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OTHER ITA SITES:
Be Smart About Your Real Estate Investments – Avoid Scams
In any industry where there is a lot of money to be made there is always a certain amount of people that will get involved who have no ethics or morality. These people will do anything to make a quick buck no matter who they hurt.
Con Artists and Scammers seem to infiltrate every industry. The overall result is that companies have to spend more money to assure customers they are actually one of the good guys. Worse, the consumer ends up having to eye everyone with suspicion and spend time investigating companies they wish to do business with.
This also hurts the economy as a whole. Consumer confidence means more than just the confidence to spend their money because they believe the economy is good. It also means that the consumer has the confidence to buy from companies trying to sell something to them.
The Real Estate business is not immune to having its share of scammers. Oversight of the Real Estate Industry is done by an understaffed agency that barely has the time to file paperwork submitted by thousands of Real Estate Agents, let alone investigate unscrupulous ones.
Fake Deeds and other paperwork are used by some scammers to make you believe they really own the Real Estate they are trying to sell you. Ever hear the famous, “I have a bridge I’d like to sell you”?
But my Real Estate Agent is licensed, isn’t that enough? First you have to remember, they are on commission. They get paid to talk you into buying the property that is listed, even if they are totally legitimate. A Real Estate license does not mean that they are required to have the buyer’s best interest at heart.
What can you do to be sure you are dealing with a reputable Real Estate Agent? First make sure you can see their Certificate of Registration and License to Sell from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Not a copy either. The original. Copies can be manufactured. You can also check this through the HLURB office yourself.
What about the title to the property, how do I know that is legitimate? If the title is in the Real Estate company’s name, check with the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located and compare the copy you have seen to the original to make sure no one has removed liens or mortgages from the copy.
If the title is not in their name, make sure you check to see that the Real Estate Company actually has the right to represent the owner of the property, even if you have to contact the owner directly. Find out whether you are to pay the Real Estate Company or the owner if you decide to buy.
Make sure you know all of the terms of the sale. And make sure you have everything in writing on the company’s letterhead, even the minor details the Real Estate agent says are always included so you don’t need to have them in writing. It’s your money so you can dictate what you want in writing if they want to sell you the property.
Do not let anyone rush you into a Real Estate deal! If your agent or broker keeps pushing you that you have to do this right away or you will lose the deal, flags should go up. There are Real Estate deals where time is crucial, however if you do not take the time to check things out you could be the big loser in the deal. I’d rather miss out on one opportunity than to be burned by one.
Real Estate investing is a solid way to make good returns on investments, but you have to do your homework if you want to be successful at it. Just simply trusting your agent to tell you what you should do is not advisable. Read up on Real Estate investing. Learn how to avoid mistakes that can cost you a lot of money. Be smart. Invest wisely. And be successful.
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