Fraud Prevention Tips for Real Estate Consumers: A REALTOR®'s Perspective

Dated: March 11 2024

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Fraud Prevention Tips for Real Estate Consumers: A Realtor's Perspective

As a realtor, ensuring the safety and security of our clients during real estate transactions is paramount. Real estate fraud is an unfortunate reality, but by being vigilant and informed, we can protect ourselves and our clients from falling victim to scams. Here are some essential fraud prevention tips from a realtor's perspective:

  1. View the Property in Person: Always insist on viewing the property in person before making any financial commitments. This helps verify the property's existence and condition, reducing the risk of falling for fake listings.

  2. Confirm Vacancy: Before proceeding with any transactions, confirm whether the property is vacant. Scammers may list properties already owned or lived in by others, leading to potential legal complications.

  3. Watch for Suspicious Signs: Be wary of common red flags in listings, such as vague messages, unusually low prices, lack of photos, and missing contact information. These could indicate fraudulent activity.

  4. Beware of Absent Landlords: If the landlord is out of the country or unwilling to show you the property in person, exercise caution. This could be a sign of a scam.

  5. Verify Listing Details: Ensure that listing details are comprehensive and specific. Vague descriptions or incomplete information may indicate fraudulent intent.

  6. Demand Background Information: Never agree to a deal without proper background information on the property and its history. Scammers may pressure you to sign contracts without providing essential details.

  7. Compare Rent Prices: Research market prices in the area and compare them to the asking rent. Suspiciously low prices could signal a scam.

  8. Avoid Wire Transfers: Be cautious of landlords who insist on wire transfers and exhibit pushy behavior regarding payment. Always opt for secure payment methods and avoid wiring money to unfamiliar entities.

  9. Verify Photos: If the front door photo appears to be from Google Maps or lacks authenticity, question the legitimacy of the listing.

  10. Check Social Media Presence: Scammers may create fake social media accounts with minimal activity and connections. Verify the credibility of the poster before engaging in any transactions.

By following these tips and remaining vigilant, both realtors and consumers can safeguard themselves against real estate fraud and enjoy a secure and trustworthy transaction experience.

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Zac Kohli

My name is Zac Kohli, and I just completed my real estate licensing through Hondros College in Toledo. I spent 3 years studying at the University of Findlay before working for two Fortune 500 companie....

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