Another Short Sale Scam in Anaheim Hills CA for 2010!
As a short sale agent in Orange County CA you will come across many different scams with so call sophisticated investors. This new short sale scam that seems to be catching on is overly aggressive and overly dangerous for the listing agent. It goes somng like this:
An "Investor" calls up and says that they want to make an all cash offer on your short sale listing. Starts out sounding great! Then they proceed to tell you that they (the investor) also want to negotiate the short sale. Hmmm, now starting to sound fishy, right? From there what they say is that they intend negotiate the sale in their "Investors" name, but they want me to continue to market the property to find an end buyer. To top it all off, they will allow me to represent them for both sales, allowing me to make a whopping 6% with little to no efforts. Then they go on to explain that this type of transaction is fully above board and that the banks are fully ok with it.
When I was a child, my mom always told me "if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." I think that's the case with this short sale scam.
I of course have many questions for these so called "Investors."
1. Why would any lender want to short sale a property to you for a huge discount, knowing that you intend to resell the property immediately following the close of escrow, for a huge profit? Does this make any business sense whatsoever?
2. How could I turn over negotiations on my short sale to someone I do not know, let alone someone who does not have a fiduciary duty to my seller?
3. How many short sales have you negotiated?
4. Are you licensed and how am I liable?
5. Why does this sound too good to be true?
Well upon some quick research and speaking with my real estate attorney, here's what I've come up with:
At best, I'm in the "gray" area of ethics, at worst, I'm committing flat out lender fraud by representing my "Investor's" offer as the highest and best that I can field on the open market. All the while knowing that my "Investor" is asking me to continue to market the property at a higher price to find the ultimate 'end buyer.' I'm certainly putting my livelyhood on the line because if the lender were ever to get word of this deal they could come back on me for lender fraud. I'm simply just not willing to risk that and furthermore it's simply not the right thing to do!
Watch out for these shady investors and their short sale scams! They start out sound great, but it's a scam and you're putting your livelyhood and reputation on the line here, for me, it's just not worth it. Check out my website for more information on short sales: www.Short-Sale-Steve.com
Steve Mortensen - Broker / Owner - Exotic Proerties Realty Co. - 18340 Yorba Linda Blvd, Ste 107-187, Yorba Linda CA 92886 - Cell: 949-981-4441 - DRE #01813078