York County residents are being targeted with unsolicited purchase agreements by a Utah real estate investment company, but county officials say residents may want to consider seeking legal advice before moving forward.
The York County Registrar of Deeds, Nancy Hammond, said in a press release last Wednesday that her office has received about half-a-dozen calls from property owners who have received letters from Edge Equity LLC, a land investment company based in Washington, Utah.
The letters from Edge Equity state that the source of the ownership record is “from the York County assessor.”
In one instance, Edge Equity offered a property owner $29,600 for a 4.85-acre inland property in York County.
The municipality assessed the property at about $54,000, according to its public online property records.
“It didn’t come from us,” said Hammond, whose office is not responsible for property assessment, which in Maine is the purview of municipalities, not counties.
Edge Equity describes itself as a “real estate investment company,” run by Chris Nelson, whose website states that Nelson has 30 years of experience in the financial arena, and that Edge Equity has bought over 16,000 properties across the U.S.
“We are not licensed realtors and therefore no fees are incurred by you with our property transactions,” Edge Equity’s website reads.
Edge Equity received a $20,800 COVID-era PPP loan to cover payroll expenses through the State Bank of Southern Utah, which was approved in April 2020 — the company then had the amount of the full loan forgiven, including accrued interest.
The Utah-based LLC has three 1-star Yelp reviews, all calling the company a scam:
- “Greedy opportunists offered 1/2 of 1% of what my property is worth. My property is not even for sale. Property is located in Oklahoma and this company is based out of UT. They’ve probably never even been here. They searched public records and saw I have no mortgage. Don’t sell to them. You won’t get near what your property is worth. They are a new business too because I had to add them here. They probably haven’t even bought one property. Armatures!” — Kim R., Edmond, OK, Jan. 20, 2023.
- “This company sends a letter with an enclosed Purchase and Sale agreement for land. They review information from public sources, such as the county clerk’s office. The offer was literally 1/2 of 1 percent of the value of the land – if you receive a letter, be very careful to scrutinize . This is a company that appears to have difficulty with business and ethics – it’s a scam. Beware.” — Timothy F., San Francisco, CA, Aug. 8, 2023.
- “Unethical bait and switch company. I received an offer letter to by my Colorado land for a very good price. The letter was from UT and had a web site. I called their number back and they took some info and said they would pass the lead on. Someone from Edge Equity out of Florida calls me back to start the process. I sent the info that I was interested in selling to them. They took a week “waiting on their land guy” to get back to me. When they did , they indicated that the property “was a little too remote and had some limited access. ” I told them they knew where my property was as the offer letter had the legal description of the property. They claimed they sometimes get bad info from the county. Bull! Because of these issues they said they cannot offer the price that was in the offer letter but could offer something about 1/4 of the offer letter price. Stay away from this company. If it’s too good to be true — it means it not. Don’t trust anything this company puts in any of their offer letters.” — Mark G., Texas, March 10, 2023.
The phone number listed on Edge Equity’s website is maintained by a call center employee who did not know a Chris Nelson.