Land contract scam?

ApplenutbutterFebruary 9, 2012

Can't quite figure out what the angle might be (maybe $ laundering?), but we recently got an offer that has the feeling of a scam to it. Has anyone else heard of this or a similar scenario?

Out-of-state (driving distance) buyers with no agent of their own approached our agent looking to pick our house up as a second home. Buyer proposed a cash sale for full asking price plus sharing our agent's commission, making close to 3 years of monthly payments and receiving the title at the end. Buyer doesn't want to pay interest but will let us stay in the house for a good chunk of the time they are making payments. The buyer waived most of the inspections on our antique house. The buyer explains this arrangement by claiming to be heir to a large fortune. Of course, we would have identity, background and credit checks done, but I'm wondering if this situation rings a bell with anyone?

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The buyer will probably give you a cashiers check over the amount due and ask you to pay back the difference. Once the buyer has your money you will never hear from him again and you are out of several thousand $$$. (and your privacy, SS#, bank acct.#, etc)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
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If they are heirs to a large fortune, then why do they need to make payments? That's what would raise a red flag to me. And if they're making payments, it's not a cash sale.

A contract for deed does give you more protection than it gives them (you own the house until they have made all the payments). Are they proposing the paperwork or are you? How thoroughly they review (or don't review) the documents would be a good way to feel them out. If they sign anything easily without legal review, I'd smell a rat.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 6:07AM
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Sounds like an elaborate "Nigerian 419" type scam or something.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Applenutbutter, any updates?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:21PM
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I'm wondering if perhaps their only income is the 'share of commissions' which would be paid at closing by separate funds before all the paperwork went down the toilet?...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:14PM
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Unbelievable!! I've had almost the exact same scenario happen to me... out of state, driving distance, no agent, full asking price, 2 years of payments, no inspection, title at the end. I don't trust this guy AT ALL... but, unfortunately, my mother (78 year old widow) does, and wants to go through with it. He won't give us a credit report. PLEASE tell me what happened in your situation...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Oh, please do tell me what ended up happening here...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:24AM
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bergness: what happened with yours?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Def. sounds like one of those Nigerian scams.

They also do it with highly sought after items, cars...........BMWs. They go on Ebay, Craigslist, newspapers and contact people directly. They even run scams with PUPPIES!

I with Berniek on this one. RUN!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 1:08PM
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It could be a Contract For Deed, which is a legit deal. Usually people who have a good self employed business or some other form of money coming in, but can not show a lender any income on tax returns. I have a client right now that may end up doing a Contract For Deed deal. He has plenty of monthly cash flow but does not claim any on tax returns as income, hence he can not get financing.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:44PM
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