Searching the MLS in Arizona I came across a nice looking, well kept single family home that was worth 160k. The listing only had one photo, the front of the home. Contacted a realtor to schedule a viewing. The realtor said he could not get in touch with the property owner so I called the owner myself and he answered. Almost immediately when he got on the phone he stated he can take the home off market for me to view if I pay $1k. He also stated he was out of town on business and had other homes for sell as well. I could hardly get any info about the property because he was so focused on this $1k. I told him I didn't think it was reasonable to pay $1k just to view the property. What really got me was when he wanted me to send the money through Zelle or CashApp! I told him I can send it through a title company but he disregarded that idea. He kept egging on the fact that he had tons of people calling him because it was such a great deal, which was understandable. The fact that I had to pay just to see the property, send the money through Zelle and him being so demanding is what made me skeptical. I asked him to send more photos just to get him off of the phone. He texted them and asked for the $1k again! I never replied. I got home to look up the property. The home photo was from google maps. The owners of the home had Hispanic names, which did not match his voice. He had a Jamaican or African type of accent and said his name was Paul Nelson! The next day he called like three times and I had to block him. If the deal was real I'm sure he would have been too occupied with other buyers to call me that many times. Being a new investor, I just never knew there could be scams on services like Zillow. Glad I'm somewhat knowledgeable about how things work in the real estate world to avoid a scam like that. Watch out guys!
MLS wouldn't give you garbage like that. People complain about a listing agent's commission, but part of it is insurance against such scams in a process with governance, safety, and regulation, a.k.a. the MLS.
Definitely a scam, good for you to recognize that. There are people out there that are taking advantage of the hot market and they know people will likely do things like that to get an edge on a deal. I could tell right away, $160k single family homes don’t exist in AZ, at least not in the Phoenix area! I would recommend reporting to Zillow also so they can take the listing down.
I had a very similar experience. Definitely a scam.
@Dareen Allie wow, what they are thinking of next. But I am just curious, Zillow's MLS listings are being pushed by MLS directly. Therefore, there is an agent attached to the listing automatically which has state license and MLS number. When you said, you called the owner directly, how did you find the owner's number? Was this a MLS listing or FSBO? Another testimony to do the Due diligent and never ever send money to anyone. Good for you for not falling for the scam.
@Ari T. it was FSBO. The property owner's number was listed on Zillow
@Art Shalomov it sucks people would try to do that.
@Brendan Miller I sure did report it. I assumed the inside of the home was pretty beaten down for the price and the fact that the only photo listed was the outside of the home.
My sister actually had her realtor call her and ask why was she selling her rental. She wasn’t. The tenant actually claimed to be the owner and actually listed the home he was renting from her, through an agent. The guy was clearly an idiot and his realtor was lazy. No idea what he thought would happen. Strange things do happen.
@Greg Henderson lol exactly! the tenant would have never been able to sell the home anyways!