4 Important Tips on Avoiding Real Estate Scams

31 December 2022
4 Important Tips on Avoiding Real Estate Scams

Scams run very rampant these days. The rampancy of scams even prompted Philippine lawmakers to legislate a law that would deter scammers from furthering their crimes through the Sim Card Registration Act.


The law aims to combat the epidemic of deception through text messages, wherein Filipinos with active phone numbers receive texts falsely promising jobs and extra income. Worst-case scenario, the vulnerable victims are hoodwinked into providing their personal details and even sending money to the scammers who promise that their money will be doubled, or something to this effect.


In the real estate world, scams do exist, though perhaps less rampant. But just because it's less widespread doesn't mean it doesn't warrant a discussion of how to not fall victim to their fraudulent schemes. And just like any other form of deception, they must stop to make Filipinos feel safe from their perils.


While there are laws to penalize criminals, each of us has to be inherently careful and smart when it comes to engaging in financial transactions online, face-to-face, or via text messages. In this article, Lumina Homes will provide important tips to avoid scams in the resilient but not invincible real estate industry.



How to Avoid Common Real Estate Scams

Real estate scams are committed by people who are experts at the wicked art of false property advertising. They could be so impressively good that everything they say would sound legit to you, only to devastate you in the end once you find out you have been scammed. Below are the most common real estate scams to watch out for.


  • Unauthorized sales agents
  • Rental scams through fake property owners
  • Properties being sold that are under mortgage in a financial institution
  • Fake land titles and misleading property specifications
  • Non-disclosure of all property information
  • Fake real estate advertisement copied from a legit website on social media


Refuse to become a victim of these real estate scams by doing your own legal steps through these four important tips below.


1. Do a background check.

While the real estate agent or real estate broker would present themselves as certified real estate professionals, in that they would even provide you "proof" of their qualifications and licenses, it's better to give no absolute credence to a claim. Credentials can be forged, so doing a background check can make a difference.


The first step is to have the sales agent or property owner provide you with one to two valid IDs for you to have an identification of the person you're transacting with in the event of a real estate fraud. Examples of valid ID are a Philippine passport, UMID Card, SSS, PRC ID, and an LTO-issued Driver's License. Since nearly everyone is on social media, also ask about their official social media accounts, such as Facebook.


2. Verify the legitimacy of the property you're eyeing.

Whether you're doing a real estate transaction with licensed real estate agents or property owners, it's always advisable to ask for proof of the legitimacy of the property being sold. The first thing that you'd need to look for is the property land title.


Now, assume that land titles can be faked. To verify the land title's authenticity, head to the nearest Registry of Deeds to obtain a Certified True Copy (CTC). This is crucially important to protect yourself and avoid real estate scams. By having the CTC of the land title, you have a legal document that you could later use in your defense in the event of a real estate scam.


3. Check if the property specifications are accurate.

A property on sale should have an accurate measurement of the lot size. With the help of a licensed geodetic engineer, they'd help measure land size by using precision instruments. Geodetic engineers also have the license to survey data and check land records to inspect their accuracy.


Hiring a geodetic engineer would tremendously help prevent real estate frauds. They can also help determine the lawful limits of land and water for leases and land titles. When sought to testify in court, geodetic engineers can provide legally useful information about survey works.


4. Thoroughly read contracts for potentially unfair terms.

Not all scams are lies told, but also inconvenient truths undiscussed. Preferably with the help of a real estate attorney, you have to make sure to read all terms and conditions outlined in a contract. There must not be a contract signing done with finality unless the contract has been reviewed and discussed for both the interests of the buyer and seller.


That is to say, not all scams involve fakeries. It could be about a written condition in a contract agreement that is not properly discussed. This could be because it has the potential of not being in your favor and hence will give you second thoughts on whether to still proceed with the transaction.


While not telling may not necessarily constitute lying, it is important for all real estate professionals, real estate developers, and all property owners and sellers to discuss everything about a property on sale or for lease to ensure transparency and avoid conflict from arising down the road.



What to do after a Real Estate Scam?

Every real estate buyer could be extremely careful and still find themselves at the receiving end of a real estate scam. In this unfortunate event, the next best step to take is to report it to a local law enforcement agency. It's going to be a doubly stressful process after an already stressful event, but it needs to be done to hold the culprits accountable, and stop others from also falling prey.


When this happens, make sure to have all the necessary documents you have about your transaction with the scammer. This will be of massive use to finding the real identity of the person and be penalized for the crime of theft.



Transact Only with Professionals and Invest in a Lumina House and Lot


Avoid real estate scammers and transact only with verified real estate professionals to seal your real estate investment. At Lumina Homes, Vista Land's housing arm with over 10 years of award-winning legacy, you are assured that you are transacting with legitimate professionals who are not only highly capable of catering to your real estate concerns, but also guaranteed to provide you only with truthful information about your prospect of investing in an affordable house and lot for sale.


You deserve no less than the truth when investing your hard-earned money. To further establish Lumina Homes' legitimacy, it has been awarded by Pag-IBIG Fund as the "Top 1 Developer" and by the first-ever Carousell Property Awards as a Top Provider of affordable housing. Hence, if you fancy an affordable house and lot that could still arguably match the quality features of a more expensive house and lot, Lumina Homes should be your top choice.


For more information and concerns, one of our sales agents will be glad to accommodate you and your real estate concerns with a truthful breakdown of our services. Become a legitimate homeowner of a Lumina house and lot in the Philippines by 2023!

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