When something seems too good to be true, it’s time to investigate.
Often, these “too good to be true opportunities” turn out to be all hat no cattle.
I don’t take pleasure in being the party pooper who doesn’t immediately CELEBRATE these apparent windfalls, but it’s in my DNA – I’m wary of happenings that don’t make sense.
Before we break out the champagne, let’s do some diligence.
We Realtors are indefatigably optimistic creatures. We want the best for everyone and especially our home buying and/or selling clients. We are seekers of all of the GOOD things about everything and everyone.
Our outwardly positive outlook often provides our clients the lift they need as they work throughout the real estate transaction.
So then . . . Why is it that many of the most successful Realtors proceed with caution even when everything seems to be coming up roses?
We have a 6th sense that raises the hair on the back of our necks when we smell trouble. ALWAYS heed these “gut instincts” and pause the gome for some “validation” of this seemingly good fortune.
Here’s a case study:
A thread in a facebook group for Realtors began with this:
“OMG this is a 1st in my 22 year career….pls help me understand this….seller rejected my buyers CASH offer because he prefers my Buyer gets a Loan….?!?!Edit: FULL PRICE CASH OFFER2nd edit: We were the ONLY offer on the table. Not a multiple offer situation”
My immediateresponse was this:
“I had that same deal . . . All cash, full price, no contingencies, did the inspection and appraisal . . . Buyer Disappeared 3 days prior to closing . . . Turns out they were using the real estate contract to launder money for a local gambling syndicate. If it looks to be too good to be true, it probably is.”
AHEM! This stuff happens more than anyone can fathom. Cyber Criminals work over-time to target real estate transactions because there’s REAL money to be had, if they can compromise the flow of communication between Realtors, Home Buyers and Sellers, Lenders, Title companies, and banks.
This is the most profitable crime on the planet . . . literally!
These bad people often begin to target a specific “New Listing” within minutes of showing up on the internet. They work diligently to learn as much as they can learn from “Public record” (Tax Records) – Published contact information of the Realtors and the Buyers and sellers, and they insert themselves into the flow of the transaction. Once they’re inserted, they’ll watch passively until the transaction is ready to close . . . It is then that they POUNCE and send a very authentic looking email from the Seller with wiring instructions to transfer the proceeds at closing . . . and the money vaporizes within a few minutes of the transfer. This money is NOT recoverable.
Most Professionals in most real estate transactions warn clients of these in myriad ways throughout the transaction.
I, and most others, place warnings in email signatures like this:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Never trust wiring instructions sent via email. Cyber criminals are hacking email accounts and sending emails with fake wiring instructions. These emails are convincing and sophisticated. Always independently confirm wiring instructions in person or via a telephone call to a trusted and verified phone number. Never wire money without double-checking that the wiring instructions are correct.
Don’t think we’re being pessimists when we warn you about “too good to be true” scenarios because they may be too good to be true.
It’s a jungle out there.