How Buyers and Sellers Have Lost Thousands of Dollars to Email Scams

laptop and smart phoneEmail scams are as old as, well, email, but as the years go by, these scams have become more and more sophisticated. Recently, several home buyers have fallen victim to specially targeted email scams that attempt to rob them of their closing costs — sometimes up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These types of scams are devastating both financially and emotionally, especially when your home is involved. But to help protect you from email scams targeting the real estate industry, we have outlined a few tips about what these scams are and how to avoid them.

What Email Scams Are Common?

Though the method through which hackers collect personal or financial information is always changing, there are a few basic types of scams that buyers and sellers should be aware of.

Phishing

fishingThis type of scam attempts to “fish” for sensitive personal or financial information (such as passwords or credit card numbers). Many emails used in recent phishing schemes look legitimate; they may use the name of a trusted company or individual as the sender name, but the email address is slightly different than the company’s or individual’s verified address.

These types of email messages may also ask you to verify information or click on a link, which could install harmful software on your computer.

Wire Transfer Fraud

A specific type of phishing email that has been targeting home buyers recently is one that asks buyers to wire their closing costs to another account. The email typically crafts some urgent scenario, such as a last-minute change in wiring instructions, and urges the recipient to act quickly by wiring the money to the new account. This phishing email has led to home buyers losing thousands of dollars — in some cases, the entire purchase price of the house — to scammers. Unfortunately, the money can’t be returned once it’s gone.

Wire transfer fraud scams are especially dangerous because the emails appear to be sent directly from the real estate agent, the electronic signature company, or the title company. There may not be any misspellings or grammatical errors in the email message (which were surefire signs of a scam in the past), the message itself may be friendly and conversational, and any information related to the real estate transaction may be detailed and accurate.

How You Can Avoid Falling Victim to Email Scams

Now that you know what types of scams have plagued the real estate industry, here are a few tips you can follow to prevent yourself from falling victim to a devastating email scam.

person dialing a phone numberVerify that you received an email from the right person. Ensure that any emails you receive are legitimate by contacting the sender directly. Make sure you look up their phone number instead of clicking on the number provided in the email signature, which may be the scammer’s phone number.

Verify that the email address is legitimate. When you receive emails that appear to be from your real estate agent, title company, or attorney, check to make sure the sender’s email address does not contain misspellings, extra characters, or anything unusual.

Never share sensitive information via email. Your real estate agent will never ask you to send sensitive personal or financial information in an email.

Don’t touch an email that looks suspicious. Never click on any links or download any attachments from an unverified email, even if it looks legitimate. These links or attachments could be malware that will harm your computer.

Always use strong passwords. Use passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters, and change them periodically.

Update your antivirus software. Protect your computer from malware by ensuring your antivirus is up to date.

Report suspicious emails. If you receive an email that seems suspicious or is in fact a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission immediately.

Contact Us to Learn More

We’re aware of scams like these, so it’s our goal to keep you informed whether you’re buying or selling a home. Give us a call and we’ll provide you with any additional resources you need!

Powhatan Real Estate– Powhatan VA Homes

Powhatan County Neighborhoods – Autumn Bluff

Powhatan Virginia may just be one of the best areas in the country to live. Of course, there are plenty of good neighborhoods in Powhatan and the one mentioned here is The Autumn Bluff Subdivision. Autumn Bluff is one of the many great neighborhoods located in Powhatan Virginia. Autumn Bluff is located in the western part of Powhatan County, close to the Cumberland County border, and is a newer neighborhood boasting homes built from 2006 to Today. Custom home builders are still breaking ground on new construction homes in the neighborhood. Autumn Bluff is a lovely rural neighborhood with plenty of greenery and wooded areas. These new homes offer all of the comforts and updates of todays’ living while accentuating the quiet rural lifestyle Powhatan County has to offer.

