Scam or what? Help me!

11 Replies

Hey you all, I’m looking for some more advice. I found a property on Craigslist advertising a home for sale. Initially I thought the the individual was another Wholesaler, but he claims to have purchased the property after it was foreclosed. I had a friend attempt to run some comps from the mls and he said it seemed pretty sketchy, especially considering the supposed owner of the house isn’t the one listed as the owner. Is there anyway the owner hasn’t been updated or should I just leave this guy alone? Hopefully I was clear with what I’m asking. Thanks!

He’s either a wholesaler who just has it under contract, scamming you and doesn’t own it or the owner is listed as an entity and he owns the entity.

Hard to say. If he asks for money up front it’s a scam

When you say he isn’t listed as the owner, where are you looking? Property tax websites are unreliable, as they are typically only updated around the time tax bills are sent out, which is only once a year in my county. Theoretically, property could change hands multiple times without property tax website ever being updated.

If you’re looking through chain of title on the register of deeds, that’s a different story.

Double check your MLS with the County Records. You can also do a Tax Search on the property in question should be able to find a receipt of sale.

Last option? Knock on the door of the property and ask.

Careful questioning can flush out a scam. if you decide to purchase, put any up front money liek an Earnest Money Depost with the title company. The title company will make sure the deal is legit.

It may be a wholesaler. Ask him how long ago he bought it, or if he is wholesaling it. It could be that it isn't updated yet online. Check with the county recorder's office. As someone mentioned above, some assessor offices don't update owner info until tax time. If it is an entity, check your state corporation commission. Search for the entity and ownership if available. Only give money to the title company. Also, they may be willing to help you out and look up ownership if you are going to be bringing them business.

If it's a deal that makes sense, just be sure to close through your title/ escrow or attorney as is local method. The title search will have the updated information and MLS and online sources can typically be behind and not up to date.

If he is legit, he’ll know to do so and have no hesitation or need to do anything different.

Good Luck!

As others have mentioned, the tax websites are often slow to update. The title company is what will verify who actually owns it.