Tag: tricks

Six property scams to avoid

A recent article by Business Tech highlights the leading property scams to avoid.

These are just a few tips for house sellers as well as for buyers. As there are many fraudsters in today’s world out there thus being alert at all time is a must, especially when it comes to real estate where the entire transactions generally happen for a large sum of amount.

Engel & Völkers singled out the most predominant property scams you may encounter while searching to buy or rent property:

1. Intercepted emails

This involves scammers, hacking into the email of people involved in the transactions, such as agents or lawyers, by tricking home buyers into wiring funds to them instead of the appropriate parties. They often will use a generic email address indicating that the funds should be wired to a specific account which will then vanish without a paper trail.

2. Fraudsters posing as a buyer

They will approach a seller privately and show keen interest in the property and put in an offer. After a few days, the supposed buyer will contact the seller asking for a document to be signed to help them get their home loan approved, which the seller then signs without reading too much of the document only to discover later that a third party claims to have bought the home.
It will be found that the scam artist (the first buyer) has been marketing the home online as an agent, by taking the photos off various websites, and has found a buyer who is also unaware that something is wrong – and who might have paid a large deposit over to the supposed agent. The absolute best way to avoid this type of disaser is to use an agent from a reputable agency who’s office is availble to visit. This way you are certain of their legitimacy and they will do the due dilligence necessary to vet potential buyers.

3. Identity theft

Criminals have become much more experienced and are using stolen identity details not only to empty bank accounts but to obtain various credit accounts and even home loans, according to hard money lenders Seattle experts. They are able to delay detection of the fraud for long periods while the unpaid bills and instalments mount up.

The scammer will use false documents to pose as the property owner, register forged documents transferring a property to their name, and then get a new mortgage against the property. After securing a mortgage or line of credit, the criminal takes the cash and disappears.

4. Bait and switch scheme

This occurs when a prospective buyer offers an ‘above market value’ price to a seller. The seller, impressed by the high offer signs the contract, meanwhile the deceitful buyer has no intention to purchase the property.

Once the seller signs the contract, the seller may only sell to that buyer for a specified time, when that time ends the fraudster asks to extend the contract a few weeks to work out closing details. Sounding reasonable, the seller agrees to the extension blinded by the high offer.

In the meantime the seller keeps paying taxes, maintenance, utilities and insurance the buyer comes back to the seller with an excuse as to why this price no longer works, and requests a reduction to below market value and threatens to cancel if their demand is not met. Stressed by time and on-going costs, the seller agrees to the reduction.

5. Duplicated listings

“Agents” copy legitimate rental listings and advertise for a much cheaper price. Unfortunately, many people fall for these fake listings and wire money to the owners of these fake listings.

6. Fake rental agents

When you find a property you really like, you call the agent to arrange a viewing and they say they will meet you there. Later they call and say they won’t be able to make it anymore, but no need to worry the landlord will be there to show you around. The agent then promises to negotiate a lower price with the landlord.

When you arrive at the house you find many other people interested in renting the same place. You call the agent back to negotiate a better price that you’re happy with; they will phone you back shortly to inform you of the new price, all you have to do is transfer the money for the first two months to secure the place.

On moving day, you find someone else is moving in and the agent wasn’t an agent; they just found the property online and reposted it with their own contact information. They purposely send several people at a time to view the property to generate a sense of urgency for the potential renters. Emerald Property Management is a trustworthy company, which can find the ideal place for you at a reasonable price.

