How to Avoid Scams in the Real Estate Industry
5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Real Estate Fraud
Buying a new house is a lifelong achievement for many, and rightfully so. After saving up hard-earned money for years, getting that dream home is the height of fulfillment. It would be such a shame to find out that the real estate deal you were elated to have gotten was a fake, or worse still, get conned out of your money. The property sector, unfortunately, also has its share of scammers lurking around for would-be preys but the good news is you can protect yourself from getting scammed by following these tips:
- Look for properties listed by trusted real-estate agencies and websites.
- Never consent to a wire transfer before meeting and confirming who you are transacting with.
- Always try to inspect the property yourself.
- Go for title insurance and never provide personal details to an unidentified dealer.
- Don't let yourself be coerced into exceeding your budget and turning to loan sharks.
Look for Properties Listed by Trusted Real Estate Agencies and Websites
The reputation of a well-known agency is a guarantee that you are in safe hands, whether you live in New York, London, Toronto or Melbourne. They are licensed and take the liberty to identify and confirm the veracity of properties and their owners.
These trusted real estate websites provide buyers with the option of using their realtor and connecting them to banks for a mortgage and other financial assistance. Besides, they have vast resources of apartments for sale in a development area, second-hand buildings, and luxury homes available.
Never Consent to a Wire Transfer Before Meeting the Seller
The out-of-the-country scam is a prevalent means by which fraudsters con aspiring homeowners. The seller claims to be out of the country and unable to show you the property. They offer to make the trip or send you the keys after making a wire transfer of the deposit. There is only one solution for buyers who encounter such behavior – walk away.
Always Try to Inspect the Property Yourself
This tip is vital, as they say, seeing is believing. Find time to visit the property and let your instincts guide you. While some contractors are ethical and would fix any problems before listing a property, others will only cover the damage up with a cosmetic change to make it look good on the outside.
In contrast, the building may be so eaten through by termites that it would cost thousands to repair.
Go for Title Insurance and Don't Disclose your Personal Details
With a capital intensive project such as buying a house, one needs to be extra careful. Title fraud does not indicate any anomalies at the start because the scammer falsifies documents to transfer the property to their name. After the sale, the homeowner is left liable for mortgage repayments and could risk losing the house altogether. Consult your home insurance provider about title insurance to protect yourself against title fraud.
Don't Be Coerced Into Exceeding Your Budget and Turning to Loan Sharks
Loan frauds are often done under the pretense of a mortgage agency. These scammers offer loans that seem too good to be true but have underlying interest rates that could leave you bankrupt before you can finish repaying it. It would be best to use only banks and well-known institutions and stay within the lines of your budget.
Getting scammed leaves a bad taste in the mouth for a very long time. Not to mention other financial liabilities that come with it. Once you keep these tips in mind, you can be sure that your house-hunting will go as smoothly as possible.
Real Estate Scam: How To Report
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