Buying and selling your home is not just an event.  It’s a process, and with this process you have to watch your back, be very vigilant and careful not to trust anyone unless you know them and have proven record they are really in the business and directly involved in the process of buying and/or selling your home. BEWARE!!

I just received a call from my daughter who just purchased her house few weeks ago.  Her friend been in the same process of buying a home called her in panic and asking for help as they were about to settle in a house that they put an offer over a month ago.  They were at the settlement table and comes the moment that they need to give them a certified check for the down payment and closing costs.  Per buyers, funds have been wired a month ago.  Everybody looked at each other with that “who has it” look on their faces.  Nobody has it.  After few questions, they learned that buyers received an email instructing them to wire the funds for the down payment at a certain account with Navy Federal Credit Union which they did.  They called Navy Federal and found out that was a fraudulent account that was opened only for a few days and account holder/s withdrew all the money before Navy Fed finds out.  Buyers called their bank as to how to recover the money in case of fraud.  Too late, their bank said they even confirmed with them and buyers authorized the transfer.  Poor buyers have no way to turn to except to file a police report.  The bottom line, settlement will not go through as they do not have the funds anymore to qualify for the loan.  Very sad story when you go through the process, all excited to move to a new house, given the advance notice to the previous house which the new tenant is ready to move into.  It’s a domino effect that no one wants to be with.  Surprisingly, a lot of buyers and sellers have been a victim of this scam going around lately.

With the huge social media and high technology that we have, seems like we cannot control the information out there even our personal stuff.  I even received that generic email few months ago and it looks legitimate.  Worst, I can see myself fall for it.  Except I have a habit of confirming with my direct contacts before I do something like that especially big amount of money.  I always advise my clients be it buyer or seller not to sign anything or send something without letting me know first. Buying and selling involve a team and you will definitely get numerous emails from the agent, loan officers, their assistants, title companies, processor, assistants and the list goes on.  It is not impossible anymore that somebody could just tap in and send a message you think pertains to you, but it was just sent in random and whoever will bite into the hooks.  We always think “NOT ME” as if we are not vulnerable to those.  Trust me; we are all a potential victim if we are not extra careful.

We have worked hard to build and to protect our credit for years to buy our home.  Don’t just entrust the whole buying and selling process to anybody.  Be careful out there.  Not just buying and selling your home but in general.  Protect yourselves as it takes time to clean up the mess and losing a lot of money is not a joke.  It’s a lesson what we don’t want to learn the hard way.

Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She is a Certified Expert Negotiator and also earned a designation as an Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, For more info, visit her website at www.jprealdeal.com and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/realdealconsulting.  Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at realdealconsulting@yahoo.com  for free confidential consultations. 



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