“Winners are not afraid of losing. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”-Robert Kiyosaki
Scams are rife regardless of whatever industry it might be. In the world of real estate, it is so much more pronounced and prevalent—so much so, that even in this digital age wherein information is conveniently and readily accessed online, quite a lot of people still fall prey to it. After all, as technology advances so does the means of conning people.
When it comes to deals, a good rule of thumb to always keep in mind is if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sounds easy, right? However, if it were so easy, why are people still falling victim to these illicit and dishonest schemes and ploys nowadays? Well, probably because owning a home is not only considered as a keystone of wealth and stability, it is almost every Filipinos dream—a fact that is being capitalized on and exploited by charlatans and deceitful schemers. In this regard, prospective homebuyers should be a little bit more meticulous and thorough when it comes to choosing who they deal with—whether that may be property managers, real estate companies or real estate agents. The burden of responsibility in double-checking their prospective transactions and the legitimacy of such individuals is then, therefore, borne by the buyer. After all, no one can really be conned if every prospective homebuyer exercises his or her right to exhaustively check what they are getting into in real estate deals.
To prevent yourself from being robbed and conned out of your hard-earned money, it is best if you are made aware of the most common scams utilized by these fraudulent individuals here in the Philippines. Moreover, your protection against these scammers is buttressed by the research and validation you make. So, before closing a deal, be very sure you know who you are dealing with. If you are looking to buy a condo for sale in Makati or elsewhere, make sure you are not falling for any of the scams below:
A common and rather widespread real estate scam in the Philippines is the pre-selling scam. Today, with condominium properties being a ubiquitous presence in the country, it would only be inevitable for scammers to see this as a real estate investment scam. Over the last decade, the real estate experienced a boom in the condominium property industry and as a result, we can see condominium properties in almost every nook and cranny in major cities. Pre-selling scams occur when developers do not follow the mandated rules as regards requisite permits. Alternatively, they may choose to attain these through illegitimate and dishonest means. To lure prospective buyers, developers would pre-sell their units at incredibly low rates with the promise of timely turnover dates. To sweeten the deal, they would even provide excellent incentives. Unfortunately, the scam occurs when the expected turnover day nears, the development is still not done. An extension is then repeatedly done until such time that the homebuyer would give up on it.
Double Sale of Property
As gleaned from the title, this scan occurs when a property in question is bought by two different buyers. It commonly occurs when the first buyer neglects or fails to register and transfer the title to their name to which the crooked owner would then sell it again. In effect, two buyers would now have the same title under their own names.
This scheme is a little more insidious and deceptive as prospective buyers are unaware of what they are really getting into until it is far too late. This scam is put into effect when real estate agents advertise real estate properties that they are not authorized to sell. Either the properties are handled by a different agent or are not really for sale. To entice buyers, these properties would be given incredibly low price tags which in effect, are considered baits. However, upon further inquiry, unscrupulous agents would then claim that the property is no longer for sale or has been sold. In this regard, agents would then offer their very own listings which are either pricier or less attractive than their previous offer (designated as the switch).
Such scam happens when a real estate developer or agent willingly, intentionally and knowingly withholds crucial information about the property from their prospective buyers. This information can range from anything an unclean title to the property being pending in litigation. In any case, the information withheld is vital enough as it would leverage a prospective homebuyer’s decision on buying the property. Should this information be disclosed, potential clients may think twice before buying. Some properties may come across as attractive and promising, but upon contract signing, you would be surprised to know information about the property you did not know then. Tax delinquencies, encumbrances, hidden charges, structural facts such as poor property foundation and the like are among of the less than desirable things you might find.
Individuals posing as real agent artists
Regardless of what industry you are in, you will always come across your fair share of con artists. The real estate industry is no exception—especially considering that a successful venture in it can be incredibly lucrative. Another common scam related to real estate in the Philippines is for an individual to pose as a real estate agent—a con artist if you may. It is because of these agents that the country experiences so many real estate frauds. In fact, they are to be blamed for most of the frauds related to real estate in the country. To give themselves the veneer of legitimacy and authenticity, they would exert efforts in creating professional-looking websites and put up listings that they have seen online and copied. Unfortunately, after they have successfully conned you into paying a security deposit or an initial payment, they will be gone before you know it.