Powhatan County Real Estate For Sale

Homes in Autumn Bluff in Powhatan County VA

Buy a Home or Sell a Home in Powhatan Virginia

People buy a home in Powhatan, VA or sell a home in Powhatan, VA not only because they see it as a great investment but also because the area provides peaceful living. Powhatan Real Estate is one of the best in Virginia. Thanks to talented and honest real estate experts like The 20/20 Team, owned by expert Richmond real estate agent and broker at GO Real Estate Inc. Tyler Rackley , buying a home or selling a home in Powhatan has never been easier. As prominent Powhatan Virginia realtors with years of experience, we know what works during a home search or home sale and what doesn’t. How do you get started? All you need to do is call us to set an appointment. Contact us today and let us make you Powhatan Real Estate Dreams a reality.

Powhatan Real Estate Search

Are you looking for Powhatan Homes for Sale? Start your Powhatan Real Estate Search today at www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com! At The 20/20 Team website we have many great ways for you to search for Powhatan Real Estate! Here you can browse our list of featured listings, perform a real estate search by neighborhood, or use our real estate search tool! No matter how you choose to search for Homes in Powhatan VA you are sure to Find just what you are looking for when you search with The 20/20 Team!

Hanover Home For Sale – Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing

Move-In Ready Brick Rancher FOR SALE – 7942 Kenmore Drive

Check it out! The Richmond Real Estate Experts at The 20/20 Team & GO Real Estate Inc just listed a great move-in ready brick Rancher in Mechanicsville. Situated on a large landscaped corner lot in the Lee Davis High School school district, this 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom low maintenance brick rancher has been lovingly cared for; meticulously updated; & is truly move in ready. Renovations to this great Hanover Home for sale includes: a new eat-in kitchen with Corain countertops, slow close wood cabinets with dovetail construction, tile backsplash, & white appliances; an updated full bathroom with granite vanity; 30 year roof; new hot water heater; new Champion replacement windows; stand by gas generator; updated fixtures; & fresh paint. The Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing also boasts amazing features like: handsome hardwoods & moldings that run throughout the majority of the home; a formal living room with picture window; formal dining room with bay window; tons of natural light; family room with brick wood burning fireplace; spacious master suite with attached half bath; large closets; utility room with direct entry & lots of cabinet space; fully fenced backyard; detached storage shed; & paved drive. To top it all off the Hanover home for sale is conveniently located in Mechanicsville, only 20 minutes from Richmond, close to shopping; dining; interstates; & more. Don’t miss out on this turnkey Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing!

Sell a Home in Mechanicsville

Think of making a move? Do you have a home you need to sell a home first? No worries! The Richmond Real Estate Experts at The 20/20 Team and GO Real Estate Inc have you covered! We have helped hundreds of client sell a home throughout central Virginia in area like Richmond, Hanover, Henrico, Goochland, Powhatan, Chesterfield, and Petersburg just to name a few! We are here for you every step of the way from getting your home ready for the market to signing on the dotted line at closing. Our team Richmond Real Estate Experts can help you sell your home faster and for more money then you can on your own. Want to know how? Call us today and see how we can help take your home from “For Sale” to “SOLD”!

Hanover Real Estate Search

If you are in the market for a new Home in Hanover then make sure to stop by www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com today and start you Hanover Real Estate Search! Here you can browse our list of featured homes for sale, perform a real estate search by neighborhood, or use our real estate search tool! No Matter how you choose to search you are sure to find the perfect Hanover Home at The 20/20 Team website!

Real Estate For Sale – Hanover Homes

Mechanicsville Real Estate Listings Coming Soon – 7942 Kenmore Drive

Are you in the market for homes in Hanover Virginia that have been lovingly cared for; meticulously updated; & are truly move in ready? Well you are in luck! The 20/20 Team and GO Real Estate Inc have a great new Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing Coming soon! Situated on a large landscaped corner lot in the Lee Davis High School school district, this 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom, Hanover, VA homeincludes updates and features like: a new eat-in kitchen with Corain countertops, slow close wood cabinets with dovetail construction, tile backsplash, & white appliances; an updated full bathroom with granite vanity; 30 year roof; new hot water heater; new Champion replacement windows; stand by gas generator; updated fixtures; fresh paint; handsome hardwoods & moldings that run throughout the majority of the home; a formal living room with picture window; formal dining room with bay window; tons of natural light; family room with brick wood burning fireplace; spacious master suite with attached half bath; large closets; utility room with direct entry & lots of cabinet space; fully fenced backyard; detached storage shed; & paved drive. To top it off this great Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing is located near shopping, dining, interstates and so much more! You don’t want to miss out on this one.

