March 23, 2016

7 Tips on How to Avoid Real Estate Scams

Only foolish people will think they couldn't be fooled by uninitiated, dishonest individuals when making real estate transactions. There'll always be skin in the game or those who will only suck money from you. The crook can be your landlord, agent, agency worker or even bank representatives.

Here's how to avoid being a victim of real estate scams.

1) Never rush the decision
All of us have a tendency to grab a great deal whenever we came across such, thinking that we need to get that deal otherwise another person will snag the deal from us. Not so fast! Patience is a virtue, remember? Also, if you will rush things, you won't have the opportunity to question what you are actually doing. When you do start questioning your own decision-making process, the loopholes will reveal themselves. Likewise, you'll start question if the transaction is permissible or not.

7 Tips on How to Avoid Real Estate Scams
2) Scrutinize the person or organization
Unless you already have a name, chances are, you have to visit a local real estate office to get the names of the available realtors. Even when you are given a shortlist of names though, you still need to be pragmatic about it. Check for reviews and testimonials online. Then again, not because the person has a LinkedIn profile means he is legit. Check the consistency of the presented information specifically the license number and expiration date. Yes, real estate license is renewable.
3) Ask probing questions
Oftentimes, despite knowing some issues on the property that the broker is trying to sell, she will describe it as 'perfectly habitable.' Thus, beware of the choices of works of your chosen broker. It is thus very important to ask the why and how questions. The question 'why you are selling the home' alone may reveal disparaging remarks about the real reasons behind the sale. Observe non-verbal cues as well. If the agent is hesitant to answer your questions, it could mean she's hiding something from you.
4) Understand the details
While real estate transactions are relatively straightforward processes, there are many opportunities to scam. In fact, in every stage of the process, a fraudulent activity may occur. If something is not clear to you especially since fraudsters are fond of industry jargons, don't afraid to do your own search or ask your family and friends about the legitimateness of the claims. Bottom-line, understand what you are getting yourself into especially because money is involved.
5) Take control of the process
Every transaction has its inherent risks. However, you can minimize the risks if you are in control of the entire process. You need to do this to protect your hard-earned money. For instance, you should not sign the deed if your name is not on it. Never allow the other person to unguard you. For example, don't allow her to fill-up the form for you no matter how insistent he may be. Never allow the person to represent you as something you are not.
6) Review the documents
Speaking of documents, never sign anything unless you are 100% sure that you understand all the sections, conditions, and stipulations in the said document. Have an attorney to review the document before you sign it. It's a wise investment too because the attorney may assess whether the transaction is legitimate or not. The attorney will issue a negative report. It would be much better to ask him why he thinks the deal is deceitful.
7) Stick with instinct
If it's too good to be true, it is. If something seems shady, most probably, it is. Never ignore bad feelings about the person or the property that you want to buy, sell or rent. If an agent or loan officer encourages you to lie just so your home loan will be approved, don't obey him. This is called the lie-to-loan scheme that may also land you in jail if you do. As such, walk away from a transaction that doesn't feel right.
Crooks wear ties, too. While people are presumably honest, it doesn't mean that you won't be victimized. Above are smart ways to approach any real estate transaction and the people involved in such a transaction. Put simply, be the diligent person that you always be to avoid being the next victim of these lawbreakers.

Christine is a freelance writer and blogger for Alveo Land. Alveo Land offers an extensive portfolio of holistic communities with relevant, thoughtfully-designed amenities, and customer-focused services that ensure its residents and end-users live well.