Before the internet, selling or renting properties was very difficult. We usually travelled long distances (sometimes several times a month) to see new properties. Thankfully, technology has eliminated all of this. However, it also presents a new form of risk. There are many risks involved when renting or buying houses online. Real estate agents Malta, and in other countries usually help buyers understand that there are certain dos and don’ts of buying properties online. This guide shows you the basics of buying/renting property online.
Buying/renting property online: The don’ts
Never pay any money upfront: When buying/renting property online, many agents will usually ask you for a part of the total payment. This upfront fee is supposedly used to secure the property for you to shun other buyers away. Many real estate agents and landlords usually prey on the desperation of new home buyers/tenants to defraud them.
Never deal with an agent without the landlord’s consent: Agents and landlords are two different parties in the property market. They are both looking for buyers and tenants simultaneously. Before you finalize the renting/buying of any property, ensure that the landlords (and other agents) are aware of your purchase or rent. This is needed to avoid other buyers or tenants from paying later for a property that you have presumably bought or rented.
Never complete an online real estate transaction alone: Due to the fickle nature of the internet, it is risky to complete the purchase/renting of property all by yourself. As a significant investment, you should need a useful and reliable witness to oversee the whole process. This could be a lawyer, a trusted family member, or a law enforcement agent.
Buying/renting property online: The do’s
Confirm email and phone contacts: There are many email and phone contacts of presumed real estate and landlords on property renting/buying portals. It is essential to check for their authenticity and the real person behind such contacts before you go on to reveal your information to them. Many of such phone lines or emails are temporary contacts that can be changed at any time.
Check for the authenticity of the portal: There are many online portals and websites that offer real estate properties for sale. Whereas you might have seen a property that you will like to buy or rent, you must authenticate the website or platform to ensure that you are dealing with genuine real estate professionals. Many portals/websites that provide property/real estate renting and busying services will usually have a policy that protects users.
Verify listings: There are usually many listings in the market for sale or rent. If you are interested in the property, you will need to verify its availability. You should also try to evaluate any given property that you are interested in. This could mean visiting the site yourself or getting some reliable information about it. Many reliable websites and portals should have accredited and verified market listings for all properties.
Scrutinize landlords and agents: The platform will usually do this, but you will still have to scrutinize landlords and agents. This could begin by authenticating their online profiles and visiting them in their physical addresses.
Request for appropriate documents: Most of the time just because we are buying or renting properties online, we tend to think that we do not need documents to back them up. You will need the payment of receipts, stamped documents, titles, and so on, for the payments that you have made for various property rentals or purchases. This not only shows proof of payment, but it also gives you the authority to occupy the property.
Confirm all displayed features/amenities: While inspecting the house, you may like what you see. But you may not like what you are paying for. You will need to get a checklist or sheet to ensure that the physical buildings come with all the listed features or amenities.