Learn how to prevent real estate fraud and keep your assets protected the next time you’re buying or selling property in this post brought to you by Stewart: Riva Title Company in South Miami, FL.

What is Real Estate Fraud?

When real estate agencies or individuals give false or inaccurate information about a property to defraud them for money, it’s called real estate fraud. Among the types of real estate fraud, you can find mortgage fraud, foreclosure fraud, syndicator fraud, and title fraud. All of these are potentially dangerous as real estate transactions can usually put your assets on the line. Read this post to learn six ways to learn more and avoid falling prey to fraud.

Surrounding yourself with an expert home buying team is a great way to avoid falling for a real estate fraud. If you’re planning to sell or buy a property and don’t have a title agent yet, contact Riva Title Company at 786-787-7888 for professional guidance and advice.

Meet With the Seller or Agent Face to Face

One common sign of a real estate fraud is a seller or agent that won’t meet with you face to face. They might use different techniques like stalling or changing the meeting dates to confuse you, but you should always make sure you’re dealing with a real person before making any deal. Scammers that use this technique usually contact you over email, phone calls, or instant messaging and use face credentials and identities to try and complete the scam. If they won’t commit to a meeting face to face, it’s best to walk away.

Get All the Information Possible on the Property

Another common real estate fraud technique is leaving out important information about the property you’re looking at. This can include incomplete documents, missing inspection reports, or a lack of general information. Scammers will usually want to exchange money or financial information to give you complete information. In this case, your best bet is to get in touch with a real estate professional to sort it out.

Make Sure You Tour the Property

Similar to avoiding meeting face to face, sometimes scammers will avoid showing you the property in person. This is usually because they don’t have access to the property, and it’s a red flag you should be on the lookout for. Touring the property is an essential part of purchasing it as it will give you a better idea about its conditions, layout, and area that pictures, videos, and descriptions never could.

It can be overwhelming to purchase a new property, but having a reliable team by your side can make the process much easier. Call Riva Title Company at 786-787-7888 for advice from one of their excellent title agents.

Don’t Give Money Upfront

A sign that a deal is probably a scam is the agent or seller asking for money upfront, usually through a wire transfer. This is a common type of scam because financial institutions can’t track money exchanged in this way. Fraudsters will usually ask you to wire money upfront to meet face to face, show you a property or close the deal. Your best bet is to avoid exchanging any money until you have evidence that the deal is legitimate.

Avoid Signing Documents in a Rush

There’s usually a small opportunity window when it comes to successfully completing a fraud; that’s why scammers typically try to rush you to sign a deal or hand over money. They usually do this by making you sign documents that contain false information or that are blank. This is one of the most common fraud techniques, not only in real estate but in scams as a whole. If you ever feel rushed in one of these situations, it’s best to take a few days to cool down and consult with professionals before making any decisions.

Don’t Let Them Pressure You

Lastly, pressuring you is one of scammers' favorite techniques. They usually try to make you believe that your decision is time-sensitive in order to avoid you consulting with professionals or play up your anxiety of losing on a good deal. Keep an eye out for these types of pressure techniques as it’s easy to fall prey to them, and if you notice any of these behaviors, take a step back and wait until you feel ready to make a decision.

We hope you find these tips helpful in avoiding real estate fraud. If you have any questions or need guidance from a professional title agent, call Riva Title Company at 786-787-7888 for assistance in South Miami, FL. Stay safe!