Friday, May 16, 2014

Rentals-- there is a new scam that Scammers are doing

If you or someone you know is looking for rentals there is a new scam that Scammers are doing it is like this; They copy and paste legitimate listings (either for sale or for rent), and then after getting inquiries and questions, try to get victims to wire them the deposit.
"They're marketing it for up to $500 less (than the original listing amount) or what the normal amount is going for in the area.
A scammer will even suggest to an interested renter drive to the property and view it for themselves.  If there is a sign on the property- call the number in front of the home!!  If it is not the number you called the first time- it is a scam!! 
I have just had this happen to 2 of my listing, it is getting bothersome.  One gal had even wired $500.00 to the scammer just so she could save it- without filling an application or any other procedure.    I feel bad, but there are so many warning signs- or so I think!! 
The old adage is: if it sounds too good to be true, then it is!
If you are going to sell a car, or furniture- most of us would go find out how much it is worth and then list it for around that price as you want to get the most you can for the item, right??  Well, why would someone rent their home (one of the most expensive items they own for less than they could) speaking for the majority or perhaps all of us—they wouldn't!!
 So there is your first clue.  Another good tip off they don’t ask for any ID, references, nothing (sometimes they say- “send the money just to hold it for you” or I can’t get all the paperwork done right now so just send me the earnest money of $XXX.XX  and we will take care of the rest later.…If you were going to rent your home- would you handle it this way?  Wouldn't you want to know; the potential tenant’s name, where they work, some references, bank accounts, etc???  Which now leads me to ---DO NOT GIVE OUT THAT TYPE OF INFORMATION UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU ARE DEALING WITH A LICENCE AGENT/BROKER or PROPERTY MANAGER.  THESE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO PROTECTING AND STORING THAT TYPE OF DATA.
If you give it to a person that just owns the home, there is no way to know what they are doing with that information. So just be careful out there!  The rental market is very competitive out there right now, but stop and think before you act.  It could save you lots of money and headaches!!   
It is best to look out for dramatic changes in listing prices- comparable to the neighborhood. Also it's helpful to check the county assessor's office to make sure the person you're talking to is the current owner of the property.  If not, make sure they have the legal right to show you the property—you should NEVER go through someone’s home without having the agent or landlord present. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Looking for the Diamond in the Rough

There are many homes for sale in Arizona.   Finding a great deal is the hard part, some have great features but there is something wrong structurally, or structurally it is sound, but there are so many other factors that are not desirable. Here are 4 things you can do to quickly find the diamond in the rough.
1.       Find a full time Realtor to have them help you in your search.  (Yea, I know this seems self -serving but REALTORS are educated in the market and the ins and outs of purchasing homes and can help so much through the entire process).

2.         Get pre Qualified (different than pre-approved) by a licensed mortgage broker, they are held to a higher standard than the regular (big Bank ) loan officers.  Make sure you will be dealing with one person the entire time during the process. This is a real factor that I have seen become quite frustrating for many a buyer- as once the loan is going through it’s process they are passed to different people and no one knows the whole story. Not to mention licensed lenders can show you some great options from many different programs out there-- that are out there to help you, not the bank.

3.       Have your realtor start up a portal for you so you are looking at just the homes for sale on the ACTUAL MLS, so many other websites will show you homes that have sold or have offers on them- what is the point of finding the perfect home if you can’t make an offer on it.

4.       Look on goggle maps to see if the location is desirable, Drive by the homes you think you will like- factors like power lines, backing to a road, too close/ or not close enough to a school, the overall feel of the neighborhood all can be factors for you to consider and can be determined just by doing a drive by. 
If it passes this test then;
5.       Use the Buyer’s Advisory it is chock full of valuable information for someone looking to purchase a home in Arizona.  It has schools, crime rates, fissures locations, Airport traffic reports and so much more.

6.       Now is the time to go take a look at the ones you have narrowed down.  Schedule some time to meet and go into each home so you can really see the home’s plus / minus.  Evaluate what it is you are concerned about and what it is you like about the home.   From there, you will know if you are on the right track to find the home you will really enjoy living in.     

I hope that helps you in your pursuit of the Diamond in the rough and if you have any questions, I would be happy to help you!! 

Elaine Beery CNE, ABR, CSSN, SFR
United Broker’s Group