me yet. I also think this is a big scam.
Buy Owner is the shadiest, most unscrupulous company that I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with in my entire life. They will take your money upfront, and will never sell your house. They lie, cheat, and steal. All of that advertising they claim to do is completely misleading. In fact, it is only directed at you the seller. THEY DO NOT TARGET BUYERS AT ALL. The people who troll their website, are mainly all of the sellers checking on their, and other people's properties to see the competition, and realtors who want to list your property. It is definitely a SCAM. Everyone is right when they say," Run away from them!" They need to be put out of business. It is a fraudulent company, and they're the only ones making a profit, like in a giant pyramid scheme. It's as if the whole website profile thing, is just incidental. It's merely an excuse for them to take your money. The only problem, is that what they're selling is bogus. It truly does not work!!! Please do not repeat the mistakes of people on this site. For the love of everything good in this world, DO NOT USE BUY OWNER!!! SAVE YOUR MONEY. INVEST IT. BUY A GIFT FOR SOMEONE. HELP OUT YOUR PARENTS. GIVE TO THE POOR, A HOSPITAL, NEEDY CHILDREN, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, BURN IT... JUST PLEASE DO ANYTHING BESIDES GIVING YOUR MONEY TO THESE THIEVES.
If you really want to sell your home by yourself, there are several, relatively inexpensive ways to do it. Unlike Buy Owner, they won't rob you blind. There are quite a number of flat fee listing services online, that will list your property on the mls, which is really important if you're a motivated seller. This will literally cost you a couple hundred dollars, compared to the thousands you'll throw away with Buy Owner. As a general rule, if someone wants you to pay thousands of dollars upfront, offering you no guarantees, no refunds, and absolutely no statistics on their selling capabilities, run in the other direction. There are other For Sale By Owner sites that do not operate like Buy Owner, and do not charge those ridiculous prices, for those insane advertising packages. Trust me, it's all B.S.
Buy Owner pads their profile packages with truly unnecessary amounts of photos, and virtual tours, that no one will ever see. That's how they try to justify their crazy prices. They try to get you to purchase as many photos as they can, all the while telling you how important it is for people to see every inch of your property. Go to any well respected Realty sites on the web, and see that they do not have 80 pictures of one house, with 20 virtual tours. No one in their right mind would sit through all that. If a buyer likes what they see, they'll know after the first few pics, and will schedule an appointment to view the property in person.
To get you to pay thousands of dollars, for these overblown, puffed up packages, is just plain wrong. In today's market, if you can't sell your home legitimately by yourself, with the aid of a REPUTABLE listing service, yard signs, newspapers, free sites etc., then it actually might be time to call in a Realtor. At least you won't feel like a total fool like me, who spent SERIOUS money with Buy Owner, cancelled three days later, but could not get a refund. Now I am listed with a Realtor who is IN NO WAY AFFILIATED with Buy Owner, and will have to pay them as well. But think about it, at least they only get paid, if and when they sell my house. They have real incentive to work hard for you to actually sell your property. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Buy Owner has their own realty company conspicuously called MLS realty (NOT RELATED TO THE REAL MLS LISTING SERVICE- DON'T BE FOOLED) that will make you sign something like a year listing, and will take a huge commission on top of what you already paid to Buy Owner, once you realize that your house isn't selling. Therefore you must not sign up with them, even if you feel trapped. I was smart enough not to fall into this net, but I've heard horror stories of others who have. It would be like throwing good money after bad.
Basically, don't even invite these people into your homes. You'll regret it immediately. BUY OWNER is BAD NEWS.
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