Regrettably, the world is full of people who spend their time looking for any opportunity to make a quick buck at the expense of vulnerable consumers. The real estate industry is no different. However, the loss that the victims may incur, considering the substantial size of a real estate transaction, may be significant.
Information about these scams can help protect you from being a victim of one of them. Take the time to learn about the latest variety of scams circulating the industry. To help you know what to look for, we will share what scams home sellers should be aware of.
Unlike the banking industry, real estate agents’ communication and information security is not always secure. From the use of free email services such as gmail or public wifi services, they may be a great target for wire fraud scams. As a result, Kansas City home sellers should be aware of hackers who could intercept communications when you work with a real estate agent and exchange emails about your deal. If the scammers intercept your communications with your agent, they can provide instructions asking you to send checks or wire money to fictitious accounts.
In normal real estate markets, Kansas City home sellers should be aware of above-market offers. These may be made to string you along, with issue after issue in closing, only to demand that sellers agree to a lower than market value sales price, or they will back out of the deal. Initially, the scammers are counting on the excitement of the offer causing a momentary lapse in judgment as they demand a quick signature on the contract before the sellers have an opportunity to read the contract’s fine print. The sellers are literally on the hook and will most certainly chase the carrot dangling in front of them for months, looking forward to a considerable profit. As months pass and bills continue to roll in, desperation sets in, and this is when the scammer strikes with their lowball offer.
Home Title Fraud
One of the scams home sellers should be aware of in Kansas City and all over, is home title fraud. By stealing your identity, fabricated documents make it appear they own your property, and then loans are secured using the equity in your home. Regrettably, many owners who have undergone this process find out about the scheme when the lender begins legal proceedings to procure payment. Often, online transactions and document requests are the openings that these criminals seek to obtain the information they need to take the cash from your equity and walk away. Purchasing title insurance can protect you and your money from this fraudulent activity, as can safeguarding your personal information. Sadly, older people are often the targets of this activity, as they are typically slower to pick up on the signals of an issue and not as technically savvy as younger consumers.
Most often people who work in real estate get paid on commission, so if there is never a transaction, they do not get paid. This can lead to some misleading sellers in order to get the listing or to get the contract in the case of a real estate wholesaler. To help avoid being misled, Kansas City home sellers should take the time to research who they are doing business with. This includes the real estate agent, their brokerage, the investor and their company.
Sellers can often find professional and company reviews online sites such as BBB, Google, Yelp, or even Facebook to get input from other consumers. Another suggestion before you work with anyone in the real estate field, just as you should with mechanics or home repair service providers, is to seek recommendations from trusted friends or other professionals in a related industry. It is also worth sellers asking who they are talking to. If the person on the other end of the call doesn’t offer to meet in person or is unable to make decisions for the company, it may be best to find another company. Companies that are operated out of the area or send sales people to speak to distressed homeowners may be less likely to truly care about the needs of the seller or the Kansas City community.
Trust Us To Help Avoid Scams
There are many possible variations on these scams, as you can well imagine. While we can’t possibly cover them all here, you can rest assured that Angel and Jeramie at Mastiff Home Buyers know what Kansas City home sellers should be aware of to avoid scams. Working with Mastiff Home Buyers means speaking to Angel or Jeramie directly and not a fast talking sales person. We use simple contracts, with absolutely no pressure and insist that you are completely informed about the negotiation, all of your options, and the contract you agree to sign.
You can trust that your information is secure, and so is the closing with Mastiff Home Buyers . We do not put houses under contract that we cannot close, like a lot of the companies with similar “services”. At Mastiff Home Buyers , we want to be the preferred cash home buyers Kansas City, so we work with sellers in Kansas City and never charge commissions. There are no hidden fees and we take care of closing fees, eliminating any worries about out of pocket costs. At Mastiff Home Buyers , Angel and Jeramie will stop and take the time to listen to your questions or concerns and are happy to help with no obligation. Contact Mastiff Home Buyers at (816) 535-0076 today for more information.