Home Buyers: How To Protect Your Money, Your Time, And Your Investments

Posted on: 28 August 2019


Whether you buy one home or you buy several, you want to be sure that you are doing everything you can to make sound, legal, and sensible purchases. There are a lot of scams out there, and not everyone is selling a home that is legally theirs to sell. Here is how you can be a savvy but cautious home buyer, and how to protect your money, your time, and your investments. 

Check Tax Records on a Property

Nothing tells it like it really is better than public documents. These include tax records on a property. Tax records tell you exactly who the property is owned by, any back taxes owed on the property, what the property is actually worth as appraised by the city and/or county, and if there are any liens on the property. Walking into a home-buying deal with your eyes wide open about the property is your best defense against criminal activity. If the sellers' names are different from the property owner(s)', if there are back taxes in excess of tens of thousands of dollars and that fact is not disclosed, and/or the asking price is thousands above the value of the property, you might want to avoid making this purchase. You might also want to file a police report if you think there is definite fraud or criminal activity occurring in relation to this property that is supposedly for sale. 

Check All Real Estate Agencies' Websites and Apps

If this property has been on the market and legitimately for sale in the past year, its listing will be available to view, even if the property was eventually sold. In fact, that is one of the best ways to find out if the property was sold, has different owners, and/or was listed with an agency that can tell you exactly what is known about the property. If the home was being sold by the owner and not an agency, then it helps to search "for sale by owner" sections in real estate apps. 

Ask to See the Selling Agent's License and Confirm It With the Agency They Claim to Work For

If you really want to go above and beyond in terms of vetting the sales agent, ask to see the agent's license. Copy down the badge number. Ask which agency the agent works for, and then call that agency to verify that this agent does work for them. If everything checks out, you know it is safe to continue with the sale and purchase of the property you want to buy. 

For more safe home buying advice, reach out to a company like RE/MAX Four Seasons.