To come up with a down payment, you’ve undoubtedly spent years working hard, improving your credit, and scrimping and saving. And now, at long last, you’re ready to buy the house you’ve always wanted. The last thing you want to happen while buying a home is to fall victim to scam. Unfortunately, it’s more prevalent and easy to become a victim of than you might imagine. Thousands of homebuyers are victims of fraud each year, and many more never disclose it because they are humiliated. We give these 5 indicators of fraud while buying a house in Muncie to help you avoid being a victim.
1. Refusal to Meet Face to Face
A lot of business is now done remotely and online, especially since the introduction of COVID-19. When you’re ready to give over tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house in Muncie, the seller should be willing to meet with you face to face. If you refuse, it could be a symptom of fraud.
“[N]eglecting to see the seller or real estate agent in person who is in charge of selling the property can be a tremendous error. Be suspicious if they always say they’re too busy to meet up, cancel on you at the last minute, or say they prefer to do business through another platform. They are most likely not who they claim to be, and they are aiming to defraud you of your hard-earned money.”
2. Refusal to Tour the House With You
Watch out if the seller or her agent refuses to take you on a tour of the residence. This may not be a symptom of fraud – after all, people are quite busy – but it is something to be aware of if it occurs while purchasing a home in Muncie.
A seller’s refusal to show you the property herself should, according to industry experts, make you feel uneasy. “This is because it could indicate that they aren’t in control of selling the property, or that the property isn’t for sale at all. Stay on high alert if the seller advises you to see the property on your own. Ensure that they take you on a tour of the property so that you may inspect it and verify that the seller is speaking the truth.”
A cosmetic cover-up of a severe problem is another indicator of fraud when buying a house in Muncie that should raise your suspicions. Repainting or drywall restoration to mask or disguise water damage, which typically entails serious and toxic mold/mildew problems, is an example of this.
Finding and hiring a trusted, respected inspector who can identify whether cosmetic improvements are masking any underlying flaws is your best bet to prevent falling victim to such cover-up. Of course, you’ll want to check references, but your Muncie agent can help you identify a reputable inspector. Simply contact Northindy Home Buyers to learn more.
4. Indications of Wire Fraud
Then there’s wire fraud, which is all too widespread. So be wary of any signals that wire fraud is being tried while buying a house in Muncie. This is how it works…
“Someone claiming to be from the title or escrow firm sends you an email, phone call, or text with instructions on how to wire your escrow payments. Fraudsters create bogus websites that seem exactly like the title or lending firm you’re dealing with, giving the impression that it’s the real deal. Scammers utilize spoofing techniques to make phone numbers, websites, and email addresses look legitimate, but one number or letter is incorrect — an easy mistake to make at first glance.”
As a result, the naïve customer follows the instructions and transmits the funds, assuming everything is in order. The buyer, on the other hand, has just been a victim of escrow wire fraud. The money is taken by the fraudsters/scammers, and the cheated buyer has little, if any, redress.
If you suspect this type of fraud, contact your lender to double-check the wiring instructions. Your Muncie agent will also be happy to assist you if you require it.
5. High-Pressure Tactics
High-pressure sales are a last, and often clear, symptom of fraud when buying a home in Muncie. This could come from the seller or the agent (or both). However, if they put too much pressure on you or are overly pushy, they’re most likely concealing something.
If the seller is pressuring you to accept their offer, you should observe “flashing big, yellow warning lights all over the place.” Real estate agents frequently work on commission, which is why they may be eager for you to close the deal. You should walk away if they are being very persistent (for example, if they advise you to buy immediately to get a better deal or if they warn you that there are other people waiting to buy).
Best Way to Avoid Fraud When Buying a House in Muncie
Being prepared with this information can help you avoid being a victim of identity theft. There is, however, something else you can and should do. That is, you should engage with a seasoned Muncie real estate agent. Your agent will be aware of all the scams and indicators of fraud that are out there and can help you avoid bad bargains. Don’t take any chances while buying a home in Muncie.