Whenever you buy or rent a property, you should take great precaution before starting the buying or renting process.
For this reason, Real Estate lawyers make the following recommendations to all buyers to avoid scams when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
- New builds. Some scams occur with off-plan properties: the buyer delivers deposits that are then impossible to recover if the building project does not go forward. So, when making a deposit, you must ensure that the amount paid is guaranteed in a bank account that is endorsed so that, in the event that the promotion does not go forward, your money will be returned to you with interest.
- Resale property. It is important to make sure not to pay any money to the alleged owner without checking the actual ownership of the property you want to buy. In some cases, properties are in several people’s names and they may have not all agreed to sell the property. It is also important to ensure that there are no hidden charges on the property, such as mortgages, unpaid bills, etc., to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
- Rentals. Scams are more common when renting a property. It is important to deal directly with the owner, always with the intermediation of a specialized Real Estate agent. It is important to check the condition of the property and to process the contract legally.
- If you are renting through a Real Estate agency, remember to not pay any fees to the estate agents before receiving services.
- In the sale of a property, it is the seller who has an agreement with the agent about their fees, which are to be deducted from the final price agreed by the parties, so if you the buyer haven’t specifically agreed on a commission rate with the agent for brokering the sale, you do not have to pay anything. If there is no successful outcome in the sale of the home there will be no fees. The estate agent often breaks down the services to be performed at each stage and charges as they are met. In this case, the client must be fully informed and expressly consent if possible, in writing.