Avoid becoming a victim

  • Be wary when you are requested to make a payment for something minor like a credit check or security deposit, in most cases, there’s nothing you can do to get your money back because the scammer can’t be tracked.
  • If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. Prices are considerably higher than they were a few years ago.
  • The email sounds strange – some listings hide the email address when you send a message, so you might not be able to see the address if you respond to the listing. Scammers usually use free email servers and they’ll often go by a series of random letters to make them less easily traceable.
  • The agent won’t show you the property – If you ask to see the property and they claim it’s impossible, it’s probably a fake listing. Agent will make time for people who are interested in the property.
  • The seller pushes you – the faster a scammer gets you to agree to a business deal, the faster they can steal your money and avoid getting caught. The seller will often use high-pressure tactics that attempt to push you into acting quickly in order to purchase the home. Don’t be prodded by any seller to send money.
  • The seller asks you to wire money – when you see the term “wire money” or similar variation of that phrase come up in a business conversation with someone you’ve never met, red flags should go up. Many scams entail wiring of funds because it’s more difficult to trace and enables the scammer to collect the money sooner. Scammers will come up with a variety of plausible reasons why the money should be wired rather than sent through a bank or lawyer.
  • The buyer or seller is foreign and wants to buy a home unseen – most people want to at least see a property and become familiar with the area before making a large investment. This doesn’t mean you should be wary of all foreign inquiries, but many scams often occur overseas because it’s harder to trace the person behind the fraud. Foreign buyers who don’t ask questions, act in haste, and don’t care to see the property indicate a high likelihood of fraud.
  • Be well informed about market related prices within the area you are looking to rent or buy. If a property is advertised way below the market related price for that area it should raise your concerns.
  • If you found a “bargain” online you should call the estate agency to find out if the deal is for real. Don’t call the number at the bottom of the ad because this number could lead to a fake office. Rather find the actual office number, call there and ask the receptionist to give you the number of the specific agent or branch you are looking for.
  • Be wary of agents and landlord who seem too eager or pushy to get you to live in their property or one they are marketing. A legit agent or landlord will always conduct the necessary checks and will not be too disappointed when you don’t show much interest in the property.
  • If the agent is constantly making up excuses as to why they are not able to meet you or show you the property, you should also be worried. The chances are good that they don’t have access to the property and are stalling for time until they can think of a clever way to get you to pay the deposit.
  • Never pay a deposit before you have viewed a property.

Get more insight on real estate by checking out Taylor Private Estate land for sale Caversham.

Source: Business Tech

Don’t get ripped off this Black Friday

Black Friday 2017 will take place on 24 November, and local shoppers have already started allocating budget for the day.

The week of Black Friday typically sees retailers offering deals on a wide range of products from the Monday, with the real discounts usually put up from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

If you plan to buy products or services on Black Friday, you are likely to save a big chunk of what you would have spent at “normal” retail prices.

However, just because a retailer slaps a “Black Friday 2017” sticker on its items, don’t assume you are getting a good price.

The steps below will help you take advantage of Black Friday and ensure you don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes.

Make a list

Your first step is to make a list of everything you want to buy on Black Friday.

This will let you find what you are looking for quicker and stop you from buying unnecessary items.

Rank you list in order of “most important” to “least important” so you don’t run out of money before you have all your “essentials”.

Find prices

Once you have your list, find out how much “normal” pricing for the items are.

Take each item and look at how much it costs from a variety of retailers. Once you have found the lowest price, note the price next to the item on your list.

This will ensure you get a decent discount on the normal price on Black Friday.

Online stores

If you plan to buy an item online, visit the online stores you may shop from on Black Friday and familiarise yourself with their interfaces.

If you have ordered from the online store before, make sure your profile is up to date and active.

Many online stores may have limited stock or time-based deals, and you do not want to miss out on them because you do not know how to buy and check out, or you have to re-register your profile.

Shop around

While stocks are often limited and time sensitive on Black Friday, try to shop around before buying.

The last thing you want is to buy Item A from Shop X, only to see said item at Shop Y for 20% less.

Pick a few stores you expect to have good deals and quickly scan them to see if your listed items are available.

Check delivery times

Black Friday is a good time to order Christmas, birthday, or holiday gifts – but you will want to check when they get delivered.

Due to high demand and potential supply issues with retailers to fulfil all orders, you may have to wait several weeks for your Black Friday orders to be delivered.

Check online retailers’ information pages or terms and conditions when ordering to ensure the expected delivery time is acceptable for you.

Wake up early

Certain online retailers and physical stores will launch their deals at times like 00:01 on 24 November, so make sure you are awake if needs be.

Getting up early to order will also ensure that you miss peak buying traffic, which may cause deals to sell out, online stores to lag or crash, and online payments systems to fall over due to high volumes.

Visit your favourite sites this week and see if their Black Friday 2017 sales times are posted.

Source: My Broadband

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