North Texas Realtors Talk Red Flags – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
As of August 2021, there was around $ 10.6 billion in construction to start for the year, according to the Dallas Morning News.
While this is an increase from what the industry is used to for that period, supply and demand issues resulted in some people still unable to find a place to buy.
For those who have closed a property, it might feel like the rat race of competition is over, but many realtors in North Texas are now warning that the battle is not over. New homeowners now have to deal with people trying to take advantage of their new home with scams.
NBC 5 spoke to four north Texas real estate agents all of whom consumers should look out for detailed warnings.
Liberation from homesteads
Kyle Baugh with Compass Real Estate has been a broker in the market for decades. He said he saw a lot of Homestead exemption-related scams.
“What do these people do when you close? [on your home], they are going to send you a letter and that letter asks you to pay money. I’ve seen them ask for 30, 45, or even more. It’s really incredible to run for the homestead, ”said Baugh. “It’s absolutely free and you can do it online.
Baugh said to avoid confusion, just go to your county’s evaluation website and fill out the form and submit. The completed application and the required documents are due no later than April 30 of the tax year for which you are applying. You can also file late for up to two years after the due date, which is usually February 1st, according to the Texas Comptroller’s website.
JJ Chapa, a broker at Liberty Realty Advisors, said most people will start looking for life insurance soon after buying a home if they don’t already have it. It’s a way to ensure that loved ones can pay the home-related bills in case something happens to them. He said the life insurance companies would use this urgency to get someone to select them to cover the mortgage. Often times they use what looks like your mortgage lender’s letterhead and the mail will be complete with your information so it looks very real.
“I get a lot of buyers who tell me they just got something from the mortgage company and they say they need to get this life insurance policy,” said Chapa. “You write me a picture of it and it’s 100 percent not your mortgage company. It just looks like it because they built that trust and hope to take advantage of the confusion after buying the home to try to get a really easy sale of the life insurance policy. “
He said the good news is if you’ve already received something like this in the mail, it isn’t because your personal information has been compromised, but rather you went through public records and saw the information available there.
“It’s always a good idea to look into life insurance, especially after a big home purchase, but get with a reputable company that you know well,” said Chapa.
Two-factor authentication on email
When buying a house, especially in the age of COVID-19, a lot of information is exchanged by email. Much of this information contains a lot of your personal information. This is why Rachel Trowbridge of Allie Beth Allman & Associates said it was a good idea to only have a personal email account that uses two-factor authentication, which means that a single password is not enough, to enter yourself when registering on a new device.
“Pretty much every provider of personal e-mail accounts has two-part authentication with personal e-mail. This two-step authentication means that you log in and enter your password. It will contact you about your password and then give you the code to enter your email. That’s two-part authentication, ”said Trowbridge.
Home title scam
Orlanda Powell of Keller Williams Best SW said a red flag he saw were mailers claiming they would protect new homeowners from home title fraud, but for a fee.
“What they do is search the county beat records to see if there has been any fraudulent activity and they alert the homeowner. Homeowners don’t know that this is a free service. You can go to the district registers and basically check that yourself. You don’t need anyone to do this for you, especially if it costs you, ”Powell said.
He added that with questions about what they will receive in the mail, homeowners should always contact the agent who helped them with the purchase.
“We’re not leaving you alone because you closed your house. You can give us a call and ask us questions just to make sure you know what you are doing, ”said Powell.