How To Spot A Real Estate Scam

Here at Team Ken Richter we conduct our business with integrity. This quality has always been a pillar in our philosophy and mission. We pride ourselves on providing clients with top tier service that has their best interests at heart. We are committed to you and would love the chance to show you just how important your goals and dreams are to us.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams and hoaxes in the market that prey on both present and future homeowners. With the economy the way it is right now, more cases of people being scammed are beginning to arise across the city. In order to help prevent you from falling victim to these scams, in todays post we will be going through the most popular scams and hoaxes out there and how to avoid them.

So, what are ways that people are getting scammed in today’s market?

1). Out-Of-Country Landlords: One of the first steps in looking to rent or buy a home is getting in touch with the current landlord. One really popular way that people are scamming others is by posing as landlords of fake properties (the address will check out, but likely the space is not for rent or is not being rented by the person claiming to own it). When you ask to meet up to see the property, these fake landlords will often claim to be out of the country for business or doing missionary work and will ask you to send the money through a third party account, at which point they will send you the keys. This should be obvious, but never, ever send someone money until you have seen the property! Challenge them on this: if they are out of the country, ask to be shown the property that by the building manager. If you don’t get a reply, its because they know you cannot be duped.

2). Too Good to Be True: Some places seem like a fantastic steal. For example, a condo for sale in the Eau Claire area with a beautiful city view for only $5000.00. It may be a buyers market, but if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be on the lookout for the signs of this type of scam: photos of the place will look like they were taken straight out of a catalogue, often the places will come completely furnished and they are usually a condo or apartment. Ask to meet at the place and see it before you sign anything.

3). Renting Someone’s House: This disturbing scam happens when a scammer will rent out the home of someone who is simply on an extended vacation or business trip. They will often get into the home with a spare key they found, change the locks and forge documents to make it look like they have the authority to rent the place. If you sign on the dotted line and move in, the real homeowner will come home to a new roommate–which is not ideal for them or for you. Do your due diligence in verifying all realtors and renters before working with them.

If you stumble across any scams or hoaxes, report them immediately so the authorities can make sure that no one else is harmed by the perpetrator.

You can report these cases HERE.

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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