Be Alert! Hackers Are Stealing Millions From Buyers By Using These Real Estate Scams

Tight Inventory Continues To Dog Housing Market

Steve starts his Real Estat Roundup segment by asking Terry how long a typical For Sale house stays on the market before it gets a confirmed buyer. Terry says the national average was 27 days for the month of May 2017, well below the 100+ days it took when the 2007 recession hit. She says Florida’s residential real estate market is a little sluggish, with homes on the market for 45 to 60 days because they are priced a little higher than the rest of the country and, therefore, take a little longer to sell.

The bottom-line is that the inventory of homes for sale continues to remain low, so homes are snapped up fairly quickly after they list, with buyers also eager to lock in low mortgage interest rates. She also holds baby-boomers responsible for the tight inventory because they are less willing to sell, are content with the homes they live in and, if they sell, typically downgrade to smaller homes where they compete with first-time home buyers.

Realtors Partly To Blame

Steve believes good realtors are partly to blame too because they help people buy homes that really suit their finance and lifestyle, making them more comfortable in those homes and neighborhoods and less willing to sell. Terry adds that the average person now stays in a house for nine years, up 50% from six years in 2008. Steve, however, sees average stays reverting back to the six-year time frame as housing inventory improves.

Real Estate Scam

Next, Terry warns us of a huge scam. As the account goes, a family involved in a real estate transaction received an email from the title company instructing them to wire the outstanding $1.3 million on a home they’d just purchased. The family then called the number listed on the email, got confirmation that the instructions were correct, and wired the money. They later found out that they had been victims of a real estate scam because they had wired the money to thieves who had hacked into the title company’s email server, stole information, and fraudulently sent the buyer wiring instructions.

Even though the buyer thought he was doing the right thing by calling to confirm, he really did the wrong thing by sending the money to hackers and fell victim to a real estate scam that could have been avoided. Instead, he should have called his contacts within the title company to confirm the email’s authenticity. Terry says there are lots of massive scams going on, with websites and emails getting hacked all the time, so it’s best that buyers deal with known persons at all times.


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