With the increasing popularity of real estate, mainly due to the rise in home prices, many potential scammers are trying to cash in on unsuspecting homeowners. Unfortunately, technology is making it easier for unaware homeowners to be duped into one of these scams. The result can be significant financial loss that the victims incur, considering the substantial size of a real estate transaction. It’s more important than ever to work with a professional team with a reputation for being honest, trustworthy, and helping you make the best decision for your personal situation.
Being aware of the most common tactics these scammers use is the most important step you can take to avoid becoming a victim. To help you know what to look for, we will discuss what Boston home buyers and sellers should be aware of to avoid hoaxes and scams.
Down Payment Hackers
Unlike the banking industry, real estate agents’ communication and information security is relatively non-existent and not regulated in any sense, which takes extreme safeguards to encrypt communications and protect accounts. In addition, some agents often use public wi-fi and free email services, which scammers can quickly hack. As a result, Boston home buyers and sellers should be aware of hackers who could intercept communications and emails about your deal. The best step is to be vigilant anytime somebody asks for personal information or money transfer over electronic means. Take the extra step to verify the request over the phone and confirm all details of wire transfer requests to ensure it’s going to the right place.
Boston home buyers and sellers should be aware of amazingly above-market offers made to string you along, with issue after issue in closing, only to demand the seller agree to a lower than market value sales price, or they will back out of the deal. Initially, the scammers are counting on the excitement of the offer causing a momentary lapse in judgment as they demand a quick signature on the contract before the sellers have an opportunity to read the contract’s fine print. The sellers are literally on the hook and will most certainly chase the carrot dangling in front of them for months, looking forward to a considerable profit. As months pass and bills continue to roll in, desperation sets in, and this is when the scammer strikes with their lowball offer.
Home Title Fraud
Boston home buyers and sellers should know how home title fraud works to avoid the scam. By stealing your identity, fabricated documents make it appear they own your property, and then loans are secured using the equity in your home. Regrettably, many owners who have undergone this process find out about the scheme when the lender begins legal proceedings to procure payment. Often, online transactions and document requests are the openings that these criminals seek to obtain the information they need to take the cash from your equity and walk away. Purchasing title insurance can protect you and your money from this fraudulent activity, as can safeguarding your personal information. Sadly, older people are often the targets of this activity, as they are typically slower to pick up on the signals of an issue and not as technically savvy as younger consumers.
There are fake sellers, real estate agents, and even fake real estate attorneys with sophisticated systems involving several players to fool buyers into believing they have made a legitimate transaction. Likewise, moving companies take advantage by holding your possessions hostage until you meet their demands and pay outrageous fees. To help avoid these hoaxes, Boston home buyers and sellers should take the time to research the backgrounds of anyone they are doing business with care, including licensing. Another step is reviewing professionals and companies through online sites such as Yelp to get input from other consumers. Finally, another suggestion before you work with anyone in the real estate field, just as you should with mechanics or home repair service providers, is to seek recommendations from trusted friends or other professionals in a related industry. Err on the side of caution and use well-established and reputable providers.
There are many possible variations on these scams, as you can well imagine. While we can’t possibly cover them all here, you can rest assured that the professional buyers at Candor Realty Greater Boston know what Boston home buyers and sellers should be aware of to avoid hoaxes and scams. Working with Candor Realty Greater Boston means using simple contracts and absolutely no pressure. You can trust that your information is secure, and so is the guaranteed closing date with Candor Realty Greater Boston, often within days. The professional buyers at Candor Realty Greater Boston work with buyers and sellers in Boston and never charge commissions. There are no hidden fees or closing fees, eliminating any worries about transfer hackers. At Candor Realty Greater Boston, our pros stop and take the time to listen to your questions or concerns and are happy to help with no obligation. Contact Candor Realty Greater Boston at 617-804-1450.