Real estate scams: how to avoid falling for one

One man is warning others to take precautions when house hunting online after he nearly became the victim of a real estate scam.

Tom Mason’s search for an Orangville, Ont., home for his family was not going well. All the apartments that interested Mason were quickly snatched up by other prospective tenants.

Mason decided to take some initiative and placed a wanted ad on the classified site Kijiji.

A man who called himself Richard quickly emailed Mason about a rental property.

‘There was no way this is for real.’—Tom Mason, searched for home online

Richard asked for $1,000 a month in rent for a home he said he had initially listed for sale after relocating to Iowa. He now wanted to rent it because, he said, the home had failed to attract a buyer after several months on the market.

“Seemed like just the perfect opportunity,” said Mason, adding he viewed a video tour of the property. “He relocated. The house wasn’t selling.”

But the red flags started popping up shortly after their initial correspondence. Richard asked Mason for a wire transfer the next day and promised his wife would soon fly to Toronto to hand over the keys.

“There was no way this is for real,” said Mason.

He contacted the real estate agent on the house listing and discovered Richard was not the property owner.

How to avoid a scam

When buying anything on an online classified site, a buyer should meet with a seller in person, said Shawn McIntyre, a community relations manager at Kijiji.

“Obviously, you should be really concerned” if anyone asks for money without providing the item, the keys or a lease, he said.

Kijiji offers some tips for avoiding real estate scams online:

  • Ensure that you can view the property
  • Beware prices that seem too good to be true
  • Be wary of professional and low-resolution photos
  • Note that flowery descriptions, extensive features lists and repairs needed may signal an ad was copied from a real estate site
  • Use caution around ads that ask for personal information, like age or a SIN number

In the company’s general tips on how to stay safe while using the site, Kijiji recommends never sending wire transfers.

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/real-estate-scams-how-to-avoid-falling-for-one-1.2743358

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Lets talk about the Elephant in the room also known as the “Out of Town Agent”

I believe there’s an elephant in the room that we haven’t
been talking about. Well let’s be honest here, Realtors have been talking about
it behind closed doors for some time, but there’s a fear in talking about it
publicly. There’s a fear of coming across as slandering or  being anti-competitive; which are two big
no-no’s in our industry. As a result we’ve all been keeping mum on the Elephant
in the room; the Out of Town Agents. When I say Out of Town Agents I’m
referring to anyone who is selling real estate in an area that they either do
not reside or are not a member of that area’s local association of Realtors.
This blog isn’t meant to put anyone down I will happily cooperate with any Relator
when it comes to selling my client’s properties. I think of myself as an advocate
first and real estate broker second, and feel it’s time to start speaking up
and exposing this issue that I believe is tarnishing our industry and putting
consumers at risk.

This is an issue that is just too big to cover off in one
blog, so I invite you to join me on my little exposé-series of the “Out of Town
Agent”.

Let’s start with what’s happening and why. For the most part
the out of town agents are coming to Northumberland are from the GTA, i.e. the
GTA agent list their sellers home in their local market place and then that same
agent will follow them down to Northumberland to represent them in their
purchase. Based on figures from the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors,
sales from out of town agents are increasing by approximately 3%-5% a year and
last year represented over 20% of transactions[1].

Based on the average home price in Northumberland vs the
average home price in Toronto  agents
receive less than half the commission on a Northumberland sale vs a Toronto one[2].
So it begs question; why an agent would travel over 2 hours and do twice as
much work for half of the earnings.

So I use the watering hole analogy. Why are the Toronto
agent traveling in herds to Northumberland? The same reason why an elephant
will trek 11 kilometers a day in for water in a dry season; too many agents in
the city have caused a dry spell and they are willing to travel a great
distance to survive.

Now when it comes to your largest investment, who do you
want representing your interests; a knowledgeable, successful, local agent or a
starving elephant?  


[1]
Based on sales data from the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors 2013              

[2] Based
on an average sale price of $550,700 from the Toronto Real Estate Board August
2014 and an average sale price of $279,625 from the Northumberland Hills
Association of Realtors July 2014.

[3] Based
on the Toronto Real Estate Boards reported number of transactions of 87,111 and
total number of registrants 35,000 in 2013.

[4] Based
on an assumed typical 70/30 split of fees for an agent, a commission payable to
a cooperating agent of 2.5%, and average sales volume of 2.5 transactions per
year.

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of
Jacqueline Pennington and do not represent those of the Northumberland Hills
Association of Realtors or RE/MAX Lakeshore.  

Copyright © 2014 Jacqueline Pennington. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=30237

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More investors turning to small property development

Limited supply and high prices in key markets is encouraging landlords to embrace the role of small property developer. But are the big profits worth the hard work?

An increasing number of investors are turning their attention to property development in a bid to maximize on the demand for single-family homes.

Speaking to CREW, investor Sahil Jaggi says buying an old building and undertaking a complete rehab is the only way he can get into desirable neighbourhoods at a good price, and opportunity to make a lot of cash.

While admitting that the work is a full-time job with the risk of unexpected costs popping up, Jaggi says joint-ventures are the best way to get into such projects.

“If you have a good plan, good location and a good project lined up you will always find investors,” he says. 

“If 20 to 30 per cent of the area is already developed, you know it’s headed towards something and there’s room for growth.”

Paul Shikanai, owner of Regency Property Management and Real Estate in Regina, advises investors to be financially creative when undertaking such projects and do not undertake any unnecessary costs.

“I’ve seen people put a lot of money into it and it’s hard to get that return,” he says. “You don’t need to put in a granite countertop. You don’t need a beautiful tile on the floor.”

***Do you want to learn more about small property development? The September issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth features a comprehensive step-by-step guide of what is involved in small property development. Investors reveal the secrets to successfully undertaking such projects, while city planners and lawyers offer exclusive advice on how to avoid unnecessary costs and headaches. The magazine will be on newsstands this week or subscribe here to avail of a special deal today.

Article source: http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/news/item/2153-more-investors-turning-to-small-property-development

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Experienced Realtor helps buying or selling a home easier

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Visit Our Profile Page.

Article source: http://www.yorkregion.com/shopping-story/4767656-experienced-realtor-helps-buying-or-selling-a-home-easier/

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