FRAUDSTERS ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF BUYERS AND TENANTS. FRAUD COMMITTED VIA CYBERCRIME IS A REAL PROBLEM IN FLORIDA. WHEN YOUR MONEY IS GONE, YOU DON’T GET IT BACK!
Buyers Beware real estate buyers and renters are being taken advantage of by con artist posing as for sale by owners or real estate agents. They take rent and or deposit money then disappear. This fraud includes abandoned properties, vacation rentals homes, annual rentals, vacant listed homes, condominiums and vacant lots.
Buyer Beware sometimes real estate fraud is committed by dishonest agents who are involved in bait and switch schemes on the internet. They have access to all the information they need and are technically savvy. This really happens!
Lazy agents give access codes to fraudsters who pretend to be buyers who look for vacant homes on line. The lazy agent does not accompany the buyer to the property. These dumb agents also give combination box codes to housekeepers, handyman, even friends who commit fraud by giving the access code to others who go to a vacant home unaccompanied.
The fraudster typically has the property re-posted, at a low price, on a 3rd party internet site related to real estate and mortgage brokerage. The unsuspecting buyer who goes to the home alone and wants to lease or buy it is often told to send money via Western Union. The fraudster pretends to be the NEW owner. When questioned they say they just purchased from the OLD owners, whose name is on public records, something buyers can see on the internet. Buyers and tenants loose millions of dollars in real estate fraud schemes every year. Law enforcement does not have technical skills necessary to catch them or to get your money back, it is typically out of their “jurisdiction,” when it is in cyberspace! When your money is gone in a real estate scheme, it is gone forever and ever.
Vacant lots are an easy target for fraudsters who pose as for sale by owners or list lots they do not own with real estate agents.
All REALTORS® take a pledge to protect property rights and the consumer public. The use of a secure REALTOR® lock box not only protects the public, it also protects other real estate agents from walking into a potentially dangerous situation with a client or if they are previewing a property alone. It records who enters the property and when, every time it is opened.
HOW DOES A SCAMMER GET A REAL ESTATE LICENSE? Florida Real Estate Boards are flooded with new licensees. Licenses are issued before background checks are completed. There are many people including international people working as real estate agents without a license in Florida. When a buyer enters into a transaction with an unlicensed person the buyer has no recourse when there are problems with the property or transaction.
Buyers who purchase a property site unseen may also fall victim to real estate fraud. A listing may show many photos and present the property to be in good condition. Buyers don’t realize a “little fix up” can really mean a property is a total disaster. The photos on the internet do not always paint a true picture of a property. Buyers can’t smell what a property is like from the internet photos. Buyers can’t tell if a property has Chinese drywall or mold when looking at a home on line. In a Seller’s market buyers often forego home inspections in order to compete with other buyers. Florida is a Transaction Broker State where buyers and sellers have virtually no recourse when an agent misleads the consumer.
Buyer Beware when a listing says “cash only” it may be a property involved in fraud.
Many buyers they commit real estate fraud by not to disclosing to their potential lender there is an adverse condition affecting the property they are buying, like mold, termites or toxic Chinese drywall. These problems often show up in the home inspection but are not found by the banks appraiser or disclosed by the seller or seller’s agent.
Buyer beware licensees who say they can be your buyer’s agent when their broker is a transaction broker not a “single agency” broker. Just because an agent has an ABR, Accredited Buyers’ Representative designation, does not mean they and their office does not take listings. Should a buyer become interested in a property listed by the agents real estate office; the law says there is a conflict of interest between the buyer and the seller. These brokers or agents will ask the real estate buyer to let them change their status from buyers agent or buyer broker to transaction broker who can no longer give the buyer full representation. Finding out your agent doesn’t represent you is like finding out there is not Santa Claus!
When you are considering making one of the largest investments of your life…ask Beverly Howe first!
I am a broker you can trust, with a proven track record of assisting buyers with honesty, integrity, negotiating skill, loyalty and professional experience. I only represent you the buyer and will never ask you to let me switch to a transaction broker.
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