4 Common Real Estate Scams to Watch Out For

When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to be aware of the many scams that are out there. Unfortunately, real estate scams are all too common. This article will help you be on the lookout for four of the most common scams.

#1: Bait-and-Switch

In a bait-and-switch scam, the seller will advertise a property at an incredibly low price. They may even use fake photos or descriptions to make the property look even more appealing. When potential buyers come to see the property, they find that it’s nothing like what was advertised. The seller then tries to get the buyer to purchase a different, more expensive property.

Bait-and-switch scams are becoming increasingly common, so it’s important to be aware of them. If you’re interested in a property, be sure to do your research before you go and see it. Look at multiple photos of the property, and read any reviews that are available. This will help you know what to expect when you see the property in person.

#2: Foreclosure Fraud

Foreclosure fraud is another common scam. In this type of scam, the seller will claim to be a bank or a real estate company. They’ll say that they’re selling a foreclosure property at an unbeatable price. The problem is that they don’t actually own the property. This can be a very costly mistake for buyers, so it’s important to be aware of this scam.

If you’re interested in buying a foreclosure property, do your research. Make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company or individual. You should also get a professional home inspection to ensure that the property is in good condition (though you should do that in any event).

#3: Escrow Wire Fraud

In the world of real estate, escrow is a process where buyers and sellers put money into an account to be used for the purchase of a property. This money is typically held by a third party, such as a title company or real estate attorney. Escrow wire fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate escrow company and tries to get the buyer or seller to send them money.

This type of fraud is becoming more common, so it’s important to be aware of it. If you’re involved in a real estate transaction, verify that the escrow company is legitimate. You should also never send money to an escrow account without verifying that the account belongs to the legitimate escrow company.

#4: Predator Leasing

There are a number of different forms of predator leasing; some are legal, while others are legal yet straight up unfair for the renter. Predator leasers/landlords will primarily target those in difficult situations such as college students, the elderly, and others who may not have other housing options.

Predator leasing can involve anything from requiring an unusually large initial deposit, to pressuring renters into signing an agreement and unexpected fees. All of these things are considered signs of predator leasing. It’s important to have a clear written agreement of how much you will pay the landlord when leasing or renting property; otherwise, laws surrounding what the landlord can do are unfortunately lacking in many jurisdictions.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, real estate scams are all too common. This article has highlighted four of the most common scams. Do your research and be on the lookout for these scams when you’re buying or selling a property. If you think you may be a victim of a real estate scam, please contact us immediately.

If you need a law firm to review all of your real estate transactions, Saunders & Associates, APC, is the firm for you. We represent clients throughout California. Our clients’ are our focus. We are committed to leveraging our combined knowledge and experience to exceed our clients’ expectations. Let us help you every step of the way. If you are wondering what makes Saunders & Associates different. The answer is YOU. Saunders & Associates, APC is an excellent partner and guiding light for you, your business and legal needs.