by Taylor Allewelt
Buying a home is hard, but finding the perfect home is the toughest obstacle that buyers face today. From the online plethora of scams, use of inflated language and many different resources to finding homes, it can be a bit overwhelming. That is why in today’s day in age we need realtors who know their way around these obstacles. When buying a home, eliminating the unknown will lead to making the perfect decision for your next dream home.
Sketchy websites and apps are not the only deceptions to look out for. Actually, some of the most active scams are right in your hands; to be more specific your smartphones. This is what happened on a very well known app called Zillow. A West Palm Beach resident decided to browse the app and found something he was not expecting. There were pictures of his house listed on the app that he had no intentions of selling! He found out that the scammer was trying to ask the potential buyers to place a holding fee down on the house, upwards of $40,000 (Quillen, Alanna 2017). The sale would then not go through and the scammer would disappear, leaving the buyer with no home and out a great deal of money. Being able to notice the signs of these scams will ultimately save you from potentially giving your money away. A major sign of a scam is the “too good to be true” factor. This means that the listing price is way under what the market would suggest. Eager buyers will swoop in and make a deal quickly for fear of losing their ideal home. Another key sign is requests for absurd fees that normally would not be requested in the beginning of a sale. This way the scammer can get a ton of money from the potential buyer while still staying anonymous.
In any situation where you are purchasing something you always need to watch out for “doublespeak” language. Doublespeak language is when a company writes a contract in ways that the consumers think they understand (Orwell, George 1984). This is dangerous because buyers could potentially sign themselves onto a contract in which they are not fully aware of what the constituencies entail. When browsing the internet for potential investments, inflated language can lead buyers on a wild goose chase of disappointments when it comes to homes. I witnessed this the other day when browsing a website for home rentals. The home was staged very nicely for all the photos and had just the right angles and amount of lighting to make it look more spacious than what I walked into. The website listed it as a spacious, well lit, must-see listing. Terms like these made me believe that it would be off the market soon and prompted me to go see it right away. Walking into the empty home I quickly realized there was no way this home was a three bedroom. The rooms could barely fit a twin sized bed and the kicker? They failed to mention that the basement was not a part of the house; in fact, it was occupied by the landlords themselves which is a major no-no for three young recent graduates. In the end I quickly realized that many of the places online are fluffed to get the renter or buyer to the house. In reality having people visit the home will offer advice for the sellers on how to get it off the market and is also an open window for the sellers to potentially “sell the home” to you. You can avoid situations like this by simply having a realtor who is only looking out for your needs.
Try typing in “Homes for sale” in the google search bar. What comes up? A plethora of online websites selling/renting homes. Many websites will allow you to enter, search and find a home. Sometimes what you see isn’t always what you get, as I previously discussed with doublespeak language. When you try clicking on the home to view the picture you’re sometimes prompted to sign up for the website in order to view the home. They will ask for your phone number, full name and email. If you do not want junk mail and incessant phone calls at any time of the day, then you want to avoid websites like this. How do you do that? Simple – Find a realtor who does the searching for you. Many websites make you run around in circles, sending you from one sister website to another with no end in sight. The homebuyers market isn’t as easy as you think. You aren’t just a click away from your dream home you’re a click and another click and another and so on… Finding a home with all of the resources that this technological society offers will drive you mad. That is why we have professionals who will help avoid graying too soon. (WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?) If you’re ever on the market for a new home I would strongly suggest doing your research and finding a realtor who can find everything you want in a home. This will alleviate the stressors of scams, disappointing home browsing, and save you time and energy to devote to something else.
If you are ever on the home buying/renting market, just remember to think smarter and not harder. All a realtor needs is a simple call and the search will begin to find your new home. Your deadlines will be set, your preferences will be listed and your stress levels will be lowered all by enlisting a professional. Take it from me; someone who has been through all of the hassles of finding a home on their own; a realtor is the best way to find your perfect home.