Division investigators were notified of recent instances of someone pretending to be a buyer and trying to bait and lure real estate brokers into meeting, under the pretext of wanting to look at homes for sale, and then acting inappropriately.
In one reported instance, the individual profiled and texted/emailed female brokers stating that he is a qualified buyer and forwards them a fake loan pre-qualification letter in order to get the broker to send him information and to set up a private meeting or home showing. It is important to not let your guard down at any time, even when it appears that a potential sale is coming your way
Make sure that you take steps to protect your safety before you meet with a potential client.
- Ask to see, review, and get identity information from their government-issued ID.
- Have them fill out an information form (name, address, phone #’s, government ID, vehicle info, etc).
- Meet any potential client first in the office or safe public location before agreeing to a private showing.
- Go to a private home showing with a co-worker present.
- If you do go alone to a showing, make sure that at least a personal contact and your office know of your whereabouts.
- Do not drive with the potential client to a showing. They should drive themselves and meet you there.
- If you are contacted by someone in an offensive or obscene manner, contact local or county law enforcement to report the incident.
- If you are suspicious of the person, go with your instinct and pass on any meeting.
These are only a few tips to help you be safe when meeting a potential client for the first time. The Division recommends that you also consider taking a real estate broker safety class.