Anna Child Group
I want to make all buyers, sellers, leasers aware of some scams that are rampant in our digital age. Listings that are on third party sites (for example only; Craigs List, Trulia, Zilow, and many more) have NO fact checking involved. Anyone can post what ever they want whether it is true or not. There have been increasing cases where a buyer or leaser is looking for a home and sees a home available that really isn’t. Buyers or Leasers are asked for information and usually money upfront. This is your first RED flag. If you are contacting a legitimate listing you should only be asked for your contact information, if you have been pre-approved for a loan (if buying) and sometimes asked to sign an agent agreement where you agree to work with a Realtor. You should never be asked for any money upfront! There have been many people swindled out of a lot of money especially when they are relocating to another state. Please, make sure you are dealing with a Realtor, licenced Property Managment Firm, or the real owners of the property. Making sure the owners are who they say they are is a bit more involved. If you stay with the professionals, we check the owners for you. All Realtors have a license card they should be carrying with them, their license number is on it. You can check to see if it is an active license by going to http://dre.ca.gov/ for California.
Sellers, there have been cases where strangers come up to your door and demand possession of the home because they bought it or leased it. These poor people don’t realize they have been scammed and will even contact police. If you are working with a professional, direct the confused people to your Realtor or Managment Firm and contact your local police.
PLEASE NOTE: This article is not meant to scare, nor to keep anyone from using third party search sites (they have some advantages). This article is solely to inform people of scams that are happening so you are less likely to be a victim.