Laurel's Blog

Tips for Avoiding Fraudsters When Selling Your New York Home

Mar - 5 - 2018


Are you a New York Property Seller? Selling to a legitimate, reliable professional investor can be an easy and convenient way to convert your home into cash, quickly. But there are also real estate scams, where crooks pretend to be investors in order to fleece unsuspecting New York homeowners. Before you sell to an investor, make sure they are genuine.

Check Their References and Track Record in the New York Area

As with any major financial transaction, you should do your homework if you are a New York Property Seller. Verify that the buyer or investor is who they say that they are. You can check their record at the local New York Better Business Bureau. Ask them to put you in touch with other homeowners who have sold to them. They may have local investment projects like rehabbed homes that you can visit. When in doubt, ask questions. A professional investor will always welcome the opportunity to confirm that they are legitimate. They also want to help protect you and others in the community from real estate consumer fraud.

Beware Buyers Who Require You to Pay Them

One of the telltale signs of many home-buying scams is that the so-called buyer asks you to give them money up front. That’s not how real estate transactions work. If you are asked to provide money to the buyer, that should raise a red flag. Sometimes they will say that it is for filing official paperwork or for covering the costs of management fees, travel, or other expenses that will facilitate the sale. But professional investors don’t make those kinds of requests. If you are selling your home, the money being exchanged should be coming to you, not the other way around. If there are legitimate filing costs or legal fees and taxes to be paid, those will be settled at the final closing, not up front.

Deal Directly with the New York Investor

Professional investors may call on the phone or send you an invitation to sell through the mail or by email. That’s just standard marketing procedure. But if someone says they want to purchase your home without ever seeing your home or meeting with you, that is unusual behavior that should make you skeptical. Do not provide them with any confidential information or real estate documents, and don’t send them any money. If they ask for financial data such as your Social Security number or bank account information, don’t give it to them. If you believe that someone is engaged in real estate fraud, you should report them to local law enforcement.

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