Finding an apartment that suits your needs is hard, considering many real estate agents in the real estate industry. Some may give you false information, which eventually leads you to make the wrong choice. Here are five easy ways to ensure you get a great deal.
The Difference Between a Fake Listing and a Genuine One
1. Examine the Floor Closely
Ask your trusted agent for a video tour to get the full picture of the whole apartment or property you’re interested in. If you’ve got pictures only, examine the floor carefully and closely. Apartment floors have the same finishes and patterns. Any sign of multiple tints and designs may indicate the listing is fake.
2. Know the Agent’s Representative
The agent or broker may represent the landlord or the tenant (you). If they’re standing for the property owner, they’re likely to charge a higher rental price or arrange for a longer contract to benefit their client; the landlord. However, if they’re acting on your behalf, they should aim at getting the best rental arrangement for you. So, find out who the agent is representing.
Some states require the real estate agent to offer every customer a DOS form, revealing the tenant’s and the agent’s relationship. Because of this, you must insist on getting a DOS form to protect yourself. If you’re going to deal with more than one real estate agent, DOS forms must equal that number.
3. Don’t Pay Cash
Any real agent who requests a cash deposit upfront is suspicious. Normally, a trustworthy company will ask the client to make direct check payments to it. The advantage is that it protects you from fraud and an eventual loss of money. After making your check, make a follow up to the company to confirm payment by requesting a receipt.
4. Look for Testimonials
Testimonials and customer reviews indicate whether or not a real estate agent is reliable and trustworthy. Ask the agent to provide you with their past client’s reviews to get an idea of their performance and customer service.
Should an agent feel offended by your request, it’s a good sign that you must part ways with them. A credible real estate agent must have authentic testimonials and customer reviews.
5. Get a Second Opinion
It’s easy to believe that all the listing you see on a big company’s website is genuine. Real estate agents have a clever and misleading way of enhancing pictures as bait to attract more clients. It’s called bait-and-switch; you call an agent because you’ve seen a bargain listing, but instead of the agent giving more information, they tell you that it’s been rented. They then offer you a similar option near you but a more expensive one.
It’s possible to protect yourself from the bait-and-switch approach by reading online market reports. Stay informed about the current market conditions; you’ll know the difference between a listing and its price.LA Real Estate can help in this regard.
Another important issue you need to remember is that real estate agents mustn’t keep a listing that is no longer available. As soon as it’s taken, they must bring it down to avoid misrepresenting facts.
You can protect yourself from rental scams if you ask for unedited videos, floor plans, testimonials, and information that is hard to alter. Be smart and do your due diligence to avoid being a fraud victim.
Need more information about real estate and investment? A real estate pro such as Steven Taylor LA, is ready to help.
Author: Andy Quayle
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