How to avoid real estate Buyer Scams:
1) Never provide a non-refundable deposit unless you have fully inspected the property with a qualified inspector FIRST.
2) Always use a check (never a bank wire) for your earnest money deposit (Scumbags insist on wires because they cannot be easily reversed.)
3) Never sign a contract that does not offer an inspection / due diligence period, regardless of how “urgent” the “deal” is to snag, this is also a common scam tactic.
4) If dealing directly with the owner of the home, be sure you check to see who owns the property with your Local Property Appraiser’s office and have the “seller” show valid id to prove their identity.
5) If dealing with a “wholesaler” or anyone else claiming to have the right to sell the property of another insist they provide you with written proof of the “rights” they claim.
(Not all wholesalers and Realtors are bad, in fact, most are honest but there are a few major scammers in every market so buyer beware.)
6) Be very careful with “Double Closings”, always insist on a warranty deed in WITH Title insurance free of any exceptions to coverage.
EVERY DAY in the real estate market innocent buyers are being ripped off for deposit money or being strong-armed into buying bad investment properties..don’t be a victim!!