Buy, rent, and invest smart. Real estate is a thriving and lucrative industry, and within each such industry comes a handful of shady individuals looking to con the unwary customer.
Stick to these safety measures when you're shopping around for a home or a new investment to protect yourself from scams.
Ask for the broker's license and valid IDs.
If you're in the market for a broker, ask him or her to provide you with IDs to verify his or her identity. Ask the broker to furnish you as well with his or her broker's license to make sure you're taking on a valid professional. Make sure you have his or her contact details. Ask for at least three references, ideally the broker's past or current clients, whom you can contact.
Examine the property.
Always, always examine the property in person to determine its condition and that it matches what is being offered to you on paper. Check the address provided to you and make sure it is indeed in that specific location. Drop by the local government agency to find out about any pending liens on the property or to verify to whom it is registered to.
Ask for a comparative analysis of the property.
Check how much similar properties within the same area are being sold for. You can do this by asking brokers for a comparative analysis, which they usually provide for free.
Always ask for a contract and read the fine print.
Contracts set terms and agreements in stone and make each party liable to them under the law. Be sure to read the fine print. Consult a lawyer if needed be.
Use trusted property portals like Property24.
Anyone can post and market supposed listings online. It’s best to stick to property portals that offer only legitimate listings from licensed brokers and trusted property developers.