Tips to avoid being scammed in real estate transactions (Part 1)

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Real estate purchases be it for your residence, business or investment means not a small amount of money… not peanuts. Though for some, a small home can be peanuts. But for one buying the small home for his family, it can mean a lifetime savings or a lifetime of payment for all his productive years. And so, we should be careful in making those decisions of purchasing homes we buy and carefully choose the people we buy those from.

 Here are some tips to avoid losing money or making mistakes in your home or any real estate purchases. Avoid being fooled or scammed. Many times its hard to get out when you’re trapped. The money that was lost is hard to recover or maybe not at all.

A. Hire Real Estate Service Professionals

If this is your first time to buy and you think you are ready, seek the help of professionals. In the Philippines, real estate service is now a profession through RA 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of 2009. There are now more than 31,000 licensed Real Estate Brokers and they will be happy to work with you in finding the real estate investment that you need according to your budget and preferences.

As real estate service is now a profession, you should hire professionals. You can search for them in this link . Or if you are searching on the internet, avoid those ads who only give phone numbers or ads that requires you to first register before they give you information. Illegal practitioners are hiding behind these numbers or aliases. You will be purchasing millions of peso worth of properties so it is best to check first who you are dealing with, his credentials and qualifications or expertise.  Here are the information that you need to check –  Full name, PRC License Number, HLURB (list of brokers and agents) Registration (for developers projects), Contact details and background of his expertise in real estate.

You will be hiring a real estate service professionals and will work for you to assist you in finding the home or real estate investment you need. And those investment could cost millions of pesos, so they should be well-qualified to assist you. The good thing, as a buyer you are not the one paying them but the seller from whom you will buy the property.

At HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board), many complaints from buyers are mostly caused by poorly trained agents that developers recruit and train for few days then they are allowed to sell. Real Estate Salespersons now should be at least completed two years college and took 12 units CPE seminar to qualify to be registered with PRC and HLURB. Company IDs are not licenses. Look for PRC and HLURB IDs from the salesperson offering you real estate properties. Do not inquire from ads where you see only cellphone numbers. If they are legitimate practitioners, they should not hide their identities.

If you see agents using titles in their business cards, fliers or posts in social media that they are Real Estate Consultants (Who are Real Estate Service Professionals), Real Estate Brokers but without licenses indicated, they are most likely illegals. (Illegal real estate practice is punishable with fines and imprisonment).

Avoid headaches in purchasing home or real estate investment by dealing only with duly licensed real estate brokers and their registered salespersons. If you are talking to an agent, ask who is his broker and make sure you talk also to the broker to make sure that the transaction is in order. Be safe than sorry.

(Part 2 – Documentation – avoid fake titles)

Author : Genevieve Bonquin REB REA REC

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