In our fast-paced world of real estate, agents must remain vigilant against potential pitfalls. There is always potential for circumstances to arise due to divorce, death, and distressed properties. But, there is an ever growing additional category to add to the mix of potential issues and it’s one of noteworthy concern: Seller Fraud.
Recognizing the signs early on can safeguard both agents and clients from undesirable consequences. Below we explore the red flags of seller fraud. These key indicators can equip real estate professionals with the knowledge needed to navigate transactions securely and maintain the integrity of their business.
WATCH FOR RED FLAGS
Consider heightened scrutiny when a property
- Is vacant land or non-owner occupied (such as investment or vacation properties)
- Is a different address than the owners address or tax mailing address
- Has no outstanding mortgage or liens
- Is for sale or sold below market value
Consider heightened scrutiny when a seller
- Wants a quick sale, generally in 2 weeks and may not negotiate fees
- Wants a cash buyer
- Is refusing to attend the signing and claims to be out of state or country
- And refuses to use RON services (Remote Online Notary)
- Is difficult to reach via phone and only wants to communicate by text or email
- Refuses to meet in person or by video call
- Will only accept proceeds by wire
- Wants to use their own notary
By staying vigilant and thoroughly investigating any deviations from standard practices, real estate agents can safeguard themselves and their clients against potential seller fraud.