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Don't Get Caught In These Real Estate Scams

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Real Estate Scams‚ÄčThe world of real estate is one where a great deal of money is changing hands. When you consider the value of what’s being sold, this fact should come as no surprise. Criminals are aware of this fact as well. During the buying and selling process, scammers can take advantage of the situation and more easily deceive home buyers or sellers. What kind of scams should you be on the lookout for? Fraud prevention experts and real estate agents shed light on scams going on right now.

Hackers Steal Your Down Payment

This scam is focused on buyers.  Robert Siciliano, who is a fraud prevention expert with IDTheftSecurity.com exposes this clever scam.

“A hacker could fool you into thinking he’s your agent and trick you into sending him money, which you’ll never get back. It’s so bad the FTC even sent an alert warning consumers that real estate agents email accounts are getting hacked.”, says Siciliano.

“Let’s say your realtor’s, name is Bill Baker. Bill Baker’s e-mail account gets hacked. The hacker observes Baker’s correspondences with his clients—including you. Ahhh, the hacker sees you have an upcoming closing. The hacker, posing as Bill Baker, sends you an e-mail, complete with  instructions on where to wire your closing funds. You follow these instructions. But there’s one last step: kissing your money goodbye, as it will disappear into an untraceable abyss overseas. This scam can also target your escrow agent.”

What are some ways you can protect yourself from this scam? Avoid sending sensitive information by email. If you must use email for sensitive information, use encrypted email. For instructions on sending money, do so over the phone. If you do receive an email regarding sending money, confirm the email by phone, and get verification of the transfer ASAP.

Bait and Switch Scheme

This scam is focused on the seller and happens when a prospective buyer offers more money for the home than the market value.  The seller is taken with the offer and accepts it. The problem is that the buyer never had any intention of paying that high price.

Lucas Machado, President of House Heroes explains: “Once the seller signs the contract, the seller may only sell to that buyer for a specified time (weeks to even months) for the buyer’s purported due diligence. When that time ends, the fraudster asks to extend the contract a few weeks to work out closing details. Sounding reasonable, the seller agrees to the extension blinded by the high offer.”

During that time, the seller not only keeps paying taxes and other home maintenance costs, but they also develop an emotional commitment to sell. Then the so-called buyer comes back with an excuse why they don’t want to pay the higher price. They will then try to get you to sell your home for below the market value, or they’ll cancel.

How can you avoid this scam? Always confirm the buyer has the money when you execute the contract.  Make sure that you set expectations early on and don’t grant unreasonable extensions or reductions.

Don’t let clever scammers take your money.  Make sure you use caution and work with your agent to make sure your home buying or selling experience goes smoothly. Check back on our blog for more real estate advice each week, and follow us on Facebook for more real estate tips and advice.

Plan Your Romantic Valentine Getaway in Baton Rouge

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Valentine's Day is less than a month away.  Have you made plans for a romantic getaway with your Valentine yet? If not, now is the time to make the perfect plans to get away with the one you love in Baton Rouge.  Baton Rouge has a number of romantic hotels and bed & breakfasts that will be sure to provide you with the perfect romantic getaway.  Here's a few getaways in Baton Rouge to get you started.

Belle of Baton Rouge

For something different, why not spend the night on this docked casino riverboat on the Mississippi? Spend some time at the casino, swimming in the pool, or dining as you look out at the views of the river.

Watermark Baton Rouge

If you really want to wine and dine your partner, then this art deco Greek revival hotel set in a bank from 1927 is just the place. They feature eclectic and stylish rooms and an elegant restaurant, perfect for any romantic getaway.

The Stockade Bed and Breakfast

This romantic retreat is set in the tree-lined neighborhoods of Baton Rouge on 11 acres and named after the Civil War stockades that used to be located here.  This beautiful and historic B&B features 5 large suites, including a two-bedroom unit, all with private baths. You'll also enjoy the peaceful grounds that have been certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. 

Barrow House Inn

Spend a romantic evening at this stylish B&B. They offer elegant suites accented with antiques of the mid-1800’s. But this bed and breakfast also offers modern touches, such as WI-FI and 1000 DVDs to choose from.  You’ll start your mornings off right with your choice of continental breakfast or local egg dishes.

Butler Greenwood

This historic antebellum plantation home provides the perfect romantic backdrop to spend time with your Valentine, just like the old days.  The original family still owns this amazing home and the 8 cottages located on the grounds. You’ll be able to relax in the private baths, hot tubs, and more.

