There are unfortunately individuals who try to take advantage of others in the real estate market. We’ll provide some tips to help you avoid real estate scams, such as being cautious of deals that seem too good to be true and working with a reputable agent.
- Work with a reputable real estate agent: A reputable agent will have experience and knowledge of the local market, and will be able to guide you through the process of buying or selling a property. They will also be able to provide references and will have a good reputation in the industry.
- Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true: If a property seems to be priced significantly lower than comparable properties in the area, or if the seller is asking for a large upfront payment, it may be a scam. Be cautious and do your research before making any commitments.
- For Realtors especially, verify the identity of the seller: Make sure that the person you are dealing with is the actual owner of the property. You can do this by checking public records or by asking the seller to provide proof of ownership. Preferably, make sure the seller agrees to face to face meeting physically or online.
- Understand the terms and conditions of any agreement: Before signing any documents, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement, including any contingencies or contingence periods. It’s always advisable to have a legal professional review any legal document before signing.
- Do not wire money to anyone you do not know: Scammers may ask for wire transfers or other forms of electronic payment, but these methods are not secure and can be difficult to trace.
- Research the company or individual: Before doing business with a company or an individual, research the company or individual’s background, check for complaints and reviews.
- Be cautious of unsolicited offers: Be skeptical of unsolicited offers, especially if they involve a request for personal information or money. Be extra cautious of offers that come from overseas.
Don’t rush into a decision: Take your time to evaluate the offer, research the property and the seller, and consider all your options. Scammers often pressure potential victims to make a decision quickly, so if someone is pushing you to make a decision before you’re ready, be suspicious.
Please note that it’s always recommended to consult with an attorney if you have any doubts.
Author: Ness Chakir, Esq.