Home Buying in 94070>Question Details

Robert Cubbe…, Renter in 94070

how do I know the people i deal with on trulia is legitamate?

Asked by Robert Cubberly, 94070 Tue Dec 24, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


If you're talking about lay persons who advertise rental properties you can't. If you're talking about RE Professionals, Lenders, Stagers, Home Inspectors, Contractors, etc. Check them out with BBB, Angies List, the Department of Real Estate, or the California State Contractors License Board.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
HI Robert,

That is why you need to do your homework. Start by "interviewing" any agent you are considering doing business with. Approach it like you were considering employing that agent to go to work for you on a fill time basis. But don't stop there, interview more than one agent. With Team Bedbury we believe that if we don't look better by comparison well then, shame on us. We invite an appointment to interview us at any time.

Best of luck to you with your real estate needs,

Bob & Kat Bedbury
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
It's a shame you have to post this question, but it's a reality. Trust is earned, not given. If I were you, I would look at their reviews and ask if you can talk with some of their past clients.

Happy holidays and best of luck.

Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
When it comes to real estate agents, you can look them up on the State's real estate commission website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
As pointed out below, you don't. And since there are so many tales of scammers here one of the best ways to find out if an agent is legitimate is to look them up on the California Bureau of Real Estate website - http://dre.ca.gov/

If there have been any complaints against them you will see them there as well.

The best way to find a great agent/broker is to get recommendations and interview several to make sure you get the best you can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
You have to verify both sides with any form of communication.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
You don't. I would assume the same level of caution you would with any Internet connection. Do your homework. Check things out, get reviews on the agents you plan to meet with, check their license status at the Department of Real Estate, etc.

Don't do anything transactional online.. Ultimately, meeting people face to face is the only way to be sure of anything.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
You don't.
That why it's a great idea to CALL the real estate professional. (CALL, not email)
Insist on a meet up at their OFFICE.
Record names and numbers.
Create a paper trail.
Don't hand anyone cash.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
You can meet people on Trulia but you have to deal with them in real life, I mean off line. Meet yhem in person, let them show you the properties, check thei references, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
Hi Robert,

The trajectory of rental fraud via online postings has remained stable during 2013. You have to be careful; many would-be Renters have provided deposits only to find the person who placed the ad did not even own the property and their deposit has vanished.

If you find yourself interested in a property where the owner/Landlord cannot meet in person and show you the property I have a few suggestions before you provide a deposit and any confidential information:

a) See if you can find the property using the “owners” name at http://www.blockshopper.com

b) Until the adoption of California Government Code Section 6254.21; which, blocks all state and local agencies from providing home address (and other information) of an "elected or appointed official" you could easily check the County’s online public tax records to confirm a property's ownership. However, at the very least, you can obtain information on a property an owner should know if you want to toss a few vetting questions to test the credibility of the "owner". Yes, the scammers have access to the same database, so do not drop your guard.

c) Drive by the property for clues regarding the property’s habitation or lack thereof.

d) Contact a Realtor® and ask if they can confirm any recent transaction history by the "owner".

e) If you do meet the "owner" in person ask to "take a quick peek" at their Driver's License to confirm identity; although, if they are a "Scammer" they might have a fake one! Therefore, multiple forms of ID should be obtained if at all possible.

f) Ask “a Realtor® friend” to research whether a Notice of Default or Trustee Sale has been recorded, which would indicate the owner may lose, or has lost, the property to foreclosure. Regarding this last point see, you would have some protections via:

CA's "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" - need to know info!

These links might also prove useful:

Finally, and most importantly, stay safe (always bring a friend if you can) and don't let the need for finding a rental overpower your gut intuition!

Best of luck with your search and subsequent move.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013

You can read the recommendations of any professional you're viewing. They will be on their profile page. These comments reflect the experiences of their clients and business partners. That aside, I think Trulia itself does a very good of policing those who contribute. If they did not, the reputation of their site would suffer as well.

Rob Spinosa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
I responed to a posting for a rental unit. I seems very undervalued and the person who contacted me (the owner) says he's in Alabama. Seems fishy so I'm just trying to do some homework
Flag Tue Dec 24, 2013
What people are you talking about?

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 24, 2013
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