15 Real Estate Scams to Warn Your Clients About

As a real estate agent, I know how exciting buying or selling a property must be. It’s a huge step, and you probably have a million dreams about your new place. But let me tell you, the world out there isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few scams designed to take advantage of unsuspecting people like you. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help! In this guide, I’m going to unveil 15 of the most common real estate scams I’ve come across over the years.

By the end of it, you’ll be a scam-savvy real estate pro, ready to spot any red flags a mile away. So, buckle up and get ready to protect yourself!

What are 15 Real Estate Scams to Warn Your Clients About?

Listen, the housing market can be a dream come true, but let’s be honest, it can also feel like a jungle out there.  As your realtor, I’m here to help you navigate the path to your perfect property, and that includes steering you clear of some truly awful scams. 

Let’s talk about 15 sneaky schemes I watch for, so you can avoid any real estate nightmares.

1. Online & Rental Shenanigans:

  1. Fake Listings: Be wary of online ads that seem too good to be true. Amazingly low rent prices with gorgeous photos? It could be a scammer trying to steal your deposit. Always double-check with a licensed agent to confirm the listing’s legitimacy.
  2. Wire Woes: Never send money via wire transfer to someone you haven’t met in person and verified their identity. Real estate transactions happen through secure channels, not shady money transfers.

2. Shady Sellers & Title Trouble:

  1. Flipping Phonies: Flipping houses can be a great investment, but beware of those promising unrealistic returns. Do your research on market value and don’t get sucked into inflated estimates.
  2. Fake Agents: Insist on working with a licensed professional! Unlicensed agents can disappear with your money, so always check their credentials.
  3. Bait and Switch: Don’t fall for sellers who advertise a dream home at a steal, only to pressure you into a different (and much less desirable) property once you show interest. Trust your gut and walk away if things feel off.
  4. Title Tricks: Title fraud is a serious issue. Make sure you have a lawyer review the property title to ensure it’s legitimate and there are no hidden claims.

3. Foreclosure Frauds & Investment Woes:

  1. Foreclosure Fantasy: If you’re facing foreclosure, don’t trust anyone who guarantees they can save your house for an upfront fee. There are legitimate foreclosure prevention programs, but they won’t ask for money upfront.
  2. Loan Flipping: Steer clear of lenders who keep pressuring you to refinance your mortgage into increasingly complex (and often risky) loans.
  3. Foreign Phantoms: Be cautious of offers from mysterious “overseas investors.” Legitimate buyers will go through the proper channels.

4. Sneaky Deals & Communication Cons:

  1. Phoney Inspections: Always use a reputable inspector you trust. Fake inspectors might downplay problems with a property to make a sale.
  2. Disclosure Deceit: Sellers are legally required to disclose any problems with the property. Be wary if a seller seems overly vague or avoids answering questions directly.
  3. Mortgage Mayhem: Never give out your financial information to anyone who isn’t a licensed lender. Mortgage scams can leave you with a mountain of debt.
  4. Investment Education Escapades: Free seminars promising to turn you into a real estate mogul are often just a ploy to sell you expensive (and useless) investment courses.
  5. Cash Cons: While some buyers pay in cash, be cautious of anyone offering way above market value in cash. It could be a money laundering scheme, and you could get caught up in legal trouble.
  6. Pressure Play: A good realtor will guide you, not pressure you. Don’t be rushed into a decision. Take your time, ask questions, and be confident in your choice.


Remember, knowledge is power. By being aware of these common scams, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth and successful real estate experience. 

And of course, if anything seems fishy, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Let’s find your dream home together, the right way!

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