Check back on our blog for more great things to see and do in Baton Rouge!

What are Appraisal Contingencies?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Let's say that you're buying a home. The seller has accepted your offer, contracts are signed and now you've paid the deposit.  But after having the home appraised, it turns out that the home is appraised for less than what you offered. Then the bank decides not to loan you the money.  This is certainly not a good situation.  What can you do to avoid this? Appraisal contingencies are the solution.

Many buyers may not know what an appraisal contingency is. They are conditions that have to be met on a real estate contract before it becomes legally binding.  Most real estate contract include these conditions:

  1. The appraisal contingency: This states that the home has to be appraised at the sale price or higher.  This will help keep the mortgage from falling through.
  2. The finance contingency: This mandates that the deal is based on the bank granting the loan.
  3. The inspection contingency: The home must pass inspection.

There is a time limit for these conditions to be met.  If not, you can back out of the deal legally and get your deposit back.

Here's how an appraisal contingency works. The bank will hire an appraiser to determine the fair market value of the home based on similar homes in the area. This is called comparative sales, or comps. The bank will usually only loan the amount that the home is appraised for.  So that means that if the appraisal is lower than what the seller is asking, you can walk away from the deal and get your money back if the seller refuses to lower the price.

But isn't this the same thing as a finance contingency?  Not quite. With a finance contingency, if the bank refuses to write a mortgage based on a lower appraisal, then you can leave the deal.  But what happens if the bank agrees to a smaller loan that meets the finance contingency? If that happens, then seller can demand that you make up the difference from your own pocket.  That's where the appraisal contingency protects you, otherwise you have to come up with that extra money, or be in breech of contract and possibly lose your deposit. That's why you should have both the appraisal and finance contingency in a contract.

If the home appraisal is too low and you still want the home, you can ask the bank for another assessment. You can also show evidence that represents what you believe makes the home worth more.

Does this mean you should always have contingencies in a real estate contract? Remember that sellers usually get offers from multiple buyers.  The easier the deal is for the seller (by not having contingencies), the better chance you have of getting the home.  But you run the risk that you won't get the loan you need. In the end, it's up to you, based on the market and what risks you want to take either way.

Wake Up to to the Best Coffee in Baton Rouge

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Whether you’ve just bought a new home in Baton Rouge or thinking about moving here, and you love a great cup of coffee, then you’re in luck.  Baton Rouge has some pretty great coffee shops, just waiting to give you that extra jolt you need for the morning. There’s a coffee shop for just about every taste.  And a great coffee shop is more than just about great coffee and goodies, it’s about atmosphere, where friends and community come together.  Here’s some of the best coffee shops in Baton Rouge that offer both.

Coffee Call

If you’re in the mood for great beignets and breakfast with your coffee, then Coffee Call is calling. It may be crowded, but the lines move fast and the people are friendly.  So if it’s an active vibe that gets you going in the morning with your coffee, then this is the place.

Magpie Cafe

Magpie offers more than just delicious coffee. They offer a full café selection.  But they focus on specially roasted coffee and hand crafted pastries.  You’ll love the various locally made quiches. The scones, muffins and breads are some of the best Baton Rouge has to offer.

Pj's Coffee of New Orleans

Featuring great local coffee roasts as well as a pleasant atmosphere, PJ’s is a great place to chat, work, read, or just relax with a great brew.  They’ve also adopted El Terrerito Farm in Honduras and are committed to helping farmers there build better lives. A great cup of coffee and a great cause.

Highland Coffees

Near LSU is Highland Coffees, where you’ll find a casual yet refined atmosphere.  It’s a great place for students to find a quiet place to study or visit with friends.  They also offer coffee freshly roasted in the shop, along with fine loose teas, pastries, tasty specialty drinks, and retail items.

Check back on our blog every week for more great reasons to call Baton Rouge home.  And if you need help finding a home for sale in Baton Rouge, please feel free to call me at 225-291-1234.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Glenda Daughety Real Estate
Glenda Daughety
RE/MAX First
4750 Sherwood Common Blvd
Baton Rouge LA 70816
225-205-2672
225-291-1234
Fax: 225-612-6422

 

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Glenda Daughety & Team
RE/MAX First
Office: 225-291-1234
Cell: 225-205-2672
4750 Sherwood Common Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Licensed Realtor in the State of Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission


Glenda Daughety, Team Leader

Michelle Copeland, Buyer Specialist

Ashley Daughety, Buyer Specialist / Stager Decorator

 

 

 

 

 

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