The real estate industry is a booming industry, seeing as there are plenty of professionals and consumers; there are also many scammers and frauds in the said industry. Especially for sellers who lose their properties to scams, they usually do not get the house back. Most hoaxes, however, happen with money and not at all with properties.
Considering how real estate agents usually have their information in the cards and signs they put out to the public, scammers get an easy pass to hijack their business and profit off of scamming. Picture this example, someone posted that they are looking for a house to buy, with the caption, “we buy houses San Bernardino,” which the realtor notices and accepts.
The buyer then contacts the realtor with an anonymous image. The realtor kept engaging until they had to give important information about the property. Scammers attack in the transaction process. As much as this looks shocking, this happens. Real estate agents are not familiar with technology, with which scammers are.
- How frequent are real estate scams?
Real estate scams are prevalent. But scams by real estate agents are more common than by fake buyers. Interestingly, the property is not the most common thing that scammers steal, but money. Clients of real estate agents give out cash to the agent for their continuous service, which is what most scammers target
To think that house is essential and expensive, but wanting to sell it as quickly as possible means hiring agents who would help you but sadly lose the money. The blame is on the scammers, but now that everything runs with technology and information is in a one-place-fits-all digital repository or the Internet, the industry needs to raise its game to prevent these scams.
- How to spot fake buyers?
Spotting fake buyers saves you a lot of time, energy, and money. Over time, there has been a consistent pattern regarding how these scammers work their way out of the interaction. The most common red flags are that the buyer only contacts through text or e-mail under an anonymous account. The buyer eagerly wants to buy the property without even visiting it or asking questions about the house.
The more confusing ones take more time to see through. Still, they include the buyer oversharing financial documents and introducing their agent, who they met only through the internet and is also anonymous and may even refer you to a third-party person. These are only a few of the most common scam operations in the industry, but it’s good to know them and notice them as early as possible as the seller.
- How do you protect yourself from scams?
It is hard to reverse transactions currently running, so recognizing the scam operation when it is already taking place may not be the best look one would want. It’s essential to practice diligence in securing your property and the buyer’s information before engaging with them. One can only ask and confirm the buyer’s identification by verifying.