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Remember that guy that posted the video of the house he rented to section 8 tenants that destroyed it? Well he's selling the house and I contacted the real estate agent...Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:26:48 -0700
Here's the original post. To summarize: man rents house under section 8, tenants destroy house, man is upset and is now apparently selling the house.
Well, someone on that post mentioned that they had found the house on a real estate site. I saw the house was listed for well below what I thought it would be (I live in California - maybe that's why) so I decided to contact the realtor about it to ask some questions (my wife and I have always wanted to do some real estate investing). Anyway, the email that I got back form them seemed very suspect and I thought it might be a scam of some sort. Here's the email exchange:
my inital email to them:
I am interested in 416 Griffin St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. You can reach me at: *******
Their first response:
Thanks for contacting Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty.
Before we schedule an appointment to see property, may I ask you to answer these questions?
- Are you working with another real estate professional? Atlanta Real Estate ODAT loves new Clients. In addition, we follow the ethics policy for REALTORS(R) in Georgia which prohibits us from communicating with another agent's client.
We are grateful to be busy with Clients. Therefore, we must concentrate on folks who are part of the ODAT Realty Team. That means, as we devote our full attention to your needs, we request your commitment to ODAT Realty to form the best team for reaching your goals. You will choose who you think will be the best for your needs when you decide on an agent. There are many, many agent options in Atlanta - many wonderful folks to be sure! At ODAT Realty - we are about SERVICE. Our distinction is that we focus on YOUR needs.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? We follow Georgia law which requires a written Agreement between Clients and Brokerages. Every Brokerage in Atlanta has access to the same properties via the professional Listing Services. Teamwork will make your search more productive and successful.
AFTER we meet for the first time to see property, we will ask you to join our team by signing the Buyer Agreement. That gives both of us a chance to see if we may work well together.
On the Exclusive Buyer Agreement, you will see that we request a $540. Research and Education Fee from each of our Clients to be paid as we continue after our first outing to see homes. ODAT Realty Services, Inc. functions as an accredited ACRE® Brokerage with a fee based system.
We are happy to discuss the details of the fees with you at any time.
Are you planning to live in this purchase or to use it as an investment property? Some sales are restricted to OWNER-OCCUPANT only. Some places do not allow rentals. Some areas even limit what types of vehicles an Owner may park. Whichever is your goal, our research involves knowing the answer to that question. We don't want you to buy something without its being EXACTLY what you want for the long-run.
What is your timetable? When do you want to be living in your new home?
Do you have a home to sell before you buy? The answer is very important in terms of the purchase timetable.
Are you planning to pay cash or to get a mortgage? Given the current economic climate, Sellers request your documentation before showing a home whether it is a Cash purchase or you will need a Mortgage.
The cash documentation may be a letter from your bank verifying your purchase capacity or another financial document showing liquid funds.
The mortgage documentation from your Lender lets Sellers know that your REALTOR(R) has pre-qualified or pre-approved you as a fully qualified potential Buyer BEFORE showing their properties. If you need a mortgage lender, we are happy to recommend Rick, Rodney and Julie.
Each offers online applications with no charges for the initial process.
Rick Darlington with Brand Mortgage
Rodney Mason with Prospect Mortgage
Julie Beaty with Fidelity Bank
Thanks again for contacting us at ODAT Realty Services, Inc. Have a happy day - Lynn
PS When we hear back from you with your answers, we have a gift for you - a personalized and ACCURATE search engine - updated every 30 minutes with the latest information for you. The search engine will be completely under your control for adjusting fields! L.
So I was pretty amazed that they wanted to charge me $540 to show me a house(s). Reminded me of an old craigslist scam for renting houses around here in Los Angeles.
Anyway, I replied with:
No thanks, not interested n a $540 scam. I'll just get a hold of the owners directly to see it.
To which they replied:
Hi - The scam is people such as yourself asking us to spend HOURS and HOURS working for free for them to pursue investments without respecting our time as professionals.
The scam is folks who know nothing about what they are doing trying to buy homes that are obviously not what they are represented to be. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Have you ever heard that before?
Do you really think that home is a "bargain" at $25,000? Do you know where it is? Do you know what it would take to make it habitable? Do you know what steps would be necessary for the repairs made each day to be safe every night? There are a million more questions I could put to you but I am returning to our Partner Clients to spend time on them.
The key word here is respect. Everyone wins with our business plan. Our Clients are respectful folks who are very happy to form a team with us and be mutually successful. All our reviews point that out.
As you face the world expecting to be cheated, Brian, you probably will receive that result. We get what we look for in life.
Best of luck to you in your search. Have a happy day - Lynn
So did i overeact reddit? Is it normal to be charged money to look at houses that you might want to buy? I didn't do that when my wife and I purchased our home here in California.
TLDR; Conctacted real estate agent, they asked for $540 to show me houses, told them it sounded like a scam, they replied telling me that I am the scam.
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When Lee Costic approached a real-estate agent about selling his parents'
house in Virginia Beach's Thalia neighborhood last fall, he thought it'd take
months to sell.
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