Unfortunately, there is no shortage of real estate scams in this challenging market. In greater Orlando alone, we have witnessed creative con artists filing “wild deeds” claiming title to property they do not own and crooks breaking into vacant foreclosures and then renting them out… even posing as Orlando Realtors with a local property management company! The most entertaining real estate scam was the gentleman in New York who impersonated his dead mother at “her” real estate closing using lipstick, manicured nails and an oxygen tank!

There is no end to the “creativity” for a real estate scam or fraud. Here are some of the most proven best practices and “red flags” Realtors can use to recognize unscrupulous title and real estate conveyances and scams:

  • Know who you are dealing with and require photo identification from everyone involved in the ownership of the property.
  • Be wary of the inability to speak directly with parties in your transaction or requests NOT to contact others in the transaction.
  • Investigate further if you learn the current owner recently acquired their interest by a quitclaim deed or a deed from a family member.
  • Be suspicious of any document lacking the “prepared by” stamp of an industry professional or a property that has an unusual number of conveyances or mortgage assignments within a short period of time.
  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited new clients with multiple transaction proposals, especially if only dealing via e-mail or text.
  • Refuse to move quickly on a transaction where you are being pressured to close quickly before you can adequately prepare and research the property.
  • Trust your “gut” that something is not right!
  • And of course, align yourself with our reputable and trustworthy title and closing team here at RECS in Orlando to assist you in evaluating ownership and the chain of title issues. We are always available to assist you with any concerns that may arise with your parties and their ownership interests.

Regardless of the market, there will always be those unscrupulous characters out there trying to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers and Realtors. Don’t let that be you! Keep your guard up, ask questions, do your research, align yourself with real estate professionals and ask for help if your “gut” still tells you something is not right! If you need assistance with title and closing services in Orlando, give us a call at 407-615-8550!