Spotting Fake Apartment Ads on Craigslist

The rental market in New York City is one of the most competitive markets in the world. There are fewer apartments on the market at any given time than the vast number of people who are looking to rent one. This has made websites like Craigslist a breeding ground for fraud. These fake listings are so pervasive; it is likely that 90% of the ads you click on aren’t real.

However, it’s not just the bait and switch ads brokers post that you have to watch out for. There are professional criminals posting apartment ads everyday, making an already difficult process even more disconcerting.

So, the question is: how do you spot these scams? The following are a few things to watch for.

Does the rent seem extremely low?

Does the landlord tell you he or she lives in another country?

Look on the bottom of the ad and see who listed it. If it says: Management Company, Owner’s rep, a series of commas, or anything you cannot put into a search engine and pull up results – this is a red flag. Ads like these are posted by brokers looking to pull a bait and switch, or con artists looking to scam you – so pass on these.

Look for the phone #. If you see a picture with a phone number and it is not actually a written part of the ad, pass on this ad. This is a scam.

When replying via email, does the email have typos or poor grammar? Does something seem off? If so, pass on this apartment. This is a scam.

If you see an apartment and a small landlord owns it, ask to see their ID. Write down their information. There have been cases where someone “rents” an apartment to multiple people. These people collect rent and security deposits from as many people as they can and then disappear with tens of thousands of dollars. To ensure the person you rent from is legit, run a search on their name with the word “scam” attached to it, run a search on their phone #, run a search on their address. If this person has had any previous scams or has duped a renter in the past, chances are you might come across some information that will save you a ton of headaches and the loss of your money.

If you have contacted the legal landlord or the management company of a real apartment and you receive a phone call from a broker claiming you owe them a commission, call the owner and management company immediately. DO NOT sign anything with the broker who calls you “out of nowhere.” If the landlord or management company tells you they have an “exclusive with this broker” and you really do not want to pay a broker fee, then pass on this apartment. If the landlord or management company didn’t disclose this information to you in the first place, this isn’t the type of landlord you want to rent from.

Take a close look at the photo and when calling for an appointment, always ask if this is the exact photo of the apartment. And then ask when the picture was taken. Even landlords and management companies will post old stock photos taken when the apartment was newly renovated.

In the current economy, if you are looking to rent a condo or coop, ask the owner of the apartment for proof that they are not in arrears on their mortgage. If they do not want to share that information with you, pass on the apartment. No matter how good the deal may be, it is not worth having to move again because the person might go into foreclosure.

Brokers have earned a bad reputation. But they’re not the only ones you have to watch out for. So before handing over any of your money to anyone, it is up to you to do a little research.

Finding an apartment is a stressful and challenging experience, but if you’re on your toes you’ll succeed in renting an one without the hassle of dealing with a con artist.

Hiring A Commercial Real Estate Broker For Leasing Office Space

It may seem like an arduous undertaking to consider renting office space for your business, especially if you have never done anything like it before. There are so many different listings available on the market, and they all very in leasing costs; all of this can be too much to handle.

Apart from the issue of considering all the available units, you must first figure out exactly what it is that your business needs, in terms of office space. All of this can be very overwhelming, as you attempt to find the best office space location for your business.

The thing to keep in mind is that you need not face all of these problems, as you try to find the most ideal location for your business. You can do this by seeking the professional help of a commercial real estate broker.

These commercial real estate brokers do their job just like real estate agents. The only difference is that brokers focus more on doing business with buyers of commercial space, as well as owners.

Commercial real estate brokers also work just like brokers, in that they serve to aid those that need help in locating the best office space for their business, given their budget range and conditions. These brokers are equipped with lengthy lists of owners of commercial space, and they are sure to help you discover at least two prospects that meet your requirements and budget range.

In doing business with a commercial real estate broker, keep in mind that you must be forthright about your budget range and conditions, and see to it that you enumerate everything that you want and need for your business’s office space. In doing this, you will be helping your broker help you locate the best units.

Request your broker for about three options, and ask him or her if he or she could set up a viewing schedule for these locations, and perhaps your broker can even arrange an appointment with the owners. Being able to see the units firsthand and talking about matters of concern with the owners should be able to guide you in singling out the best unit for your business.

As expected, it does not cost very little to afford the services of a commercial real estate broker. On the other hand, having the advice of a professional in these types of circumstances will be sure to alleviate you of stresses, as well as aid you in better transacting with owners.

Useful Methods to Help Find the Perfect Apartment

If planning on moving or looking for a first-home, there are several different methods that can be used to search for the right property. A wide-range of options is available for the home hunter, which might consist of searching online, using apartment locators to driving or walking around the local neighborhood. Finding the ideal apartment that is situated in the right part of town, offers the right amenities, and fits within the available budget isn’t that difficult provided you have the right perspective about how to manage the process.

Here are some of the most effective methods used for finding the ideal apartment –

Brokers – If searching for an apartment to rent in any of the major cities, then you are likely to have the option of using one of the many real estate brokers. If you have a pretty good ideal of the neighborhood you wish to live in, it is often best to search out a broker based in that area, as they are likely to be more knowledgeable on the area and what might be available within your budget. Most brokers also provide a website which gives you the option to go online and view the latest luxury apartments to rent, often with full descriptions and photos. Although, if thinking of using the services of a broker, you might want to research the company well, as this type of service isn’t cheap, so you want to be sure of using a licensed and experienced provider.

Apartment Locators – An apartment locator is a quick and efficient service to help with finding local apartment to rent. Most of the locators are able to provide access to a large database of potential rentals all across the area you’re searching. This extensive database of viewable properties often makes it easier to find a property that is completely tailored to your particular requirements.

Word-of-Mouth – If wishing to avoid the potential hefty fees of an agent or broker, you might want to go the route of letting relatives, friends, or colleagues know you looking for an apartment to rent. A number of people are having success at using such a non-cost method for finding a new rental apartment. If you are searching for an apartment, it might also benefit to drive or walk around the local area to search for ‘For Rent’ signs, which can give a great idea of what might be available on the market.

Classified Ads – Another common method for searching for the ideal apartment is to read the classified ads, which might appear in local or community papers to online websites or message boards. Most of the local papers feature a specific area on their website to list the latest classified ads, so this means you are always looking at the most recent listings.