8 Signs of Fake Buyers, Sellers

It’s an unfortunate reality that not all prospective clients you’ll come in contact with are legitimate buyers or sellers. Some are exaggerating their interest in buying a property, perhaps to take advantage of your expertise—or, possibly for more nefarious reasons.

REALTOR® Magazine recently asked real estate professionals across the country what they wish they had known before starting their sales careers and learned some of the reasons contacts might be reaching out to you. Lisa Holmquist, SRS, a sales associate with Urban Nest Realty in Las Vegas, mentioned experiences she’s had working with prospects “whose sole purpose was just to waste my time.” This included a woman posing as a high-end buyer who strung Holmquist along for months, even impersonating a lawyer over the phone and threatening legal action against Holmquist.

While theses odd encounters are frustrating, there could also be a safety element to consider. What if these fakers have more dangerous intentions? To help avoid a potentially harmful situation later, Holmquist has learned to watch for signs that the motives of these prospects could be disingenuous:

  1. They cancel or postpone multiple appointments.
  2. Their story changes about why they’re moving.
  3. They can’t settle on a price point.
  4. They ask you to do strange favors that have nothing to do with real estate.
  5. Any property seems to be the right one for them, sight unseen.
  6. They can’t provide their financial information.
  7. They won’t give names, emails, or phone numbers for their advisers.
  8. They’re always having trouble sending you a fax or email.

—Graham Wood, REALTOR® Magazine

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