On average, 500,000 dwellings are sold in Australia each year, and for a lot of people, getting these sold as quickly as possible is a priority. Some people may have a limited amount of time before needing to move to a new location, or others may be looking to unload a property as fast as possible to avoid tax costs. However, this opens an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage, like fake buyers. Here’s a look at what they do and how you can avoid them.
Purposes of Fake Property Buyers
First, let’s talk about what the goals of these fake buyers are. It’s not necessarily as obvious as a fake seller, who is trying to get money out of their victims.
- General annoyance: Fake buyers who put up money for a property they know they can’t provide often are simply causing an annoyance for home sellers. This means a substantial amount of time working with the fake buyer that could be spent elsewhere.
- Free items: In some cases, in order to impress and woo prospective clients, real estate agents will provide a variety of free items/gifts. A fake buyer can take advantage of that, especially with luxury properties they can’t afford.
- Impressing others: In some cases, the fake buyer is trying to create an inflated impression of their finances.
Signs That Your Buyer Is Fake
What should you look out for to find out if your buyer is fake?
- Not able to give you specifics of what they want: Any real estate buyer has a concrete idea of certain details of a property.
- Lack of excitement: If someone says this is a dream property but doesn’t show it, that may be a sign that they aren’t able to actually follow through on their interest.
- Asking to see every property you have: A buyer’s agent can have several properties that they offer, but all are likely extremely different. Asking to see all of them just shows that there isn’t any concrete interest there.
How To Avoid Wasting Your Time
Here are some general tips to avoid wasting your time with fake buyers.
- Ask about their business/jobs in a non-invasive way: If the income doesn’t align with the property cost, then you know something is wrong.
- Look at their social media pages: Many people will reveal lifestyle details publically on social media that you can use to gather more information.
- Verify any financial documents you are given: In some cases, people will try to falsify documents to prove their financial status. Make sure you send anything you get to a banker or other professional.
Fake property buyers are one of the many scams that can impact your real estate goals in Australia. The good news is that by versing yourself on the different methods they use as well as some of the key red flags, you can avoid wasted time and make sure you’re working to only communicate with individuals that have a concrete interest in your property.