PropertyManagementMaven: If the Rental Price is too good to be true IT IS

If the Rental Price is too good to be true IT IS


The ONLY way to stop this from happening to your listings is watermarking your photos * the exterior picture at least.  SCAMMERS in our area are taking MLS listings from our public MLS or Zillow/Trulia which is why I don't post rental listings to MLS and watermark them on my website AND in my postlets listings.  My HERO website watermarks automatically!


If the Rental Price is too good to be true IT IS

It's happening AGAIN....renters are contacting me regarding a Wellington Florida rental home they found online asking almost HALF of what the true market value is. Since these homes are never listed in the MLS I'm not sure how my phone number is tied to these homes for rent, maybe it's listed on the frame of the site and not with the actually ad, in any event some how they contact me and start asking:

Wellington Florida Rental ScamsIs the property at XYZ Lane in Wellington still for rent?
When can I see it?
When can I move in?
Will you take first and security?
Will you allow pets?

Unfortunately I'm never asked WHY IS THIS PROPERTY LISTED SO LOW? It appears some of these potential targets are so blinded by the price that it doesn't cross their mind that they might be getting scammed.

Yes, I said "TARGETS" because after doing a little investigating on these homes for rent I find out every time that it's another rental scam.

Wellington Florida renters need to beware! There are a ton of rental scams across the web and this is why hiring a professional real estate agent to assist you with your Wellington Florida rental search is highly recommended.

Here's one of the latest rental scams sweeping across America:

Attention Wellington Florida Renters if the rental price is too good to be true IT IS.

Michelle Gibson REALTOR®
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc.
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View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

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Comment balloon 7 commentsWallace S. Gibson, CPM • December 28 2010 04:42PM


Your comments should have been a post of their own!  Excellent idea to watermark the photos!

I'm not sure what watermark could be used in the MLS (I know you said you don't in your MLS but is there something that can be done?).   Maybe watermark with the MLS URL...I dunno!

Posted by Ron Tarvin, Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095 (Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction!) over 8 years ago

There was a posting on Craigslist a year ago that a friend of mine was pursuing - another too good to be true and the scammer even created an email with the actual owner's ame. When the scammer talked about upfront money, my friend knew it was a scam. Good idea about watermarking.

Posted by Joyce Herr, Lancaster County & Beyond (Prudential Lancaster Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Another reason to set up an address, google alert on your listings.  Our MLS won't allow any identification on the photos so doubtful watermarking would help. 

Posted by Terri Adams-Scott, Realtor, Walnut Creek CA Real Estate (J. Rockcliff, REALTORS) over 8 years ago

Hi Wallace: Once scammed, do they seek you out since, I presume, they don't find the scammers? I presume the low price makes the targets take the risk of not even seeing your property. Or do they? I hope there's no liability on your part.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 8 years ago

Wallace - Thank you so much for the reblog!  In most of the cases I'm experiencing these properties aren't listed at all, for sale or rent.  The scammers are basically getting pictures of the community sign and post them on sites like craigslist, etc.  I'm sure the picture(s) they use are taken from sites like or where the property was once listed.  This is why I have no clue how/why these people are contacting me and to date nobody can tell me what site they saw these ads on.  The only thing I can think of is the only contact listed on these rental listings is an e-mail and my info might be some where on the site as a Realtor in the area....not sure.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 8 years ago

Most MLS won't allow a LARGE watermark because of IDX and members need to insist that they are LARGER.  Our weekly MLS newsletter blast ALWAYS contains a warning about CL scammers yet they don't seem to get the message and allow watermarking!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

The same scam happens with Rent-to-Own properties too.  The majority of my business is working with homeowners facing foreclosure or short sale.  I've met a few homeowners who have actually signed over the deed to their property and the new "owner" rents out the property....not necessarily at a discount.

These days a foreclosure auction can take up to a year or two.  Renters need to be more careful these days than ever before. 

It might be a good idea for renters to do a credit check on prospective landlords!

Posted by Wendy Smith, Real Estate Advisor (Wendy Smith Real Estate) over 8 years ago

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