Can I Really Buy That Orlando House For Sale for $10.00? – Biggest Florida Property Scams Debunked – Part 1!
Received a call last month from someone actually believing that they could purchase a home in Orlando, FL for a “transfer value” of $10.oo. The call came from a client who had been on Trulia and saw a listing for RealtyTrac.com for a 4 bed 2 bath house for a $10.00″transfer value” and he wanted to place an offer. This company has these all over the Internet, on every site, every side bar, every place you can advertise. (SEE AD FOR YOURSELF). After some investigating on this company and these types of ads, I ran across a lot of misleading information about these little listings and feel it is a HUGE injustice to home buyers to be so horribly misled. I began receiving more and more calls and emails about these types of listings, so I decided to write this post explaining how and why these ads are deceiving and how and why they are able to be displayed and advertised despite their misleading nature.
We’ve all seen them before -beautiful homes with great pics advertised on Trulia , Zillow, Cyberhomes and more for RealtyTrac.com. These adstypically highlight or advertise a ‘listing’ for a great house with 4 beds , and 2 baths for a $10.00 ‘transfer value’ and despite our best, clear-headed thinking and judgement we click it, after all , what could happen! From there, the website you are on will show you a beautiful listing with a $10.00 “transfer value” price tag which sounds like all I have to do is pay $10.00 and they will transfer the home to me! This ad is convincing, highlighting the schools in the area, the aerial maps ,square footage of the home and many of the features that an authentic listing would have on Trulia or Zillow with a description that says:
“Bank Repossessed- This property has completed the foreclosure process and is now owned by the foreclosing
lender, which took title to the property for an estimated consideration (loan
balance plus other fees and costs). Foreclosing lenders are often motivated to
sell bank-owned properties (also known as REO, or Real Estate Owned) quickly
because they are non-performing assets. Please register for a free trial with
RealtyTrac to access complete information for this property, including full
address, foreclosure details, lender information, and more. “
Wow, sounds great right,?
Wrong! Anyone seeing this might think:
“Hey Sign me up. I have $10.00 to spend to transfer this property to me! Who doesn’t for a house like that? As a matter of fact I have a lot more than that so I can probably buy about 800 of these things right? I don’t have a law degree or real estate license or understand a lot of the jargon, but the general consensus sounds good. Maybe I should register and check it out!”
And people do every single day. They register and fall for the gimmicky ad which to get you to click on their site and register with RealtyTrac.com for their paid tracking program on area foreclosures – a service which is free to you by searching the orange county court property records and tax records online. If you are feeling a bit silly for believing such a property could exist for such a low price,….DON’T. In just one day of being advertised, 1,237 people clicked on exactly like you clicked on the same home on Trulia (see link) and out of that amount, probably 400 of those people registered with them online! You may be asking “well,..how can they advertise it if it isn’t accurate” and this is the concern of many Realtors like myself that run into these ads and here is the answer:
READ THE FINE PRINT!!!!
In the ad, (see link) there is a little tiny question mark next to transfer value, if you blink you will miss it but when you click on it you get a disclosure in a pop up box that says:
“Amount paid for the property the last time it sold. In the case of Pre-Foreclosure and Auction properties, this amount represents the amount the owner in default paid for the property when he or she originally purchased it. In the case of REOs, this usually represents the winning bid amount at the auction and, therefore, the amount the foreclosing lender needs to recoup to break even.”
Here is the actual truth behind these little disclaimers: