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Tracy King's Blog

Don't Get Scammed!

Looking for a reasonably priced rental is a frustrating experience for many, and it is currently a world filled with unscrupulous people trying to steal your money. If you see a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home in Eagle Rock listed for rent for $1200-1500 per month, ask yourself why would someone throw away at least $1,000 per month? Could this be a scam?

Lately the story has been a missionary in Africa who wants a good honest person to rent his childhood home, another is a missionary in Texas, and there's another one up in Oregon.

Live by this motto: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That means, as much as you want it to be true, it’s not!

I’ve spoken with dozens of people over the last few weeks who have seen ads in Craigslist, Hotpads, and now Trulia that are claiming to be rentals but they are actually my listings for sale. They tend to be vacant houses but not always. I am not the only listing agent with this problem, believe me.

Some of the people who have called me have argued that the house is really for rent. No, it’s not. I am not a disgruntled agent whose seller has decided to rent out the house for cheap rent instead of sell it for enough to get on to the next step in his life. Today, the calls were about a property that is actually in escrow and due to close in about a week. Why would I lie about that?

If you look for rentals on these websites, be careful. I wish I had some good alternative places for you to look for a rental. Maybe the time has come for Realtors to list rentals because prospective tenants can’t trust regular prospective landlords. You can at least be certain that a rental listed by a Realtor is for real.

Many callers have thought that I should do something about this. Well, the police don’t want to hear about a scam unless you have actually lost money on it. Would you like to do that? So this blog post is my doing something about it. Don’t send a deposit check to an absentee landlord. Don’t believe that a person who texts and emails with you is the real owner of the home if he can’t meet you at the property and show it to you. Do feel free to call me if it’s my listing and check if it’s really for rent. I don’t want you to lose your money. I want you to save up and eventually buy one of my listings!
Just Sold! 5318 Raber Street, Highland Park
New Home For Sale: 5245 La Roda Avenue, Eagle Rock