There are scammers in every enterprise. The real estate industry is no exemption. Stories abound of people who have been duped in the process of buying or renting property. The crime has become a lot more sophisticated in process these recent times. It is the duty of those seeking for an apartment to rent or a house to purchase, to be extra vigilant and careful. In addition you should watch out for red flags that could imply that you are about to be duped. This post is about major signs or signals to help you identify scammers in the real estate industry.
When unauthorized persons parade themselves as House owners
While it is true that many house owners authorize agents to sell their property. Still there are some who parade themselves as agents or house owners and yet are scammers. Ensure that you do some findings from the neighborhood as to the owner or agent of the property and demand to see all necessary documentation concerning the property before making any business agreement.
Making monetary demands without evaluation of property and documents
Electronic payment methods have made it very easy to pay for things online. This is the engine that drives e-commerce stores and websites. However, this is not something you should do when buying property without seeing and evaluation of the property together with its documents, no matter the pressure. Any agent or house owner making such a demand for money before on-ground property assessment should be suspected. If you live overseas and did view an online property back home, make sure that you request of a relative or friend you trust to check the property on your behalf. The person should scrutinize all the available documents so that you are not duped.
Impatience: Rushing you to acquire the Property
Buying a Property or renting one is a big investment. It is not such as should be made in haste. The house owner or vendor should be ready to give you sufficient time to scrutinize all necessary documentation before purchase. If the house owner or agent is determined to commit you to buying before you have done a thorough background check on the property. That is a major warning sign that tells you to beware so you will not be scammed.
Undermining the necessity of a signed agreement [in the presence of witnesses]
It is a fact that all real estate transactions, whether it be a sale or a rental, a type of written agreement which must be signed by both vendor and buyer, or by both house owner and tenant. This is a standard practice in the real estate industry. Therefore if a house owner attempts to collect money from you whilst undermining the necessity of a signed agreement in the presence of witnesses, then you should seriously consider forfeiting that purchase because the so called house owner may not be the real owner of the property in question.
The “house owner” is unable to meet with you to show you the property
Purchase or rental of property should only be done after proper evaluation and verification of documents. So if a house owner is telling you that himself is unavailable to take you on a tour to inspect the property except you pay first. Then know of a certain that you are about to be scammed and you should take to your heels.
The Price of the property is overly cheap
This obviously is a no brainer. But it is similar to those get-rich quick schemes that end up being scams that leave those involved bankrupt. If the Property of your choice and desire seems too good to be true or the cost is too low in comparison to others of similar features in the storefront; you should take serious precaution and be wary of falling victim to a fraud scheme.
Take the precautions below to safeguard yourself from Real estate scam.
Always ensure that you painstakingly study and go through the property documents to verify the genuineness. Get samples of the originals and compare with the one presented to you to spot the fake. It is necessary for you to perform a thorough search at the Lands and survey commission to verify if the land on which the property is located is duly registered in the name of the house owner. Also verify if the name of the house owner corresponds with the name present in all other necessary documents presented to you. Hire the services of a legal practitioner to verify the authenticity of the documents if you do not have the time to do the research, or if you are outside the country. It is also being scam smart to avoid paying cash in real estate transactions. Make such payments through your bank or financial institution so that you can leave a digital trail behind. Peradventure there’s need for investigation. Such evidences of payment as provided by such institutions will be necessary.
What to do if you are duped by fake Real estate agents
If it happens that you fall victim of a property scam, Report to the law enforcement agents as fast as you can. Also be ready to provide any subsequent information that will aid in the arrest of the fraudsters. But in all, Prevention as they say is always better than cure. So do due diligence and be extra careful during real estate transactions. If you are using online search resources, stay safe by using only reputable sites with good rating and reviews. With this information now in your hand, you are really equipped to purchase or let property without being duped.