Do you know an illegal real estate deal when it’s staring you in the face? I’m not talking about the banking scams of the past that caused the mortgage crisis of today. I’m talking about current scams that desperate home owners are flocking to like bees to honey in order to escape what they see as a sinking ship, or a drowning one in the case of those that suddenly can’t afford their payments.
If you do not know whether a proposal is legal, take the time to check it out. The old adage if something sounds too good to be true probably still stands. There are no easy outs in the current market and it is better to take your lumps than get stuck doing something that will end you in jail because of an illegal real estate deal.
It is illegal to offer someone a rebate or cash or any kind of incentive for bringing buyers to you and getting a sale from it. Inventive means that may seem unique and ingenious for selling a home in a depressed market can be illegal—be sure to check your state and the federal regulations carefully. Ideas such as lottery home sales have been popping up out of desperation lately and one person thought it would be a great idea to offer their home for sale on a lottery basis. Selling chances to win for $500 dollars each and selling 400 tickets could, in theory make you a good sale price if your mortgage is less than that. but it is illegal in many states.
You don’t have to be small to make a big mistake. Even the President of the United States can get caught up in a troubling confusion of what is right and what is wrong. It also proves that illegal real estate deals are not new. In 2005, then Senator Obama had a real estate deal come under suspicious scrutiny even though he became involved in it without realizing it was a shady situation. Of course, now that he’s living in the White House he doesn’t have to worry as much about making a bad real estate deal on his current digs.
No matter what real estate deal you’re looking at, whether it’s “too good to be true” or looks legitimate, don’t be afraid to ask questions, research and get a real estate lawyer’s opinion. You may save yourself some big mistakes.