18 Real Estate Scams Happening in Your Neighborhood

Hey there, neighbor! You won’t believe the kind of shady deals and outright scams that are popping up right in our own backyards. Here’s the lowdown on some real estate trickery to watch out for. Stay sharp, because these scams are closer than you think!

#1. The Bait and Switch

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Ever see a listing with an amazing price only to find out it’s already “sold” when you call? That’s just to lure you in; the agent then tries to sell you something pricier. Classic bait and switch!

#2. The Rental Rip-off

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Those rental listings might not even be available! Scammers lift real photos of homes, post them online at a steal of a price, and then disappear with your deposit and first month’s rent.

#3. Title Fraud

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Imagine someone taking out a mortgage on your property without you knowing! It happens more than you think—identity theft leading to title fraud cost people millions last year.

#4. Fake Foreclosure Help

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Scammers prey on those struggling to make mortgage payments, offering fake legal help or bogus foreclosure rescues. They’ll take your money and run, leaving you in worse shape.

#5. Home Inspection Hoaxes

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Some shady inspectors are in cahoots with sellers. They downplay problems or don’t report them at all, tricking you into buying a money pit.

#6. Loan Flipping

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Watch out for mortgage brokers who encourage you to refinance again and again, pocketing fees each time while your debt grows bigger and bigger.

#7. The Moving Scam

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Ever heard of movers who load up all your belongings then suddenly demand double the agreed price? It’s outright extortion, and it’s happening right here.

#8. Rent to Own Ruses

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These can be full of hidden fees and harsh terms. Miss one payment and you could lose all the money you’ve put in, plus the home.

#9. The Cash Overpayment Scam

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A “buyer” sends you a check for more than the home’s price, asking you to refund the difference. When their check bounces, you’re out the cash you sent them.

#10. Fake Listings

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Some listings on reputable sites aren’t real; they’re just there to trick you into sending a security deposit. Always verify properties in person!

#11. High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Ever get rushed to sign on the dotted line with no time to think? That’s a red flag. Scammers don’t want you to read the fine print.

#12. Investment Seminars

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These seminars make big promises about helping you make a fortune in real estate. Often, they’re just fronts to sell overpriced courses or sketchy investments.

#13. Timeshare Scams

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Timeshares in exotic locations sound great, right? Until you’re stuck with hefty annual fees for a property you can hardly ever use.

#14. Dual Agency Dupes

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This is when one agent represents both the buyer and the seller. Sounds convenient, but can you really trust one person to negotiate the best deal for both sides?

#15. The Off-the-Market Ploy

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Some agents will tell you about exclusive listings that you must act on quickly. Often, it’s just a tactic to pressure you into a hasty decision.

#16. Equity Skimming

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Watch out for investors offering to buy your home for cash. They take over your mortgage, rent out the house, and never actually pay the mortgage—leaving you on the hook.

#17. The Clone Listing Scam

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Scammers copy a legitimate listing and post it with their contact info. They disappear once your check is cashed.

#18. Illegal Property Flipping

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Ever see a fixer-upper turned luxury home overnight? Some flippers use shoddy materials or hide major defects, all to make a quick buck.

Stay Alert, Neighbor

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Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s keep our eyes open and look out for each other. Don’t let these scammers make a fool out of anyone in our neighborhood!

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The post18 Real Estate Scams Happening in Your Neighborhood first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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