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The worst thing to happen to a first time land buyer is to be scammed by dubious land sellers.
The following tips below will help you to spot a real estate scam so you could avoid losing your hard-earned money.

  • Beware of Upfront fees – Don’t bow into any pressure to make certain payments before physically inspecting the land. Scammers often make you feel you would lose the deal if you didn’t make any deposit to secure your interest. Verify the land documents and physically inspect the location agreeing to make any payment.

  • Be Wary of Unrealistic Price – If the price of a land is very cheap compared to similar properties in the area, you could be heading towards a scam. Many scammers nowadays lie under the pretense of a ‘distressed sale’ to sell their properties cheaper than the market value.

  • Avoid Paying Cash – With cash transactions, you may not have enough evidence to support your payment to the individual or company if the transaction goes wrong. You want to be able to hold someone liable if the deal didn’t push through. Write a check or pay through your bank. If the land seller insists on receiving cash, chances are that they are a scam.

  • Avoid Properties without Proper Documentations – Request and verify the title documents of the property. Genuine sellers should be willing to provide these documents for verification. Don’t be made to believe that title documents are being processed or on their way. Confirm the ownership details at the appropriate land registry or government offices.

  • Avoid An Unknown Seller – Investigate the background of the seller, especially if it is an individual rather than a reputable real estate agency. Be cautious if the seller is unwilling to provide personal details or if there is limited information available about them. If the seller refuses to answer basic questions such as his residential address, or he chooses to ignore important facts about the property, chances are that they are a scam.

While the above points can help you to spot a real estate scam, its best to consult with experienced agents, realtors and property lawyers before buying any landed asset.

Have you been scammed?
Contact the local authorities immediately.