Too Good to Be True: How to Tell if a Home Listing is a FakeWith so many ways for individuals to find properties for sale, it may seem tempting to skip working with a real estate broker altogether. The bad news is that there are reasons that real estate agents must pass tests and maintain their licenses – the real estate industry is one that many people would love to exploit.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we have heard too many stories about individuals thinking they found their dream home for an unbelievable price, only to find out that it literally should not have been believed – it was fake. The easiest way to avoid this is to work with a Realtor who can provide qualified real estate listings. You can also keep reading to find out how to tell if a property listing is real or fake.

Potential issues with online real estate listings

The bottom line when it comes to internet listings is that there are few regulations about what can be posted and what can’t. There are many situations that can arise when you look at homes on the internet instead of a trusted source. For example, the home may have already been sold but not been removed. It may be that a link farm has posted a home for sale that is not for sale simply so they can get traffic to their website.

Another common issues with online property listings is that the home could be in pre-foreclosure. This means that a Notice of Default has been filed against it, which may mean that it will be up for auction but not for months – and most homes that have a NOD filed against them do not ever make it to the auction block.

Potential issues with homes printed for sale in the newspaper

If you see a home listed for sale in your local newspaper you should look to ensure it is listed as a “new listing.” If it is not then it is most likely already listed in the MLS. The agent may list it in the newspaper with no address and just their phone number. This is often a ploy to get you to call them.

It is common practice for a newspaper to prohibit a real estate agent from advertising a home if it’s not already listed in the MLS. That said, they may give the agent 48 hours to add the listing. As a result, if you do see something you like in the newspaper then you should contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices as soon as possible to get you more information on the listing.

If you are ready to find the home of your dreams then we hope you will contact us at (310) 373-0021 right away. We have access to the most up to date listings in the area and can provide you with qualified leads so you don’t waste your time.