One of the biggest problems regarding real estate these days is hacking. Hackers have gained the ability to enter into complex computer networks and do things such as stealing your down payment. Fraud prevention expert Robert Siciliano says, “a hacker could fool you into thinking he's your agent and trick you into sending him money, which you'll never get back. It's so bad the FTC even sent an alert warning consumers that real estate agents email accounts are getting hacked.” Be sure to do your due diligence, and keep your guard up regarding hackers.
Bait and Switch Scam
If selling a home is part of your retirement plan, then beware of the classic “bait and switch” scam, which has plagued real estate for quite some time. This involves the prospective buyer placing an offer which is well above the market value. The seller of the home, in their excitement, signs off on the deal. However, the “buyer” has no true intentions of purchasing the home. After the contract is signed, the seller is locked into the deal for weeks or months, unable to speak with authentic buyers.
The scammer then tells the seller a story as to why the price no longer works for them. They proceed to make an offer far below market value. More often than not, the seller, under the pressure of time and ongoing costs, agrees to the lower offer. You can avoid this scam by confirming the buyer has adequate funds before they sign the contract. Also, refuse to grant extensions or reductions in price. If the scammer attempts to lower the price based on the condition of the home, remember to request an inspector to verify these claims.
Loan Modification Scams
Usually, a homeowner seeks for a loan modification in order to prevent foreclosure. If the homeowner gets behind on their mortgage payment, they are approached by someone who claims to be affiliated with a government organization which isn't true. This person offers to help for an upfront fee. No legitimate source of help will ask for an upfront fee or for financial information right away. These offers should be turned away. If you find yourself in this type of situation, contact your lender to work with them directly to prevent foreclosure.
When making decisions regarding real estate, especially if your retirement is concerned, it is important to deal with verified real estate professionals. Be open with them about your process and allow them to assist you. Many people, when they finally realized they are being scammed or led into a sour deal, are embarrassed and ashamed. In their embarrassment, they try to hide their mistakes. Doing such can cost you your retirement, so always be transparent with your real estate professionals.
For more advice for planning your retirement, check out our wonderful homepage!
Real Estate Elevated | How Real Estate Investors Can Protect Themselves From Scams
Scam-Detector | 10 Real Estate Scams That You Need To Avoid Today
Bankrate | Avoiding mortgage modification scams
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