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Is this a Real Estate scam?

Posted by tampacondo (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 6, 07 at 14:41

I placed my home FSBO on a popular website offering a 3% commission to Realtors. Since then both my phone and e-mail have been bombarded with every kind of scheme you can imagine from both "Realtors" and mortgage brokers. Before I removed the listing, I was getting anywhere from 20-30 calls a day (including a number of recorded messages) from Realtors wanting to list my home "when I get desperate", buyers wanting to know my "lowest price" before even looking at the house and mortgage brokers wanting to work with my buyers with low credit scores.

However, this most recent incident takes the cake in my book. A young Realtor called and said that he had some buyers who were interested in living in my area and my house was in their price range. We made an appointment for them to see my home. Now since I was only doing 1-2 showings a week, I did have to invest a few hours each time someone came to get the house back to show-ready condition (cleaning, putting things away, etc.). Two hours before the showing, he called and rescheduled for a few days later. On the day of the showing, he showed up alone. I asked where the buyers were and he informed me that it was his real estate company that was buying the house. I thought, OK, that might work and I proceeded to show him the house. He did not seem very interested in looking around and barely looked at anything.

I then asked how long it would take for his company to close. That is when he said "six months". To make a long story short, he wanted to list my house and then if it did not sell in six months, they would then buy it, but I had to continue to show the house to buyers he (or other Realtors in his group) brought in. I did not even look at the contract, but I imagine it would be full of out-clauses so that they would not have to purchase after the six-month period (by which time maybe the house would be worth more anyway). He was willing to do this for 3% and what I could not understand was what the difference was between him bringing some buyers in now and earning the 3% and me signing the contract unless he someone makes some money off of other Realtors. Is anyone familiar with this method? I feel he was very dishonest from the get-go, making me believe that he had actual "buyers" interested in the house and this was just a way to get his foot in the door to list my house, but I cannot understand why.

Anyway, I will definitely be listing with a Realtor next time if only to avoid having to deal with all these scam artists and annoying phone calls. You invest considerable time getting your home ready to show each time someone makes an appointment, only to find out when they arrive, that it is just another con.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

If it were me, I'd be reporting this tactic to the State agency regulating realtors, if for no other reason than to spare other people.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

"He was willing to do this for 3% and what I could not understand was what the difference was between him bringing some buyers in now and earning the 3% and me signing the contract unless he someone makes some money off of other Realtors. Is anyone familiar with this method?"
What he was saying is, that you pay him 3% and once you get an offer by another agent, what are you going to pay an agent who brings a buyer?
Sleazy tactics, but not illegal if everything is disclosed.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Are you on the Do Not Call list? If so you can report each of these individuals and companies. There are fines for calling people on the Do Not Call list. Your FSBO advertising does not allow them to call you unless they have a legitimate buyer.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

We signed up for the Do Not Call list when it first became available and it may have reduced the calls some but definitely didn't stop them. I've heard that no one is really enforcing it. It's a great idea, but no power to back it up. Very few companies have been fined. Telemarketers etc know this and keep on bothering consumers. We don't answer the house phone anymore - everything is screened. And it's still annoying to come home to 10 or more spam messages on the machine. Although it's dropped considerably since we moved to Oregon from SoCal - maybe California is just a hot spot for telemarketers.

For the OP - I'd say it's a very bad marketing technique for that company. You feel used and abused by them already - why would you want to list with them?

I haven't heard other complaints from FSBOs that they're getting the same kinds of nuisance calls that you have had. I wonder why? That would make me wary of going FSBO, dealing with all that hassle.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

"Your FSBO advertising does not allow them to call you unless they have a legitimate buyer."
Generally that is true, however the agent did indicate his company wanted to buy the property, although the terms might have been self serving.
That's the problem with the DNC list, almost anyone can ignore it, or lie about their reason for calling.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Wait a minute. This con artist said that he had young buyers who were interested in the house. This was a flat out lie. Report him and his company to your state office of consumer affairs.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Don't give up. It sounds like this fsbo site you signed up for sold your information and that's unfortunate. Luckily you won't have that phone number for much longer. Investigate some other ways to market the house and pull your listing off that site and dispute the charge to your credit card if they charged you.

