With the Space Coast and surrounding areas currently experiencing an unprecedented real estate market, many homeowners are asking themselves: Should I sell my Space Coast home? As the National
How To Avoid Real Estate Scams In Brevard, FL
Dated: January 31 2019
You don’t pay a real estate agent anything to help you find a home. The agent makes all of their money off of the seller’s commission. That means you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by enlisting help from a Brevard real estate agent.
Real Estate Related Crimes In Brevard
There are plenty of scammers blowing up sites like Craigslist with faulty advertisements for home sales and rentals. Their goal is to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting people. In 2013, The Brevard County Sherriff’s Department arrested 42-year-old Kerry Widman of Cape Canaveral. She was falsely advertising a lease-to-own deal on Craigslist. Kerry wanted $5,000 up front and $750 a month to rent to own a Cocoa Beach property. Turns out, the property did not even belong to her.
In December of 2013, 24-year-old Cedrick Davis and 22-year-old Ned Guilford were arrested on charges of “leasing” out a beachfront condo that was currently resided in by the owner. The actual owner had no idea what was going on. The two culprits had already taken into custody a $1,800 check from the person that thought they were going to be renting the property.
You can ditch craigslist ads and instead tell a real estate agent everything you want in a home. They take this information and match it as closely as possible, no sweat or scam hopping on your behalf.
Brevard Rental Scams
According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of consumers surf the Internet to look for a home to rent before they do anything else. Con artists are well aware of this and use it to their advantage by posting fake homes for rent and then exploiting people that contact them.
Fraudulently posted homes are often listed below market value to entice more people. Scammers often charge fees to run applications, a complete waste of money because the home isn’t even available. Not to mention, scammers now have all of your personal information including your social security number, bank information and so forth—scary!
Before seeing a rental, go online and Google search the address. If it comes up for sale, contact the listing agent and let them know the house is fraudulently listed for rent.
Brevard Foreclosure Fraud
Con artists often pose as foreclosure experts that want to help you reduce your monthly payments and ultimately keep your house. Scammers often request fees are paid up front and then vanish with your money.
Red flags that may indicate foreclosure fraud:
-They ask for money up front.
-They want the money through a wire transfer.
-They want you to make your mortgage payments directly to them.
-They suggest you transfer the deed to your home.
Brevard Title Fraud
Title fraud is more complicated and therefore somewhat rare, but it does happen. It often originates with identify fraud, but there are multiple ways it comes about. Title fraud includes selling a home when one doesn’t have a right to do so because they are not the legitimate owner. They may collect a down payment from the buyer and then flee the area, never to be seen or heard from again.
Obtain title insurance to prevent this from happening to you. Rental homes and homes that are paid off and mortgage-free are at the greatest risk of falling victim to this scheme.
Brevard Timeshare Scams
There are a lot of vacation rentals in beautiful Brevard, hence the added potential for timeshare scams. Timeshares are a tricky industry with lots of room for scammers to take advantage.
The BBB recommends:
-Never agreeing to anything over the telephone.
-Asking for all terms of agreement to be provided in written form.
-Finding out where the timeshare company is located and operating out of.
-Make sure the company is licensed to offer real estate services in Brevard.
-Beware companies that charge an advance “appraisal” fee.
A real estate agent can save you money in so many ways, including:
-Protecting you against common scams that are easy to fall pray to, no matter how savvy or real estate wise you may be.
-Knowing how to go into negotiations and get the best deal possible.
-Conducting comparative market analysis to ensure you are getting a fair deal that is in line with local comps and the current real estate market.
-Familiarity with the neighborhood and its actual value
-Recognizing construction issues that could end up costing you unexpected money after you already buy the home. Alternatively, these issues could be used to your benefit to talk down the seller on price.
Working with one of our trusted real estate agents at Curri Properties will help protect you in countless ways, ensuring a positive home buying experience.
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