Scam Artists Hit The Real Estate Business

A $400,000 home for sale in the Meyerland area and with Houston’s hot real estate market it will likely sell soon.

The three bedroom two full bath home has had quite a few inquiries in a city where there is less than 3 months of inventory.

Katie Maxwell is Vice President at Intero Real Estate. She says, “the minute we put anything on the market we’ve got multiple offers within an hour or two hours.”

But the type of offers the property on Ariel is getting the owner at Intero doesn’t want because he didn’t place a rental ad.

Maxwell says a scam artist posted it on Craigslist and Trulia.com in an attempt to rent the house he did not own for $1300 a month.

She says the man has asked individuals to wire him a $1000 deposit to an undisclosed location. Maxwell has humored him with a series of text messages pretending to be a renter in hopes of identifying him.

She says, “he acted as though the market is super hot and I better act really quickly and send him my deposit so he can overnight the keys back to me.”

The fake landlord has been slippery at best. That’s why Maxwell wants to warn renters or buyers to beware in Houston because the scam involving this house on Ariel isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

“In our listings at least once a week we find them they come up for lease when they’re not,” says Maxwell.

So what should you do if you’re attempting to rent a property in Houston?

Maxwell says first if it feels to good to be true then it probably is.

The broker says $400,000 houses don’t usually rent for $1300 a month.

She also says always call the real estate agent that has the property listed and no one else.

Also, Maxwell suggests using HAR.com. It’s a real estate site that gives you detailed information on the property which includes its rental status.

In the meantime, Maxwell says she hopes no one has actually sent the scam artist money because they will be left a victim.

Maxwell says, “whether they’re in state or out of the country they could make a lot of money taking advantage of consumers and us as agents.”

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Tan Team Protip

This can happen to anyone anywhere. Whether you live in Houston Texas or Toronto Ontario, an uneducated buyer or seller can fall victim to all sorts of scams and tricks by the scam artist. Always contact a reputable Realtor you can trust to find out for you to ensure you are getting your money’s worth otherwise you might be left with nothing in your wallet. Some people prefer to not deal with Realtors for various reasons – among the popular reasons such as saving money, being self sufficient or have experience in the process of renting, buying or selling – chances are you will not be able to identify certain aspects of a transaction due to not knowing the process well enough or even if you are a veteran home buyer, seller or renter – Real Estate regulations are always changing. Our best advice is to stick with the pro’s and consult them because they are in the business to protect and educate consumers. Here’s a food for thought: If you were not feeling well you’d most likely see a doctor, right? If your car broke down you’d most likely give your friendly neighbourhood mechanic a buzz. Same thing applies to real estate. Get in touch with your trusted Realtor or even get in touch with The TAN Team and we’ll fill you in on the details!
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Source: My Fox Houston

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