Don’t Get Caught in a Trap!!! : 4 Things to Look Out for While Buying Property

Farah Waheda Wahid
Source Extracted from Google
It’s easy to get swept away in the world of real estate, especially if you’re a first time buyer. There are lots of great deals out there today, and even more brokers who will make promises they may or may not be able to keep. Never trust word of mouth, and always trust facts. One of the number one ways that buyers fall into traps is because they’re too eager to snatch up what they think is a good buy. If you’re ready to buy real estate, then you’re choosing the right time, since Malaysia’s economy has never been better. However, heed these simple tips to help you avoid falling victim to scams or making unwise decisions in the complex world of property investment.

1. Unreliable Real Estate Portals

Source Extracted from Google

There are lots of websites today that purport to offer reliable real estate listings and searches. This can range from a traditional site search that uses an aggregate of other site listings, to social media posts. However, don’t start your search off wrong by trying to find a good, overlooked deal on a sketchy, unknown website. Using a trustworthy search engine like Property Guru to read about Rumah Sewa, a high profile, sought after area, is a good way to ensure that you’re reading legitimate listings and information. You don’t want to get caught up in a web of deceit by using the wrong website to search for your real estate transaction.

2. Understanding Your Loan Terms

Source Extracted from Google
The legal ins and outs of home loans in Malaysia can be tricky, so you want to know all the rules before you forge ahead. For example, iMoney Malaysia highlights one of the most important parts of taking a home loan, and that is the lock-in period. A lock-in period basically means a potential penalty you'll pay to the bank for paying off your loan early. However, not all banks charge for this penalty, and it's essential to compare what's available to borrows before you decide which bank you want to borrow from.

3. Beware of Fake Photos

Source Extracted from Google
Home seekers use all sorts of avenues to look for property. In 2016, this even includes social media, but there are warnings to heed. There have been a rash of property scams using social media in the past year in Malaysia, but one of the biggest tip-offs is if the photos shown don’t look real. If you see a social media post about property for sale, there’s a difference between photos that appear candid versus ones that are grainy and don’t show the actual home. It’s safer to stick with reputable search engines and real estate portals if you’re going to search online, since social media marketing can be suspect.

The opposite phenomenon is scammers using stock photography in posts and claiming that it’s actually the real estate that they’re offering to sell. If a picture looks too glossy or generic online, chances are that the broker has probably used the same photo for a series of different properties, which means you have no idea what the real estate up for sale actually looks like. Proceed cautiously if you follow any social media leads, and remember that photos can be a major tip-off of a scam.

4. Illegal and Fraudulent Brokers

Source Extracted from Google
Unfortunately, the phenomenon of illegal brokers has become more common than ever in Malaysia, and they’re waiting to prey on people just like you. Therefore, you need to always exercise extreme caution when you’re dealing with a broker whose reputation you don’t know. The best way to find a reputable broker is to go through a family member’s or friend’s recommendation, based on personal experience, but that’s not always an available resource.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for credentials. Not only does this let your broker know you’re serious about being on the up and up, but it will also give you the opportunity to actually confirm that you’re dealing with a licensed, reliable professional. There are plenty of scrupulous brokers who make a nice living off real estate transactions, especially considering it’s one of Malaysia’s most booming sectors. Just make sure  you know who you’re actually working with.

When large sums of money are involved, rest assured that there’s always someone waiting to rip you off, whether it’s a sketchy real estate site or an illegal broker. Be careful when you move forward and always get legal advice from an attorney. Talk to the bank directly about your mortgage loan and all the legalese involved. Inspect the property on your own and don’t rely on pictures or verbal promises. Even if you’re not dealing with a shady broker, you can be duped just as easily by empty promises of rapidly escalating value and unheard of rent yields for investors. Anything that seems too good to be true probably is. Exercise caution and common sense, whether you’re an investor or a home buyer, and they’ll take you far.

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  1. Rasanya dah cukuplah dgn property yg ada. Tak sanggup nak berhutang lagi dah. Penat nak membayar. Kasi chance ler adik adik membayar hutang hihi

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