The process of buying and selling houses is marked by significant financial transactions, creating a near-perfect opportunity for fraud. If you are thinking about selling or buying a house, then you need to know the facts about fraud so you can guard against it. Fraud can present itself in various forms, and it’s on the rise, making both buyers and sellers consider doing the job on their own for security reasons. If you want to know how to avoid real estate fraud, keep reading.
Talk to family members, friends, and neighbors that you know have dealt with a real estate agent and ask if they can refer you to anyone that they’ve had a good experience with. If you don’t have anyone that you can ask, ask the real estate agent if they can give you a list of referrals. Ensure that you can all of them to inquire about the experience that they received. A real estate agent that’s professional and legitimate in what they are doing they will not hesitate to provide a list. Referrals can then assist you in determining the kind of person you may be working with.
Read online reviews
If the real estate agent is an established professional, then you should be able to find reviews from their clients online. If they have committed fraud, you will see people complaining about their services. Once you see even one fraud complaint, it’s a good idea not to trust the real estate agent with your house or money. If the real estate agent that you are considering does not have any accusations of fraud, then it’s more likely that you can trust them. However, not all real estate agents have reviews available online, and sometimes they will create false reviews or delete negative reviews, so take this with a grain of salt. If the real estate agent does not have any online presence at all, that is a more reliable sign that they may not be legitimate.
Get a home inspection
The one thing that stops people from getting a home inspection is the frenzy of a hot market. A home inspection is one of the ways that you can use to validate if the house that you are buying is worth the amount you are about to pay. Many real estate fraud situations will make the house look visually good in hopes that you will not feel the need to do a home inspection. The home inspection will save you from buying a home that will need a lot of work after you move in. Pest inspection is another thing to do so that you are sure the structure of the house is in excellent condition.
The Evangelisti Companies is dedicated to helping you find your dream home in any way we can — whether that’s helping you get out of your old one or remodeling a new one. Contact us to see what we can do for you today!
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