Real Estate Fraud

This is an activity that is purposely done to misrepresent information on real estate documents. It also involves the money transfers. It is also called mortgage fraud. The reason that it is referred to as this is that the fraud generally takes place with the mortgage application. Real estate fraud, in the United States, can have heavy penalties like imprisonment and large fines.

Such a crime can be committed in many different ways. It appears to happen more often when property prices are on the rise. Because of the simplicity of the fraud, some types are seen more than other frauds. Some are not as common because they are more complicated. One of the common forms of such fraud, according to the IRS is preparing two settlement statement sets that are different from each other. In one of the statements, the accurate property-selling price is written, which the buyer receives. The other one will depict a higher selling price that is exaggerated. When the mortgage lender approves the loan for the exaggerated price, the seller is given the amount that is stated in their copy of the settlement statement. The one who committed the fraudulent settlement statements will keep the money that is left over. If there are other conspirators, the money will be divided among them. It could be the entire excess money or a percentage of it.

Using qualification that are fraudulent is another type of real estate fraud. These fraudulent qualifications are used when applying for a mortgage or home loan to help them get the mortgage. In this form of real estate fraud, the real estate agent will usually assist the buyer. The fraudulent qualifications can include fabricating credit reports or history of employment. These two involve the obvious misrepresentation of data but not all real estate fraud is easy to see as these two examples. If buyers who do not intend to commit real estate fraud because they do not know the laws can accidentally commit mortgage fraud.

If a buyer has a down payment by using money that was given as a gift it is legal. If this gift is re-paid to the who gave the gift, this is considered a case of real estate fraud. The gift used to make a down payment cannot be repaid for it to be legal. Another type of property fraud is when the buyer accidentally fails to disclose any financial liabilities on their mortgage application. It becomes fraud when it is not taken care of before the loan is approved. Property flipping can become real estate fraud if you make false representations about the value and condition of the property when you sell it for a much higher price than you paid for the property.

Spot the Fraud Real Estate Agent

Dubious real estate agents are mushrooming all over the country and tarnishing the image of real estate professionals who operate with honesty. Instead of calling them all crooked, one needs to identify the genuine, verified players. The task becomes easier if you identify the fraudulent property agents and their scheming ways.

Take undue advantage over the client,decamp with his deposit money,furnish incorrect facts or omit the truth to swing the decision-making process. Manipulate prices to derive excessive profit. A fraudulent agent is prone to indulge in all these.

As clients tend to blindly trust the words of the agent, they never cross-check. When the unfortunate incident occurs, they begin to regret. Watch out for the common symptoms that raise suspicion regarding agents trying to dupe clients.

Fake documents, double mortgage chances, a general power of attorney used to sell to different persons, government land, encroachments, and dubious agreements, are some common ways of cheating clients. Verify each and every aspect and take an informed decision.

Persuasive pitch

Brokers depend on persuasion. They cite an increase in the value of other properties in the locality to create a fear of price rise. They want you to panic and take a quick decision. If your real estate agent adopts this strategy, you have a valid reason to suspect his motive.

If the agent prefers upcoming projects, remember it is mere speculation. Maybe the builder has not even registered the land where he is supposed to construct.

You can get an estimate of prices from property portals and newspaper listings. Contact multiple top-rated brokers or approach a person who has recently purchased a similar property in the locality and seek valuable information before you believe the agent.

Quality check

Real estate agents never disclose the quality of construction. Two similar properties in a locality are in the same price range but one project offers better construction quality and amenities. Visit the site to check the tall claims made by the property agent. Consider yourself lucky that the fraud real estate agent has been exposed at the right time if you find he has hyped it for you.

Distance sale

The dependence on the property agent is higher when buyers and sellers live in different geographic locations and they rely on the intermediary. Deals are closed on the basis of what the agent insists, as the parties do not get to meet in person. It is better to insist on meeting the other party before finalising the deal. If the agent wants to close the deal without the buyer and the seller getting to know each other, something is fishy in the case.

Transparent fees

Real estate agents get a commission based on the value of the deal. You should ask the fee the agent is getting from the other party. If you do not get a clear answer, take it as a warning signal. If he tries to avoid this query, you should become alert. A real estate agent should have no hesitation to answer this clearly as it generates mutual trust. When he knows the real value of the deal, he should reveal the commission he is getting from it.

Online ads

Real estate websites carry misleading listings by agents. Agents often use wrong photos, false specifications, and low prices to grab attention and generate leads. When buyers contact the agent, they are informed that the listed property is unavailable and they can choose from other properties.

Key information

In case your real estate agent is not making full disclosures or not quoting the best price, it is safer to get rid of him. There should be no nasty surprises reserved for the final stage.

Brokers are indispensable in the real estate sector. But you have to be on your guard all the time. He should give a realistic assessment of the market using best professional judgment and ensure that the clients do not suffer any loss on account of their neglect.