How do you know the property is a scam?

4 Replies

Just want to say, I'm a total newbie when it comes to investing but have helped my parents sell and buy a home. I hope to start investing on my own in a year or two. My parents are interested in househacking and I saw a potential property  that was a fourplex for just $160k. The pictures shown seemed to be in good condition. The post was on zillow and by owner so I just texted the number on the post to see if it was still available. It was a very casual approach and the guy responded promptly. 

However after I asked if we could see the property he said only from the outside even though the post said to schedule a viewing by calling the number. He's from out of state and the property has been sitting for a couple months now. I tried calling him and I was put off by his text responses as if he didn't want to talk to me. He called me a whole week later after I left a voice mail. The property seems a bit too good to be true and the owner seemed a bit evasive. Is this something still worth pursuing? 

proceed with caution,look up the owners name,talk to tenants to find out who they pay rent to,due diligence ,

Seems fishy, but being out of state might mean that he's tired of coordinating viewings with tenants (assuming its rented) for tire kickers.  The owner being a pain could work out in your favor since he isn't cooperating with anyone else trying to see it.

Many people will submit an offer on a property without ever seeing it just to get it tied up, as long as you have an inspection and financing contingency, you can always back out.  Make sure to coordinate with your agent (assuming you are using a buyers agent) to understand exactly what you need to do back out and the time frame on doing so.

if he was a scammer he would do the opposite. He would be putting pression on you instead of being casual/nonchalant.

Of course proceed with caution but what you described is the kind of seller we should all try to find, obviously tired of dealing with the property, probably open to negotiate with someone serious. If he isnt willing to negotiate, try again in a few weeks.

If you know the sellers name, match it to the county assessors records. If they match, you at least know he's the owner. Put a reasonable offer on it with an inspection contingency, to cover yourself, and get the inspection done ASAP. Like said earlier, the owners attitude may work in your favor. When the time comes, the title company will ensure the title to the property is clear so you will know that the deal is legit.
(267) 520-0454

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.