How To Stay Smart When You Are Buying A Home

Written by  //  2018/07/16  //  Buying a Home  //  No comments

smart home buying

In 2017 over 614 thousand homes were sold in the US, and around half of them were to first time buyers. Buying a home is a life-changing, exciting event, especially if it is your first home – but the high cost of houses means you need to tread extremely carefully in this age of housing scams, including mortgage scams and fee scams.

While the housing industry in the US is extremely well-regulated, especially if you are working with a reputable real estate agent, scammers are always attracted to expensive sales. Here are two common housing scams to watch out for – and some advice on how you can stay one step ahead.

Cyber Scams

Cyber crime is on the up, and it can target any industry – including real estate. There are a few different cyber scams that target home buyers, but they all involve transferring funds to a scammer instead of a real estate agent.

One of the main scams involves asking for a deposit or a down payment before the potential buyer gets to see the property and walking away with the money. Another popular scam involves targeting vulnerable seniors with reverse mortgage offers to attempt to take their homes from them. Both of these scams can be avoided by only working with reputable real estate companies who can provide credentials and reviews, instead of choosing a lone wolf.

The Down Valuation Scam

The down valuation scam happens when a fraudster offers you a flattering valuation on your house, and then reduces the cost significantly once the contract has been signed. This can be extremely problematic as you have already signed the plans, so you could be stuck with the offer – meaning that you lose out on tens of thousands. This can make it impossible for potential buyers to leave their current home, but thankfully you can avoid this scam by being savvy.

If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is – so if a lone salesman approaches you with a fantastic offer on your house, be wary and ask for their credentials and references. You should always meet up with the salesman before you sign any documents as well, and it can be useful to have a lawyer look over the paperwork, too.

It can be tempting to jump on a great offer if you desperately want to move house, but many scammers take advantage of this desperation and walk away with tens of thousands of dollars. This can be a devastating loss, so make sure that you don’t jump the gun when you are buying or selling a home.

Buying a home doesn’t have to be a stressful process; it should be fun and exciting. If you are savvy when you are searching you should easily be able to find a beautiful home without being scammed – but it is important to be aware of what can happen so that you can stay alert and vigilant.

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