How to Identify Real Estate Scams and How to Avoid Them

How to Identify Real Estate Scams and How to Avoid Them

Who doesn’t love a great deal on a rental property? Just about everyone right? Unfortunately, with the digital age, real estate scams are increasingly more common and prospective renters are the most susceptible. Falling victim to a real estate scam can cost renters thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. One of the best ways to avoid real estate scams is to use a licensed real estate agent like our team at Gavish Real Estate. Not only will we help identify real estate scams, but we sort through every listing to find you only the most desirable and legitimate listings.

What are the signs that you are dealing with a real estate scam?

1. Prices That Are Too Good to Be True

When you are searching through rental property listings online you may occasionally come across a steal. A great, low price for a rental property in a very desirable location may not always set off red flags but it should be a start. In the Las Vegas Market, the average apartment rental is roughly $1,100 a month. If you find a 3-bedroom apartment in Summerlin for a few hundred dollars less than comparable units, that should set off an alarm that maybe if it sounds too good to be true, it might be.

If you are ever in a situation where you are uncertain about the legitimacy of a rental unit’s price, you should call the owners to verify the price and to get more information about the unit before proceeding.

2. Owners Won’t Meet in Person

Another red flag that you should look out for is a rental owner who refuses to meet in person. With the growing popularity of online listing websites, email, and messaging apps, it can incredibly convenient to want to communicate strictly through those mediums. While technology makes it easier than ever to reach a larger audience and communicate at all hours of the day, it can also promote anonymity. Anonymity is great if you are just inquiring about rental prices and fees or want to coordinate safe meetups, but common scams will involve an owner who is “out of town” or who is always too busy to meet. They may ask you to send a deposit or try to conduct the whole rental deal through emails and messages. This is a huge red flag that you need to avoid.

A legitimate owner will not avoid a potential rental and the will want to meet prospective renters (which leads us to our next point…)

3. There’s No Screening Process

Renting a unit that you own to a prospective renter is a big deal! You want to ensure that they are responsible, financially stable, and will not leave you on the hook for expensive damage or unpaid bills. A legitimate renter will screen any renter before agreeing to any rental deal.

Any renter who is not interested in you as a renter is most likely only interested in taking your money and leaving.

The Owners Won’t Let Renters View the Property

Even the most desperate of prospective renters will want to view a property before they hand over a security deposit and first month’s rent. If you ask to view the property and you are met with excuse after excuse as to why you cannot view the property, you are most likely the victim of a scam.

The best way to avoid real estate scams is to have a licensed real estate agent help you sort through listing so that you only deal with the most legitimate renters.