Protecting Yourself from Real Estate Scams
In recent years, stories about real estate scams have become all too common. Many people have made the mistake of putting their trust in a so-called expert who turns out to have only their own best interests at heart. The financial and emotional repercussions of falling victim to these scams can be truly disastrous. How can you protect yourself from falling prey to greedy real estate scammers?
Be careful who you trust
It has been reported that a large percentage of real estate scams are perpetrated by the victim’s family members, friends, or long-time business associates. With this fact in mind, it is important to be objective when considering any business proposition. This is not to say you need to become overly suspicious of every person in your life who may want to do business with you. What it does mean is that you need to carefully evaluate every business offer, regardless of who is approaching you with the offer. Don’t allow blind trust or fear of hurting someone’s feelings lead you into making a bad decision.
Do not easily part with personal information, goods
Many mortgage scams require borrowers to pay advance fees for whatever services are being offered. Be wary of any requests to pay fees before any services have been performed. Also, NEVER give out personal information, such as bank account information, social security numbers, etc., until you know exactly who will be receiving the information, how it will be used and who it will be shared with.
Trust your gut
The old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” is never more true than in reference to real estate scams. When considering a real estate transaction, ask yourself these questions: Do I fully understand the details that are involved in this transaction? Does it seem too simple, too easy? On a gut level, any real estate or mortgage deal you’re thinking of making should fundamentally make sense. If it doesn’t, that may be a strong indication that something is not right.
But don’t just trust your gut
Our intuition can be wrong sometimes. That’s why it is absolutely imperative that you speak to a lawyer or financial advisor if you are considering a real estate decision. A home is probably the largest investment you’ll make in your life. Be vigilant about protecting it. Don’t let things fall to chance. The time and expense of speaking to a professional before making an important decision regarding your investments is vital.
Although these are examples of simple ways to avoid getting cheated, don’t underestimate their importance! Oftentimes, it’s the simplest precautions that protect us the most – from any kind of scam.