There are lots of scammers and fraudsters in the real estate industry and you do not want to be their prey. Property buyers lose their hard-earned money, lifetime savings, and even loan money in the hands of these scammers. In this article we will discuss common tricks used by fraudsters pausing as real estate agents, and how you can identify and outsmart them.
Title Deed Scam – This is probably the most common fraud. Scammers get fake title deeds for land and provide the same to buyers as evidence of ownership. Also, a scammer can identify the owner of a property and steal their information to create fake documents. They then use the fake documents to sell the property and disappear after the deal is done. The buyer is left fighting with the genuine owner of the property.
Rushed Sales – Scammers will rush you into buying property or placing a deposit. They create an illusion of high demand and limited supply. The buyer, in a quest not to miss out, ends up buying the property before doing any research. In these kinds of deals, the sale happens in such a hurry that some questions go unanswered.
Fake Promises – Sometimes, agents give promises that they cannot fulfil in a bid to convince customers. Some of the common promises that are false include amenities like swimming pools and gyms. Finally, these amenities are not delivered, and the agent explains that they could not get approval by the government or other technicalities.
Also, some developers deviate from the house plan agreed upon. Buyers find themselves in a fix because it can be quite challenging to confront the developers, as contracts contain clauses like “layouts are subject to change”.
Delays – Some developers launch mega projects without enough funds to build. They hope that a number of people will buy, and that will give them the funds to start construction. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, buyers do not show up as fast as the sellers hope. Meanwhile, the few buyers who show up have bank loans, and hope to move into their new homes within a certain deadline. However, that is not possible because the developer cannot afford to construct the houses in good time.
In some cases, developers close their companies and flee. Buyers are left with sale agreements and bank loans.
Visiting the Site
You must see the property before you buy it. In fact, you should see the property before you even decide to buy. It is advisable to revisit the site by yourself, without the agent, and talk to the neighbors. You might get some useful information.
We cannot insist enough on the importance of conducting due diligence. Hire a real estate lawyer to help you through the process. A good real estate lawyer knows the ins and outs of checking if property is legitimate.
Also, do a background check of the selling company, agent, or individual. Note that, if a developer is waiting to get money from potential buyers in order to develop the property, it is likely that there will be delays, and worse the project might stall.
Get Professional Valuation
If you are in doubt of the property value, it is advisable to seek the services of a professional valuer.
You must be extremely keen on the clauses in the agreement. There should be no ambiguous information. Let your real estate lawyer study the agreements and advice you accordingly. Ensure that you are especially keen on clauses defining delays and change in plans. If you are not comfortable with the agreements, call off the deal.
We wish you all the best in your property buying journey. Jumuika.co.ke has listed lots of property, there is something for everyone.
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