Oro Valley Real Estate - Real Estate Scams
Buying, selling or renting a home is a big event. Unfortunately, there are individuals out there looking for opportunities to take advantage of big events, and real estate is no stranger to scams, especially for buyers and sellers. If you're looking to buy, sell, or have an interest in real estate, be aware of these scams so you don’t become a victim.
Rental properties are highly sought-after across the U.S., which means there are people looking to take advantage of those looking for a place to live. If you or someone you know is looking at rental properties, be wary. Remember to use reputable sites when looking for properties and be wary of anyone who doesn't have proper documentation for the property, avoids sending additional photographs, requests payment upfront, or demands payment before even visiting the property – these are all indications of a potential scam.
Hasty Cosmetic Changes
Sometimes a good deal is too good to be true, especially when it comes to real estate. It’s not unheard of for a builder or seller to cut corners in order to get their property sold. If you're looking for a home and encounter a home with recent cosmetic changes, it’s in your best interest to do some research. A quick flip could be hiding bigger problems. Remember to request an inspection and find out if any permits are on file for recent work. Look over listing photos to see if any recent work occurred, and if the seller is unwilling to provide paperwork on the work, oversells the recent renovations, or has closed off sections of the property, there’s probably more to the property than meets the eye.
International Real Estate
The internet has made it easy for people from all different parts of the world to connect especially when it comes to real estate. While there are many instances of buyers investing in real estate overseas via the internet with no issues, there are plenty of examples of people being taken advantage of. If you're looking to invest in international real estate, be wary of anyone asking for an international wire transfer, sending emails or other communication with egregious spelling errors. In addition, setting strict deadlines, changing terms and conditions at the last minute, or dealing with anyone that refuses to speak directly to you is a red flag.
There are reliable outlets available for refinancing or modifying a mortgage in every state, but there are also scammers targeting honest homeowners when it comes to mortgage loans. Be wary of any person or company offering mortgage relief or loan modification. If anyone offers services to help you negotiate with your lender, offers to perform a forensic loan audit, will assist you in filing for bankruptcy, or offers to become your new landlord in exchange of the use of their good credit score to refinance your home at a lower interest rate, do your research and find out if they're legitimate. If anyone guarantees results, provides a false address, pressures you to sign up, requests a large chunk of money at the beginning, or tries to take over the deed of your home, don't hesitate to cut off contact.
Identity theft has made it possible for criminals to steal more than just bank account information – they can steal your home. Title fraud has become more mainstream in recent years, and much of it has to do with the internet. Criminals can get your personal information from your online activity and assume your identity. Using that information, they can file paperwork with the county register transferring the ownership of your home to them. They then sell the property or borrow against the equity. To protect yourself, you can enroll in a title monitoring service, or you can check your property record with your county's register of deeds. If you find anything that looks amiss, notify the register and your local law enforcement.
You can never be too safe when it comes to your home or your finances. To ensure your real estate transaction goes off with no issues communicate with your agent, ask questions, and don't be afraid to address anything that may seem off. Feel free to contact me if you have questions and visit https://www.orovalleyrealestate.com for more real estate tips and information.