Property Q&A in Austin>Question Details

ash_mendoza05, Renter in Austin, TX

I found this house on craig's list. I have contacted the owner and the property is for rent at 600 a month. Can a real estate agent verify this?

Asked by ash_mendoza05, Austin, TX Sat Sep 22, 2012

The offer seems to good to be real. I just want to make sure I'm sending my deposit to an honest person. The owner told me they live in West Africa?

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Ash, what you need to be aware of, is that if it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. In that neighborhood, I'd be surprised to find a 1/1 studio for $600 per month, let alone an entire house.

The house is pending at $2,800/month. Most likely, you have contacted a scammer who has no rights and knows nothing about the house, other than he might get some inexperienced person without an agent to fork over money on the "good deal" and that will be the last you see of your money and the person who claims to be the "owner." Did you get the old story about "being out of town, just send me a money order and I'll have a neighbor/relative give you the keys?"

Contact me for help finding a legitimate lease if you want some help.

Ron Cullinan
Avalar Austin
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
Dear ash_mendoza05,

This is likely a scam. I advertise a lot on Craigslist for apartment clients and therefore have a lot of interaction with clients that have been "shopping" on Craigslist. A couple of my more recent clients have said they answered a similar ad only to be asked to wire money to an acct in Africa in order to get keys to the home. After doing some investigating they discovered that this was a scam. Be careful!

Free Apartment Locator for South Austin
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
Definitely a scam. I would get a good Realtor to represent you. Typically they do not charge you anything and they will help you avoid situations such as this in the future!! Good luck! Joe
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
The larger side of the duplex rented a couple of days ago for $2800. The smaller, efficiency doesn't appear to be on the market and has leased for a lot more in the past. The owner appears to live in Austin, not Africa. He has used an agent to lease his property in the past. Sounds like a scam, I wouldn't waste your time or money. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
Please check with an a
Austin agent, there is a scam going around and this sounds like the one we had in our area of Texas about 2 months ago.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
I had the same thing happen to a leasing client who found a house for lease on Craigslist. In his chosen zip code of 78704, it was way too cheap. He responded with an email and got one back from the supposed named owner on the tax record. It was a fraud. I did research and found the buyer's agent when the supposed owner bought the property. The perpetrator used the real owner's name and pretended to be her. NEVER send anyone like this money. Better idea: Get a reputable realtor to represent you. It costs you nothing as a buyer or renter. These ads look real. It's even hard for those of us in the business to sort out the honest from the dishonest, but we have some resources to help us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
Don't ever send money anywhere. You either find a property through an agent or, if it is directly from a landlord, you need to see that owner, speak to him/her and make sure they are actually the owners. How? Go the the county web site and find out who owns a property at a certain address.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
Too good to be true. Send your money and you will never hear from him again. Why not use an agent?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
NEVER send money to someone until you've verified they are the owners or management company. Craigslist is full of've just found one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
DO NOT send them money! This is a scam. A scanner stole photos of one of my listings and posted the same thing. Its a scam and you will just loose your money. Anything that looks too good to be true generally is too good to be true. I wish you luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
Thank you all! I thought this was too good to be true...I won't even give this place a second thought!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2012
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