Real estate scam is a common thing here in Nigeria. That is why it is also too common to see a house having the description ‘This house is not for sell” on many walls around Nigeria. While most house owners do this to avoid someone been victim of fraud with their property, real estate scam is still prevalent.
Many desire to have their own homes, they save up a lot of money to make this possible and getting to fall into the hands of fraud after making lots of financial sacrifices can really be disheartening. How can you avoid such woes?
The following are two questions we would be highlighting in this article:
- How do you know real scam alert?
- How do you identify fraudulent deals?
Come on let me show you 5 ways to identify fraudulent real estate scam alert. Before then let’s identify the two kinds of real estate fraudsters that are common in Nigeria.
Types of Real Estate Fraudsters
In Nigeria real estate fraudsters fall into two categories. From what we have learnt they include:
- The Omoniles – In the choice of the right words you can call them local fraudsters or street fraudsters. These are mostly lazy street gangs who in the lack of jobs to do or further lands to sell begin to sell already sold ones.
- Then we have the specialized fraudsters – These are fraudsters who are more of professionals in what they do. They have mastered their act and can easily forge up documents and then find target customers and offering them real cheap real estate deals.
I’m pretty sure no one wants to fall into any of these categories. So how do you identify these real estate fraudsters?
REAL ESTATE SCAM ALERT (HOW TO IDENTIFY FRAUDULENT DEALS)
Identifying Real Estate Fraudsters
7 Ways to Identify Fraudulent Real Estate Scam Alert
1. Money Upfront Scams
Fake real estate agents possess the common trait of asking for money up front whether they are selling a house for you or trying to get you to buy one. That is a red signal!
A fraudster can scam people to signing leases for properties that were already owned so don’t be fooled. Make sure to check licenses and if the property is really for sale or rent before signing agreements or forking over cash.
Real estate agent work usually comes with commissions. These commissions are given as a percentage of the sales on the house which should only come after the sales of the house.
A real estate agent would never ask for money down. To trick their victims further fake real estate agents may hide it with fancy terms like “initial investment” or “brokerage fees”. If they ask for money down, then it is a red sign.
2. Skipping Negotiations
A real estate agent who is not enthusiastic about negotiating can be a red signal!
Some of these fake real agents do not want to negotiate, all they want is the money from the security deposit so they can run away and start again.
Do not be fooled by their sweet words like “this is your one time chance; this the best deal ever or by using too low price tricks.”
3. Unnecessarily Seeming Too Eager
A real estate sounding like you are the only client can be a red signal!
Real estate agents usually have several bookings for a single listing and you are just one of the many prospective customers. So if they seem too eager to close the deal sounding like you are their last hope, you may have a fake one in your hands.
They also tend to give you everything you need in detail, even bad stuff to come across as honest and forthcoming.
4. Pushing Too Hard
Real estate agent desperate to close a deal can be a red signal!
Scammers are also scared that they can be discovered at any moment, so they push to close the deal as soon as possible. They give deadlines and continually badger you to “close the deal.”
Every true real estate agent knows that clients often need time to think and evaluate but only pushes you so far. They can take this too far by constantly calling, asking for your signature and giving you lines like “other parties are also interested in the house.”
A real agent would be developing the other parties, not pushing the house or apartment on you.
Trusting your instincts and doing your research will go a long way when it comes to protecting your money and avoiding fraudulent real estate agents.
If you are in the market for a house or selling one, you should know your stuff. It pays not to put too much of your trust in people, even if they are charming and seem to be experts.
5. Asking for Your Personal Information or Documents
A real estate agent asking for your personal details can be a red signal!
Whether you are buying a house or doing any other deal you should be wary of providing your bank account details or personal identification documents to someone over the internet.
Importantly, never provide your credit card verification or Bank verification number.
6. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
A property that looks very cheap can be a red signal!
Be skeptical about any online listings for attractive properties which are very well priced for the area.
7. Important Rule of Thumb
One of the most important rules in real estate is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Scammers often use these very low prices to lure property seekers.
Market prices as they are, you should never take a deal at face value. Know the market prices for the area and type of home or apartment you are interested in. Many fake agents sucker you in with ‘great’ deals and rock-bottom prices, because they are not selling the property at all.
Have you been a victim of online real estate scam? Do you know of anyone who has been one? Would you mind sharing it with us in the comment boxes below?