Home Seller Intel: How to Detect Fake Buyer Leads

When you list your home, you get excited with every new email, hoping that it’s the buyer and that a sale is on the horizon. Then, you start to notice that some of the inquiries seem a little… off. The unfortunate truth is, home sellers are often targetted by fake buyers. How do you know if someone is legit? Use the guide below to identify fake buyers, save yourself time and keep your home sale moving along smoothly.

  • Is the email address suspicious?
    If the email address involves a series of letters or numbers that don’t make sense to you, you may not be working with a genuine buyer. You should also look out for email addresses that are inconsistent with the name signed at the close of the email. For example, if the email came from johnsmith@email.com but the message is signed by Samantha Hall, you may not be working with the real deal. To make things easier, set up an email account specifically for managing potential buyer communications and don’t be afraid to respond and ask questions if something doesn’t seem right.
  • Is the potential buyer requesting personal information?
    If the sender of an inquiry you receive is requesting information that seems unusual, you may be dealing with a fraudulent buyer. Never give your date of birth, social security number or any financial information out and make sure not to click on any live links.
  • Is the buyer providing too much information?
    Fraudulent buyers often send highly detailed emails that include lots of unnecessary information. If you get an email with a long, personal story that involves connections to the home or finance details, consider it a red flag.

    Those legitimately interested in the home will typically be brief and courteous. They may request additional photos or may ask you to schedule a viewing. Common questions will likely include queries about the home’s layout, square feet or year the home was built or remodeled.

Asking these three simple questions will make you a cautious home seller, allowing you to protect yourself from unscrupulous scammers.

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