I did not have these problems when selling fsbo. I did get a lot of phone calls from the advertising that I did but they were legit callers. Not a single realtor that I didn't invite, unfortunately since I would have offered them a commission but decline to sign a contract.

Next time you show a house, don't do it alone because you really don't know who's going to show up if you can't verify they are legit.

Anyway I've seen quite a few ads for realtors in my area that sa they will buy your house after X amount of time if they can't sell it. Which, of course I'm sure they won't offer you the same price they told you it would sell for.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Another thing that happens is that there are hundreds of real estate websites that will "steal" your listing information and list your house on their site. I found them by googling my address and asking callers where they saw the ad and I was schocked. Even though I removed my phone number from Own**rs dot com, I am still getting calls from people who have gone to all these other sites.

There is even one site that specializes in foreclosure homes. Some of the details of my home are listed there (without my permission), but my name, phone number and address are blocked out and you can only get them if you pay a membership fee to join the site. In other words, there are people making money on you listing your home.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

"Wait a minute. This con artist said that he had young buyers who were interested in the house. This was a flat out lie. Report him and his company to your state office of consumer affairs."
So, how old is the owner of the RE company, and what is young to you?
Not trying to make excuses, but I know they can wiesel out of it.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

B, it's "weasel". The scamster said he had some buyers interested in living in the area and that the house was in their price range. I conflated the youth of the so-called realtor with his mythical buyers, but his words were a clear misrepresentation.

(Although fairly well preserved - it's the sunblock - I'm pretty long in the tooth. "Young" to me would be twenties.)


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Sorry you're having to deal with all these annoying salespeople tampacondo. That agent that came to your house is dang lucky he didn't run into ME - I'd have kicked his behind out of my house quickly with an earful of obscenities.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Realtors really are desperate these days and some will do anything to get a foot (or two) in the door. Too bad you didn't slam it in his face!


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

"B, it's "weasel"."
You are so right, my German took over, must have been a senior moment.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

I would never let some strange person in my home. Just because someone calls you up and says he's a realtor doesn't mean he is. This is why I would never sell FSBO. I don't want to deal with these people alone.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

Let's back up to the National Do Not Call list and set a few things straight. Our wonderful legistlators led everyone to believe that they were protecting all of us with this great idea, but they put no teeth into it. A number of people/organizations are exempt - charities, anyone you are already doing business with, and those businesses that cannot conclude the deal over the phone (which can be kind of a gray area). You have to re-register every 5 years.

Some states, like Indiana and Wisconsin have their own laws that supersede the National Do Not Call list with stricter rules. If you live in those states and register with the state list, the calling business can be fined even if they already have a relationship with you (which is permissible with the National list). Breaking the rules in Indiana is $25,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for each one thereafter. Now, you have to give them time to remove you from their list. You can't call today and expect the calls to stop tomorrow. I don't recall if the waiting time is 14 days or 30 days. And the interesting thing is, the offending business has to prove they did not call in the event a complaint is filed. A number of large corporations have paid some hefty fines to the state of Indiana.

Another thing you can do is to tell the offending caller to put you on their own Do Not Call list. They are required, by law, to do so. Make note of when you tell them and report them if they call you back.


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RE: Is this a Real Estate scam?

When we sold FSBO we received tons of calls from agents trying to get the listing. I was repeatedly told how we wouldn't be able to sell on our own. I quickly learned to cut them off with a simple statement of how I had already decided who would get the listing if I decided to stop FSBO. Which I had, really.

I just considered it part of the PITA factor and I learned a bunch. And I had things happen like an agent who said he wanted to make an offer. I told him to write it up, but I never heard from him again.

Gloria


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