Real Estate Scams You WANT to Avoid

Tiffany Staples Homeowner and Homebuyer Tips

Real estate scams are real. They happen every day. What happens when you come across a real estate scam that is definitely too good to be true? Hopefully you have read this article and don’t fall victim to the scam, but these simple descriptions will help you determine what’s really kosher and what’s not!

Real Estate Scam #1 – Renting Unoccupied Homes without Consent

This one seems easy to spot, but it’s a common scheme that claims thousands of victims. In fact, it’s been a recent hot topic in the Atlanta Real Estate Market over the last few months. Phony Real Estate “Agents” are changing locks to houses and moving families into homes they have not been allowed to legally rent and most don’t even represent the owners of the unoccupied space.
What should you look for?
– Use a reputable real estate agent to help you find properties to rent.
– Is the rental property in question listed on popular rental listing websites?
– Does the owner listed on the county’s property taxes match the owner’s name on the agreements for the rental property you are considering?

Real Estate Scam #2 – Rerouting Earnest Money

This is another hot topic in the Atlanta Real Estate Market today – sending fictitious emails to soon-to-be home buyers by hacking into agents’ email servers is vicious and sending fake routing information  happens more than you think! Don’t fall victim to this scam. Verify with your real estate agent and closing attorney prior to routing any earnest money or down payments for property.

Real Estate Scam #3 – Phony, Get-Rich-Quick, Real Estate Seminars

This real estate scam is more for the investor rather than the typical home buyer looking to score a deal on real estate, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Get rich quick schemes in real estate are everywhere – promising you a 6-figure income for the work output of 4 to 10 hours a week. Bottom line, if it seems to good to be true, it’s probably a scam! If you are looking to start investing in properties, find a real estate agent you trust, start small and build your portfolio over time.