Buying or renting a home is often very frustrating, which increases the chances of becoming a victim of fraud. Therefore, you need to be extra vigilant now more than ever because real estate scammers constantly think of more creative ways of defrauding you of your hard-earned money. And with the COVID-19 pandemic still hurting the economy, it’s easy to get conned as people are most likely looking to make a rushed decision when doing a real estate transaction.
If you don’t want to be a victim of these real estate scammers, you’re in luck. This guide is an overview of several effective strategies to safeguard yourself from being tricked and losing your money when looking for a piece of land.
1. Seek Help From A Professional
You should always seek advice from an experienced professional before cutting any real estate deal. You must find a real estate lawyer North York, to guide the entire process, more so if you feel you’re inexperienced in conducting real estate dealings. With an attorney by your side, you need not have concerns as these professionals are experienced in determining the property’s actual value. In addition, they carefully go over the contract and check for any ambiguity that might later come to hurt you.
Other professionals to reach out to when seeking advice are financial advisers. With the help of these experts, you can never be a victim of real estate fraud as they’re experienced in determining shady deals.
2. Do Your Research
Patience pays, so you should never let yourself be rushed into making a real estate investment without first doing exhaustive research into the nature of the deal. During your research, you need to find out everything you can about the property, the real estate agent you’re dealing with, and any other important issue. You should also check the media outlets to see which real estate tricks are often used in the market. Knowing these tricks will protect you from becoming another victim, as these property frauds usually repeat the same tricks.
3. Always Visit The Property In Person
You should never close a real estate deal before first checking out the property. This is a mistake made by many potential buyers, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, with shady real estate agents using the excuse of social distancing to trick you of your hard-earned money. However, make sure not to make such a mistake, or else, you’ll end up being sold a property which is already belonging to other people or which doesn’t exist altogether.
By checking out the property in person, you get to confirm that it does exist and isn’t made up. In addition, you get to see if the house matches the description as earlier explained by the real estate agent and if it has any structural issues that might make it unsafe to live in. If you can’t find time to check the house, request a friend or family member to do so on your behalf. By taking such measures, you’ll indeed become sure your money won’t end up in the hands of a deceitful seller.
4. Never Wire Money
Another tactic used by real estate scammers is requesting you to send them money as payment for a particular property. If this ever happens, it’s a clear indication you’re dealing with a dishonest real estate professional. The scammers use this tactic since they know you can never get it back once it gets into their bank account.
When dealing with a genuine landlord or property management company, you’ll never be instructed to wire your money. Instead, you should transfer the payment in person and get a receipt from the real estate agent or property management company.
5. Check For Certification
The Internet search engines are your friends when it comes to researching for certifications. They are beneficial to help you check the credentials of a real estate agent or property management company to see whether or not they have proper certification. But if you can’t find the appropriate accreditation of the broker or real estate agent you’re about to do business with, this is a red flag. You should end any contact with them altogether.
In addition to their certification, request the real estate agent or property management company to show you their licence and past employment records. If you see anything fishy, avoid the individual as you’re most likely dealing with a con artist.
The real estate market is filled with many con artists looking to take advantage of you when you’re searching for a real estate investment. But after going over this article, you’re now enlightened about the various effective strategies to safeguard yourself from becoming a victim of a real estate scam. All this is because you can now make more rational decisions without having any worries of becoming yet another victim of a real estate rip-off.