The real estate business has always seen its fair share of horror stories committed by agents who commit various types of fraudulent activities that prey upon clueless clients. Many of these agents, for example, commit mortgage fraud to make some quick cash at the expense of unsuspecting buyers. This type of unscrupulous practice involves the agent making false representations of figures, information, and facts to dupe clients into believing that they are getting a great deal.
Some agents also knowingly commit what is called title fraud, which is simply the act of falsifying property titles or making duplicates and selling off the property that already has a rightful owner. The hapless buyers often find out about the fraud already too late to do anything about it — with the fraudster already far away to be caught.
So, you’re currently eyeing a property to buy and turn into an investment for personal or business purposes. You should not ink that deal yet without first reading about these things. These are essential tips and warnings that you have to understand and heed if you don’t want to be another sad statistic.
Here are five warnings and tips that you have to read about before buying a real estate property:
1. Do some digging.
The first and most sensible thing you have to do before you even entertain the idea of pulling out your wallet is to research first. This background checking should include important details about the property you’re planning to buy and the agent you’re dealing with. Among other things, you should ask the agent to show you his or her license, portfolio, and other credentials that would indicate the agent’s legal and professional background. You may also check with the government registry of licensed real estate agents to see if the agent is duly registered, licensed, and has a good standing. You should likewise try inquiring with appropriate agencies to see if the agent has a solid reputation. This will help you discern if your real estate agent is the real deal and is someone you can put your full trust in.
2. Never fall for beautiful brochures.
Generally speaking, many of the properties that are up for sale are made to look as irresistible as possible to lure buyers into buying without seeing the actual units in person. This is why you shouldn’t be easily swayed into buying a real estate property with what you see in the brochures as your biggest consideration. Instead, you have to insist on seeing the actual property first to decide if it’s something that you’d be comfortable investing in. And even when shown a model unit, you should still consider how much you’ll have to spend to achieve a similar look.
3. And gifts or discounts, too.
There are instances when unsuspecting buyers are goaded into believing that they have hit the jackpot with the freebies that their real estate purchase comes with. Sometimes, agents or developers package a free car or other expensive gifts to sweeten the deal and make their prospects reach out for their checkbooks or ATM cards. If you don’t want to end up regretting your decision, be sure to first weigh in on the pros and cons of buying the property. If you’ve determined that the gifts or discounts you’re being offered are truly beneficial and not just something to mask the fact that the property is problematic, then, by all means, invest in it.
4. Survey similar properties.
You might be tempted into believing that you’re buying a real estate property at a steal price only to find out that there are cheaper ones with similar advantages. This is why you have to put on your Detective Hat once more and compare prices, terms, and features of listings by other real estate sellers or agents. This will help you weed out options that are disadvantageous to you and zero in on the one that suits your budget and has all the bells and whistles of a great investment property.
5. Don’t just believe in claims of future developments nearby.
Some developers or agents may tell you about a mall or theme park that will be built right smack outside your doors only to find out that it’s not the case. This is why you should not take their word for it but do your research and try to find out if there are, indeed, actual developments that would occur soon.
Just heed these guidelines and take note of the warnings, and you’ll surely get the best real estate property deal possible.