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A lot of refinancing offers are legitimate, but is it something you should consider? | FOX43 Finds Out

People are getting letters and text messages enticing them to refinance or sell their homes for a profit. FOX43 Finds Out makes sure you don't get shortchanged.

YORK, Pa. — Home prices are up nearly 20% from this time last year.

So yeah, it's enticing to think about selling your home and making some extra money -- and that's what plenty of companies hope you do.

FOX3 Finds Out what you should know about these offers so you don't get shortchanged. 

Adam McCallister of McCallister Myers and Associates says plenty of his clients in York County are getting letters and texts with offers like "thousands of dollars in available funds" or questions about if they're interested in selling their properties.

No, they aren't scams. McCallister says it's just their sales pitch.

The real estate agent says because the housing market is over-saturated with potential buyers, investors and banks are trying to get more inventory. 

So those offer letters are real, he says.

"They are legitimately true because the market has taken a double-digit increase within the last two to three years," said McCallister.

You don't just get that money for nothing -- you'll likely have to refinance your home. 

And for some people who are locked into a high interest rate, that might be a good idea. 

"If you are going to be in your home for the foreseeable future -- the next five, 10,15, 20 years -- and the interest rate that you are currently at is above 5%, it probably makes sense to look into refinancing," said McCallister.

But there are also scenarios when it's not worth it, he says.

McCallister says he has a client whose senior dad recently got a similar letter and took a similar offer.

"Now, medically, he can no longer live in the home anymore and they need to sell it," McCallister said. "Now, unfortunately, it's a short sale."

As for those text messages asking if you're looking to sell, even McCallister got a few. He said it usually goes something like this: "Call us and we'll give you top dollar for your house and save you on commission or listing your home in the real estate process."

Sometimes, that may be exactly what you're looking for, he says. But in this seller's market, it may not be the best way to get the real value of your home.

"Their top dollar is their number, not your top dollar," he said.

Bottom line: You should also do your homework. 

Ask several financial companies or get in touch with an appraiser or real estate company you trust, says McCallister. Don't just settle one company that sent you a letter. 

"You definitely want to do your due diligence that you are putting your money and family's finances in the hands of a reputable company," McCallister said.

The real estate agent also says he doesn't think these offers will stop until interest rates go back up. Right now, that's about 4%.

 So as a homeowner, or even a landlord, just know what you're getting into.

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.  

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