Real estate fraud is far more common than you might think. There are many criminals who can do a very convincing job of being real agents. There are also many fraud buyers and sellers who want to cheat you out of your hard-earned money. Thus, take the time to learn how to protect yourself from real estate fraud.
Real Estate Fraud Protection for Buyers
If you are a buyer, then the tips are different than the ones for sellers. For buyers, the most important thing that you need to do is to look at the title report. The most common scam is simply when the person does not own the property. Additionally, it might come with an undisclosed lien on the land. All too often, the seller might fail to explain all the issues that the property might have. This kind of real estate fraud is common with those who flip houses for profit. In general, be wary of any unusual terms or transaction deals. It is a good idea to get the help of qualified attorneys and real estate agents. After all, it is likely going to be one of the biggest purchases of your life.
Real Estate Fraud Protection for Sellers
It is less common to see a buyer defraud a seller. However, it does happen. For example, the buyer can become aggressive after the funds are in escrow. For example, the buyer might demand a reduction in price for repairs, then sue the seller. The buyer will then use a notice of pendency action. This means that the seller cannot deal with any other buyer. This is a strong-arm tactic that works when the buyer has the funds to pursue legal proceedings. There is little defense against this real estate fraud, except to know your buyer. It is unlikely that sincere buyers will do this, as they want to move in quickly.
Remember to always get the best real estate agent that you can and to perform your due diligence. There are many scams out there, and it is not safe to take any chances. Real estate fraud happens quite a lot, especially to those who do not take any precautions. Real estate brokerages have extensive experience in making sure that all of the documents are in order.