Despite the large number of trustworthy REALTORS®, agents, brokers, contractors and homeowners in the Edmonton real estate market, Real Estate scams in Edmonton do happen every year. In some cases, people can be out some money, a project or potentially much worse. Here are the top 4 scams we’ve seen out there and how you can do you best to avoid them.
4. Real Estate Property Investment Seminars and Workshops
We are talking about the Real Estate seminars that sell you on “Getting Rich Quickly”. You go for free, get to eat or drink something, and sit with other folks who know as little about the material as you. They get you in and they sell you without giving you anything of value.
What You Can Do
Avoid them if they seem too good to be true. If you want to learn about Edmonton real estate investing, be sure to talk to seasoned pros—like our team!
3. Online Rental or Real Estate Scams
You see a deal that’s too good to be true on Kijiji. You check the add and call. The renter says they can’t meet there but books a meeting “off site” to exchange keys and sign off on the agreements. You head to what you think is your new home only to find out that there is still a tenant living there, and it’s not your home.
The way this works is the ads on kijiji are actually “scraped” from real listings and posted to look like ads. Then the scammer pretends to be a landlord, property manager or real estate agent and targets you.
What You Can Do
Be watchful. Any time you see a desperate “must rent now!” with an asking price too good to beat, there is a good chance that it is too good to be true. It is important to always view the rental property prior to renting it out. Be sure to check out Paranych Rentals to view real listings available for rent now.
2. Home Improvement Scam
Not all scams are about purchases or rentals. In fact one of the most common scams throughout Ontario and BC is the door-to-door contractor one. A contractor sizes up a problem with your home and knocks on your door offering amazing deals (and using high pressure sales tactics to win you over). Then they half start your project, take you deposit and run off with your money leaving a large mess for you to deal with.
What You Can Do
- If any contractor is eager to work with you, review and sign a formal agreement before any money crosses hands. A contract is good protection against bad work.
- Check references with any new contractor that you bring aboard. References are your stop gap and they will give you a sense of the type of contractor you have. If they use inflated references, you should be able to tell.
Following up is the key. Ultimately, never agree to anything that gets proposed at your door, no matter how convincing it seems.
1. The “It Could Never Happen to Me” Scam
Technically, this isn’t so much a scam as it is a way of thinking that can lead to being scammed. No one deserves to live in their home paranoid of what lurks out there, but we need to stand guard and realize that real estate scams in Edmonton do happen. You can help to reduce the risk by being cautious, taking your time when deals sound a little too good to be true.
Remember, too that scammers are a small minority of a very active, honest and trustworthy businesses that are here to help.
If you have any further questions about home ownership and how to protect yourself from Edmonton real estate scams be sure to talk to us. The Paranych Team is always here to help you. Get in touch with us today!