Ok everyone, I recently took a new listing and not 1 hour after I put the for sale sign in the yard, my clients had someone knocking on their door to come in and see their house. I had already warned my clients that if this happened to not let anyone in and to give them my number and have them make an appointment to view the home or to have them call their own real estate agent. Against my advice they let this gentleman into their house. Then when he wanted to talk to them about buying their house my clients gave them my card and politely asked him to call me to submit a formal offer.
I figured that the guy would not call me, but he eventually did. It was almost 8 o’clock at night when my phone rang and I answered. He proceeded to tell me that he offered my client full list price for the home and was prepared to write a check on the spot. I asked the guy to slow down and told him that I represented the seller and that he should consult his own real estate agent and that if he didn’t have one he should find one. I also stated that I would write up a formal offer for him but it would be understood that he was doing so without representation. Anyways, when it came down to it, I asked him to provide proof of funds and he told me that I was invading his privacy and that he didn’t have to provide me any of that information.
I politely told him that these were safeguards for my clients and that they would like to know that he had funds available to purchase the home and that if he didn’t want to provide proof of funds that he did not have to buy the home. He was not happy with my response, yelled something at me, and then slammed the phone down.
If this guy had been a legitimate buyer he would have no problem proving to me that he had enough money to purchase this home. He was trying to smooth talk my clients into making a deal right away and have them move out within 2 weeks. Always, always, consult a real estate professional if you are unsure about anything. My sellers could have made a big mistake trusting this guy but luckily they did follow my advice and have him call me. The old caveat is buyer beware, in this case seller beware too!
There have also been a number of scams involving real estate on craigslist. Please beware of any real estate you find there and always check it out with the listing agent. If anyone is asking you to send money up front to accounts that are not in the United States – report the listing. It is most likely a bogus listing.