Top Real Estate Scams To Avoid
Navigating the real estate market is hard enough without having to worry about being taken advantage of. Unfortunately, people can sometimes be swindled and manipulated throughout this process. The key is to take the time to comprehend and assess every step to make sure everything runs smoothly and doesn’t end up costing you any more money than it should. Here are some of the top real estate scams you should be aware of:
Fake Landlord: Another good reason to always request to see documentation. While all established real estate agencies will always be able to provide you with the MLS and other details of the listing, be cautious of people claiming to be landlords without any credentials or documentation to back it up. Craigslist shoppers can fall victim to this scam because people will post photos of a house they know is open in hopes of getting you to pay a deposit at the very least. Doing research ahead of time can save you down the road.
Money Upfront: One of the oldest scams in the book. Some criminals will show you photos of a beautiful listing and request you pay a deposit or fee before viewing it or seeing documentation. Don’t fall for this. You should never, under any circumstances, pay money for something you have not physically seen and can trace back to the source. Just to be safe, never commit to anything unless you’ve read the proper documents.
Rushed Process: Anyone who’s gone through the process of buying a house knows that the steps can take some time. Scammers will try and move everything along a lot quicker than usual to get you pay them. So beware of impatient and pushy people who are trying to hurry along the process. These people are not on your side.
A Price That’s “Too Good To Be True”: Remember that advertisement that you saw for that dream house that you’ve always wanted at half the price it should cost? Probably not. Because that typically doesn’t happen. If you see a price that’s insanely underpriced, there’s probably a catch. Beware of traps like these that catch prospective buyers who are desperate for a good deal.