Real estate scams are at an all-time high, but these tips
from casinolariviera casino en ligne will tell you what to watch for and how to protect yourself.
1. Business email hacks and wire transfer fraud
By far the most common scam, this is when your real estate agent or title company’s email gets hacked, revealing your information and closing details. The scammer will then impersonate the seller, asking the title company to wire transfer the escrow funds to the scammer’s account instead. Referred to as Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams by the FBI, the agency reports that BEC complaints increased 69% from 2019 to 2020.
2. Lock-out agreements and processing fees
A prospective buyer wants to complete a sale quickly and gets you to sign a contract with a lock-out clause, which prevents you from selling the house to anyone else. Betting on your desire to finish the transaction so it doesn’t drag out for months, the scammer then asks you for processing fees or even a reduction in the agreed-upon price in order to complete the sale. Unfortunately, this scam often targets homeowners who are desperate for cash. If you happen to be in that position, you might start researching how to get a loan instead.
3. Cashier’s checks and refunds
Someone contacts you to purchase your home, sight unseen. The would-be buyers send you financial documents and their contact info, and maybe even suggest you hire a real estate attorney, so it all seems legitimate. Then they send you a cashier’s check for tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s several thousand dollars more than the confirmed amount. The fake buyer asks you to wire transfer the surplus back to them, and soon after, your bank informs you their check was fraudulent.
4. Notice of pendency
In this scam, a buyer waits until they’ve entered the closing phase and their money is in escrow before demanding a discount — usually for “repairs”— on the accepted offer price or cash back. When the seller refuses to negotiate, the buyer files a notice of pendency or “lis pendens,” which means there’s a pending lawsuit on the property. Effectively, this means the seller can’t sell to anyone else so they are either forced to negotiate with the buyer or wait it out in the court system.
5. Unsolicited buyers wanting off-market sales
These fraudsters will approach you — unsolicited — and sometimes the communications are oddly specific, giving them an air of legitimacy. The endgame here could be an offer that is far below market value or an attempt to phish for personal financial information. You may be in a situation where an off-market all-cash sale is really tempting because you need the cash. Instead, consider speaking with one of the best mortgage lenders, so they can help you sort through alternatives such as a home equity loan or mortgage refinance.
6. Forged deeds
Imagine putting up your home for sale, finding a buyer, getting all the way to closing, and then discovering that someone else has made a claim on your property, either through a quiet claim or outright forgery. Typically, this scam involves someone presenting a fraudulent deed of your property to a notary, recording the new deed at the county recorder, and then taking out a mortgage on your property for the funds. If you’re a homeowner who has a lot of equity in their home, you’re a scammer’s favorite target. You should look out for things like this just like making your research into online platforms like real money pokies online before using their services.
7. Suing a seller for not disclosing “known” issues
In most states, sellers must inform buyers about known property damage, such as leaking pipes or even known noise disturbances. The key part here is “known,” which makes it easy for a buyer to accuse you of concealing factors that negatively affect property value, and then take you to court for it. If you’re a homeowner who’s wondering if you really need to disclose, say, a local high school’s insanely loud stadium sound system, research local and state laws or contact a qualified real estate attorney.