Real Estate

How to Avoid Falling for Real Estate Scams?

The more the real estate industry gets popular the chances of fraudulent cases increase. Some countries have strict laws and policies that make it hard for scammers to earn a dime from fake property listings. However one can never be too careful. In countries like Pakistan, property scams are common. It’s a sad reality but the core truth is you need to do your research before investing or selling the property. 

However, there are several legally authorized real estate projects like DHA Multan that offer safe investment. But let’s face it, not everyone has a clear understanding of where and when to invest in a pronounced. 

In this blog, you will learn about common scams that as an amateur investor you can avoid. 

What is property fraud?

A person may steal an identity (or create a fake one) to sell or mortgage your property. If it remains undiscovered, as a rightful owner you can find your property sold or mortgaged without your consent. 

A person can face more risks if they have; 

  • Rented out a property 
  • Idle property 
  • Unregistered property 
  • Mortgage-free property

Things to consider when buying property 

Expert real estate agents and attorneys recommend their clients perform due diligence before purchasing a property. There are three important factors to consider to buy a property in Pakistan. 

  1. Consider the subject matter property. It should be clear of charge, lien, or encumbrance of a third party. 
  2. Ensure that seller has absolute possession of the subject property. 
  3. Ensure the subject property is under the absolute title of the seller. 

With these factors in mind, remember that there are two common property frauds that usually take place i.e. 

  • A seller refuses to have received the sale proceed agreed upon. 
  • He may deny having entered a Sale Agreement with the Purchaser of the subject property. 

Common scams to avoid 

Scammers never give a warning before they con anyone. Instead of losing your hard-earned money, learn the scams that might be staring you right in the face. 

1- Questionable agents 

Clients are vulnerable to their agents. The desperate hour calls for desperate measures are taken advantage of when a fake agent knows the ins and outs of what will trigger an action. It’s easy to get in touch with questionable agents. 

Ensure that the person you are trusting your money with is trustworthy and has strong referrals. Find out if the agent is a verified person in the operating area you chose. Have an in-person meeting at their office and check out the website too. 

2- Too good to be true listings

Several websites claim to be real estate portals – it is not true. Most websites are not even verified by the authorities. When visiting the listings, make sure the price of the property is valued at the market price and does not appear too good to be true. 

It is best to go for a property listing with a blu or green-check mark or a reserve button. These are the indicators that specified property is not imaginary and exists in the real world. 

3- Fraudulent buyer 

The common understanding is that only a “Seller” can be a fraud. People neglect the point of view that even a buyer can be a fraudster. When making deals with a buyer, meet them and ask for their referrals too. Ask them to share their information. 

However, do not rely on the provided information only. Be a smart seller, and ask around discreetly about the prospective buyer who is interested to buy your property. If the property buyer fails to provide the required information or delays it for questionable defense you should know something is fishy. 

4- Fishy documents 

Fake documentation is one of the major reasons people fall for a fraudster. How can you assure whether the documents handed over to you are fake or not? 

That’s why one should always verify the documents and involve the attorneys. Hire a trustworthy and professional lawyer upfront who specializes in real estate. That way if something looks suspicious to you, it will be easy to find out. 

Conclusion 

You will find many websites claiming to provide properties of value for sale and investment. Before contacting the said contact person, always review the website on review platforms. It’s best to have insights before reaching out to the agent personally.

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