Picking your Real Estate Agent
With so many real estate agencies on the line today, spotting a fraudulent one can often be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with a true conman who knows the industry. In this modern age though, it is becoming easier to stop fakes when it comes to agencies and their representatives. Here are a a few ways to spot a fake and save you your time and money.
Your real estate agent should always be licensed and listed with the appropriate agencies. Check national databases because they should list the broker’s private license. If they work for a large company, the corporation also be licensed.
Always be wary of fake websites! Many scammers and con-artists know that they have internet savvy customers and often set up professional looking websites to keep up their scams. Always dig deep by checking the relator, knowing their name, and the state that they are “licensed” for. If you believe that companies need an even deeper check, you can always call the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) or BBB (Better Business Bureau) to verify their company is legitimate.
Advertising and Referrals
Be wary of ads on sides like Craigslist. These are often posts that sound too good to be true, so more than often, they’re not real. Scammers and con-artists often rely on the deal overriding your good senses.
When asking for referrals, if they either have none or give you too many, you should walk away. A good real estate agent develops a trusted circle of referrals as contacts. If your realtor is using an online ad agency, check for reviews from other users.
Most fake real estate agents often ask for money up front, whether they are selling a house or trying to have you purchase one. Before signing any agreements or handing over any cash, make sure you check licenses and if the intended property is really for sale. Real real estate agents generally work for commission, meaning they will receive a percentage of the house sale. They will generally never ask for money down rather than fake real estate agents who may try to hide it with terms like “initial investment” or “brokerage fees”. If any realtor asks for money down, always check their license.
Deals that sound “Too Good”
That’s because 99.9% of the time, they are. With market prices as they are, you should never take a deal at face value. Always know the market prices for the area and the type of home you’re interested in. Many fake agents will try and hoodwink you with “great deals” with extremely low prices because they’re not selling the property at all.
Fraudulent real estate agents often don’t want to negotiate because they’re only in it for the money from the security deposit. Don’t be fooled by terms like “one time only”, “best deal”, or by too low prices even in a market filled with foreclosures.
Many real estate agents often have several bookings for a single listing, you are just one of the many potential customers. If they seem far too eager to close the deal, you may have a fake real estate agent on your hands.
Scammers and con-artists know that they can be discovered at any given moment, so they will often try and push to close the deal as soon as possible. They often give you deadlines and consistently bug and badger you to close the deal, NOW. A true real estate agent know that clients need time to think and evaluate before they make such a large purchase.
By trusting your instincts and doing research will go a long way when it comes to protecting your money. If you are in the market for a home or selling yours, you need to know your stuff. Always do your research and consider contacting a trusted Highlands Ranch real estate agent today.