Common real estate scams and how to identify and avoid them

Investing in real estate can be a very profitable move. However, it can be just as profitable for con artists who use the real estate market as their own personal playground. 

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that bad things can never happen to you. Unfortunately, they can, especially if you’re not aware of the types of scams and methods of fraud that these con artists use. 

You need to be equipped with the right kind of knowledge in order to safeguard yourself from becoming just another victim. 

Whether you source your investments through an agent, trawling through internet listings or walking into showhouses, precautions have to be taken at every step of your transactions. 

Here are 4 common real estate scams that you should be aware of:

Sub-standard or non-existent rooms for rent

A deposit is made by the tenant to rent a room for an excellent deal but before the tenant arrives and occupies the room, it is found that the room either does not exist or is in a very poor/unacceptable condition. The tenant also finds that the landlord has disappeared along with the deposit. 

Online listing exploitation

The scammer takes the picture and information of another property listed online and then tries to get a broker or deposit fee from the potential tenant. The deposit is made. When the tenant wants to take occupancy, he/she then finds that the deal was fake. 

Property photography manipulation

In order to make the property look much better than it actually is, the photographs of the property that the tenant is shown are manipulated. The images may be manipulated through shooting or photography techniques or manipulated through the use of software in order to deceive people into thinking that the property is bigger or better than it actually is. 

Now, here are 2 ways in which you can avoid falling victim to these scams:

Investigate thoroughly

Before signing the contract, scrutinize every piece of information in detail. Make sure that the person you are dealing with is credible and reliable (try and look for a track record). Ensure the construction of their house used a quality and reputable home builders. Check out similar deals and compare them to yours in order to see if the contract that you are about to sign is flawed or may be too good to be true. 

Be aware of marketing trends and how you might use that to your advantage. For instance, certain agents might use a marketing agency in order to boost sales and this is an advantage as it cuts down the risk of dishonesty due to the transparent nature of social media.  

Examine the property

Simply seeing the property with your own eyes and not through a screen or website can be an easy but efficient way to avoid falling prey to many of the scams out there. Physically checking the place out can help you ascertain that the place actually exists, can help you identify flaws in the property first-hand and more. Also, meeting the person you are dealing with can help you get a feel for whether or not he/she is being sincere.

%d bloggers like this: