It has been all over the news since yesterday. Zillow announced it is purchasing Trulia for 3.5 billion dollars. Zillow is both friend and foe to Realtors, and the recent announcement is causing a stir among Realtors and local associations.
Zillow.com is one of the top national real estate websites and consumers seem to love it. Zillow receives listing feeds from many of the local Realtor associations of homes for sale. They also include FSBO's (For Sale By Owner), "pre-foreclosures" (in parenthesis because the information tends to be wildly inaccurate), and past sales. Consumers like Zillow because it is user friendly and the information is very robust. The website is popular for it's "zestimates" which estimates the approximate property value based on a number of factors.
Though the housing recovery is trucking along, that doesn't mean real estate scams have gone away. Home owners have been duped out of an average of $4,000 to $5,000 from scams, but even five-figure losses aren’t uncommon for those who have fallen prey to fake loan modifications and other housing fraud. Highlighted here are four of the most common real estate scams today:
1. Rental scams: Scammers illegally pull online listing information from a home for sale and re-post it as a rental on another site, such as Craigslist. They’ll often ask for money upfront, in the form of a security deposit or broker fee, from prospective tenants. Scammers often advertise the home at a low price and collect application fees from several prospective tenants in order to hold the property for them.
Great info on everything real estate.