Every day, it seems that there’s another scam to worry about. Two real estate scams are hitting seniors across the country. The scams work in two ways. If your parents own a house, they could become a target.
Keep your parents informed of the latest scams. Make sure they feel comfortable talking to you about any offer they receive via the mail, a knock at the door, or an email. You should also know the scams and be watching for signs a scammer has reached out to your parents.
The Downsizing Scam
A Florida woman learned of this scam the hard way. When she listed her home with hopes of downsizing to something more manageable, she was approached by an investor who offered to buy her home and pay for her moving costs. The key was that he wouldn’t reveal his offer until the closing.
At the closing, the amount he paid was a fraction of the home’s appraised value. He had a check in hand for $130,000 for a home valued at $270,000. After paying closing costs and the remaining mortgage, she’d only make $8,000. Thankfully, the state stepped in and helped her get her home back.
Make sure your mom and dad do not take a mystery offer. While free moving costs may be appealing, a mystery offer is not going to be in their favor. They need to walk away.
The Out-of-the-Blue Offer
The other scam comes with an unsolicited offer. A woman in California found a note in her mailbox claiming the demand for homes in her area was high. The letter included forms to sell her home for an offer of $750,000. Many people would be delighted with that offer if they were even remotely interested in selling.
The homeowner knew her home’s actual value was well over $1.5 million. The offer not even close to the home’s value. Another couple was offered $800 for a piece of land worth more than $50,000. Authorities say these offers often come in the mail, but sometimes the scammers knock on doors.
Moving doesn’t have to be the best option if your parents struggle to manage their home. Homecare providers can help with cleaning, meals, transportation, and organization. Homecare aides can take your parents shopping, put groceries away, and help create budget-friendly menus and shopping lists. Talk to our homecare agency to discuss the services caregivers offer that make aging at home possible.
Sources: https://cbs12.com/news/cbs12-news-i-team/elderly-woman-nearly-loses-life-savings-in-apparent-real-estate-deal-gone-wrong https://www.kpbs.org/news/2018/nov/27/pricey-real-estate-prompts-scammers-target-senior-/