Avoid Rental Scams: The Importance of Hiring a Realtor

Avoid Rental Scams Las Vegas

When it comes to most things in the consumer market, many of us have found that scams are possibility, especially when it comes to private transactions that take place on mediums such as Craigslist or Buy, Sell, Trade. These scams often seem too good to be true, and more often than not, they are. With such a low inventory of homes for sale in the current Las Vegas real estate market, people are renting out homes longer than they would like. Considering the exceedingly high demand for for-sale homes and the low supply, the potential for rental scams is higher than ever. This begs the question, “How can you protect yourself from being a victim to one of these rental scams?”

The answer is simple — hire a realtor.

How to Identify a Rental Scam

Avoid Rental Scams Las VegasIt often goes without saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” and when it comes to the rental scam debacle within the Las Vegas real estate market, this much is certainly true.

In the case of Brianna Sharp, a Las Vegas resident, her and her family suffered the loss of $2,200.00 and a comfortable home at the hands of a scammer on Craigslist. How it was said to have transpired is that she was in contact with the supposed home owner who said he lived in Texas and was looking to rent out the property. The alleged home owner provided all the potential tenants with an access code to obtain the house key and view the house on a particular day. It wasn’t but two days later that Mrs. Sharp received an email informing her that her application was accepted and she was to put down a $2,200.00 security deposit for first and last month’s rent via credit card over the internet. Her and her family packed up all of their belongings and went to their ‘new home,’ only to find that the access code they had been given no longer worked.

Needless to say, Sharp and her family were utterly devastated in light of the tragedy, and this happening ushers prospective tenants and home-buyers alike to tread carefully when looking for a property.

3 Steps to take if you think you are a part of a rental scam

3 steps to take to get out of a rental scamIf you suspect that you may be involved in a rental scam, there are a few measures you can take to find out for sure.

First, it is important that you look up the property owner. Finding out who owns what property is accessible to public online, and will be the first place you want to search for validation when it comes to assessing your prospective rental situation. You can also cross-check your information by looking up the home on a third-party website like Zillow, HotPads, Kadaza, or Trulia to see if the information is consistent.

Second, if you can arrange for a walk-through with the owner and meet them in person, you can feel assured in that you can trust the individual and be in personal contact with them. It is important to refrain from taking part in any contract or financial agreement until you have met the individual in person. Once face-to-face contact has been achieved, the potential for a scam is considerably diminished. If you are legitimately concerned about the validity of the transaction you are taking part in, don’t hesitate to ask for identification.

Lastly, in any contract or agreement there should be a physical place of payment, a number to contact in case of repairs, a working phone number, and possibly even an email. If one or a few of these seem out of place or are not present altogether, do not be afraid to do more research or fold your hand.

How to Protect Yourself from a Rental Scam

How to Protect Yourself from a Rental ScamIf you want to safeguard yourself and ensure that you don’t have to deal with being taken advantage of. Your best bet is to hire a realtor to handle the all the specs and transaction details. A realtor will do all the research in regards to your prospective home, and will even negotiate prices and rates for you on your behalf. Going through a realtor ensures that your money goes exactly where you want it to, and that you and your family will have a comfortable, secure, and legitimate home to move-in to.

So, if you are a Las Vegas resident and are looking to buy or rent a home and are concerned about being preyed on by a real estate scammer, don’t hesitate to contact a firm such asĀ Windermere Anthem Hills to handle all your searching, speculating, and negotiating so that you can have peace of mind and confidence when it comes to renting out a home in the Las Vegas Valley.

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