Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, always have a lookout on scams. We are bombarded daily with advertisements and promotional campaign. Sometimes when you see a deal and find it amazing, do you due diligence, because it often turns out to be “too good to be true“. Better yet, hire a professional. It is not worth trying to save a little money than wide up losing more just because you are not careful.

We all know we don’t like to pay for insurance, because it feels like throwing money away. We will only find insurance to be a good investment when we fall into traps and unfortunate situations. Yes, it is possible to sell a property by yourself, however, the realtor profession exists for a reason, they are a type of insurance you purchase or along with the deal to make sure someone with the right knowledge is there to follow through the entire process.

Although realtors are not mortgage specialists, they have the knowledge that can help their clients be safe during a property transaction. It’s never a bad thing to be too careful!

Below are six suggestions written by Dianne Nice on an article posted on CTV News

1. Beware of unusual offers. Never lend your identity to anyone or sign documents you do not fully understand. “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

2. Do the math. Look at the listing history on the property and do a comparative market analysis. Check the number of sales and price ranges for the community. If the home’s listing price is much higher than the average value of neighbouring homes, it could mean someone is flipping the property or has had it fraudulently appraised.

  • The realtor you work with should be responsible for doing the proper market analysis by comparing the properties you are interested in to the comparable in the target area. He or she will have to find out the prices for properties around yours and make sure that the price you are about to settle with is legitimate.

3. Don’t assume the seller is honest. Get your own realtor or independent representation for your purchase. If the seller objects, something is wrong.

  • If you have haven’t started looking for properties, hire a Realtor and tell him/her what you are looking. It will be their job to find somewhere that you are satisfied with. Make sure you keep him around to close the transaction, it is their job to keep you safe.
  • If you have found a property and about to close it, it is wise to hire a Realtor to make sure that all the details of the transaction are done properly. He will also be able to point out things that people who is not familiar with real estate will normally miss out. The realtor will also be able to tell you whether the price you are aiming for is whether too high or too low comparing to the current market in that specific area. He will also be of great assistance during the price negotiation process.

4. Do a land title search. This will show the name of the property owner, any mortgages or liens registered on the title, as well as previous sales and transfers. You can also buy title insurance to protect against title fraud.

  • The land title search process also falls under the responsibility of the Realtor. It is their job to make sure you have a clear title once you have close the deal. Without the Realtor confirming this important detail, there’s always a chance that you are either buying someone who do not actually own the property, or do not intend to give you the title once he or she receives your money.

5. Get your own appraisal. You may want to include, as part of your offer to purchase, the option to have the property appraised by a member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

  • Realtors should have contacts with numerous property appraisal companies. Even if the other party of the transaction have said to you that they have a proper appraisal completed, it is always safer to re-appraise the property with someone who is working on your side.

6. Secure your deposit. Make sure your money is being held in a real estate trust account by a realtor or lawyer. This will ensure your money is safe until the deal closes.

  • It is your Realtor’s job to guard you deposit while the transaction is happening. Once the transaction has been completed and the title is transferred to your name, then the seller will be able to retrieve the deposit from the brokerage’s trust account.

There are too many traps and scams, and real estate transaction always involve a bit large chuck of your hard-earned money. You can never be too careful.

Will you be willingly drive a car without insurance? Often we feel like we are just throwing the money away, until the day when someone breaks in or crashes you car. This is when you wish you had purchased insurance. It is the same deal with hiring a Realtor, it is their job to make sure your transaction go through safe and sound.

Source: http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/static/business/article1758665.html