Scammers target different categories of people including Atlanta home buyers. These fraudsters use all kinds of strategies to dupe people who want to buy a home. One of these strategies is disguising to be an agent in order to swindle money out of prospective home buyers.
As more people wish to buy a home in Atlanta, the focus of these scammers is now on you. But you do not have to be panicky because you’re not alone. Besides, we have researched how you can outsmart the fraudsters and avoid being scammed by them.
By the time you are done reading this article, you will know ways of identifying a pseudo-agent trying to defraud you. Similarly, this article will teach you practices of safe home buying to help you avoid fraudulent transactions.
We understand that it is your right to choose where to live, and the fear of being scammed when trying to buy a home in Atlanta should not stop you from living your dream. This is why we wrote this article to help you buy a home in Atlanta successfully even if you are a first-timer. Let us proceed to the precautionary measures that can help you avoid being scammed.
1. Buy a Home from a Registered or Licensed Agent Only:
Ensure that you do not buy a home from an ‘agent’ until you verify that such agent is registered and licensed to sell homes in Atlanta. As mentioned earlier, scammers fake being agents to dupe people who want to buy a home in Atlanta.
To avoid being a victim, confirm that the seller is truly an agent before you pay for the home. Registered agents want to build a good reputation for career progress. So, you can rest assured that your money is safe with them, and that you will become the owner of the home you pay for.
However, this is not the case with fake agents who hardly reveal their real identity to prevent being sued after their fraudulent acts. At times, a scammer can pretend to be a home owner willing to sell his or her home. In a situation like that, try to hire a buyer’s agent to handle the transaction if you do not have a good understanding of home buying process in Atlanta. This will ensure that you are neither scammed totally or partially by paying more than you should.
2. Beware of Extremely Cheap Homes:
Home buying in Atlanta is so competitive that good houses are rarely available for sale at a cheap price. Therefore, you should be cautious and reluctant when you see good homes put up for sales at ridiculously cheap prices. It is advisable that you do not blindly pay to buy a good-looking but cheap home because it could be a bait to scam you. To be sure a home is actually available for the said price, make some inquiries and get your facts. If you cannot confirm the availability of the home you want to buy at the advertised price, make sure you walk away to avoid being scammed.
3. Inspect a Home Before you Pay:
Do not rely on picture evidence only because scammers have a collection of beautiful home pictures which, in reality, do not exist or are not available for sale. They use these pictures to deceive people who want to buy a home in Atlanta. Generally, they tend to send you videos showing different parts of the home and tell you not to bother inspect the home due to COVID-19. Do not fall victim, please. If you cannot inspect the home yourself, hire a licensed home inspector to do so on your behalf before you pay for the home. This way, you can protect yourself against fraudulent transactions.
4. Walk Away if the Deal is Suspicious:
The process of home buying in Atlanta is quite straightforward. At least, it does not involve any step strange to common sense. So, be on the alert and study the details of all steps you’re required to take by an agent. If you suspect a foul play, reach out to experts for clarification. And if you are sure there is an attempt to defraud you, quickly walk away from the deal.
For instance, walk away from a deal if you are required to make a payment via an unsecured link. And ensure that you close the deal at the Attorney’s office in the presence of all parties.
There are numerous attempts by scammers to defraud people who want to buy a home in Atlanta but by following the precautions discussed above, you’ll not fall victim of the scam.