Mechanicsville Real Estate Listing

7942 Kenmore Dr, Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hanover Real Estate Search

If you are searching for Hanover homes for sale then make sure to start your Hanover Real Estate Search at www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com! Here you can browse our featured listings and see some of our favorite Homes for sale in Hanover, perform a real estate search by neighborhood and see all the Hanover Real Estate Listings in your favorite Hanover, VA neighborhoods, or use our state of the art real estate search tool and see all of the Homes in Hanover VA for Sale that match your search criteria. No matter how you choose to search you are sure to find what you are looking for at The 20/20 Team website.

Buy a Home in Mechanicsville

Are you looking to buy a home in Mechanicsville? Are you not sure where to start or what to expect during the home buying process? Don’t try and go it alone! Let us help make your home ownership dreams a reality! Our team of Richmond Real Estate Experts has helped hundreds of first time home buyers and seasoned home buyers buy a home in Central Virginia. We are here for you ever step of the way! Not only we will help you get pre-approved with a lender and find the perfect home but we will also help you negotiate the best price for your new Mechanicsville home and guide you through inspection and closing. The best part of it is it cost you nothing as a buyer to have a licensed REALTOR on your side. So what are you waiting for? Contact The 20/20 Team today!

Homes in Hanover, VA – Mechanicsville Neighborhoods

Hanover, VA Neighborhoods – Atlee Ridge

Are you looking to move to Hanover, VA? Are you not sure where in Hanover County you want to live? Then check out the Atlee Ridge neighborhood located in Mechanicsville VA.Atlee Ridge Subdivision in Mechanicsville Virginia, a neighborhood perfect for all types of buyers, is a great place to live and should be considered when looking for a home in Mechanicsville Virginia. With its beautiful landscaping, the neighborhood has a homely look that will have you instantly hooked. It also offers the peace, security, and serenity that you need with a convenient location! Atlee Ridge in Mechanicsville VA can be a great place to live.

Mechanicsville Real Estate Listings

Hanover Homes in Atlee Ridge

Buy a Home or Sell a Home in Atlee Ridge

When looking to buy a home or sell a home in Mechanicsville, make sure to seek the assistance of Richmond Real Estate Experts like The 20/20 Team. We are the experts when it comes to Atlee Ridge and have sold many Mechanicsville Virginia Real Estate Listings. If you are looking for homes in Atlee Ridge, we are here to provide the answers you need to make the right decision when purchasing a home. Whether you are looking to buy a home in Mechanicsville, VA or sell a home in Mechanicsville, VA our Richmond Realtors will help you every step of the way. With our knowledge and experience in the Atlee Ridge neighborhood, we are sure to either find you the perfect home or the right buyer for your property. If you have ever dreamed of owning a home, then now is the time to do it and this is a wonderful place to live. Contact us today!

Hanover Real Estate Search

Are you search for homes in Hanover VA? Don’t you dare waste time on those other real estate websites! Start you Hanover real estate search today at www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com! Here you can browse our featured listings, perform a real estate search by neighborhood, or use our real estate search tool! No matter how you choose to search you are sure to find the Hanover homes for sale that you are looking for. So what are you waiting for? Stop by The 20/20 Team website today and let us help you find your dream Hanover home!

Midlothian Real Estate Listing – JUST LISTED!

Midlothian Homes for Sale – 3237 Barkham Dr

Are you looking for New Construction homes in Midlothian but don’t want to wait? Then check out this great Midlothian home for sale brought to you by the Richmond Realtors at The 20/20 Team! This four bedroom three and a half bathroom Midlothian Real Estate Listing boasts highly sought after craftsman style architecture, attention to detail at every turn and some amazing features like: Cocoa Bean hardwoods and handsome moldings that run throughout the open first floor; formal dining room with tray ceiling; family room with stacked stone fireplace; eat-in gourmet chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, white wolf all wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, large pantry, and center work island; laundry room and mud room with built-in storage; loft style rec room; Master suite with sitting area, his and hers closest, and 5 piece en suite; finished third floor with private bath; screened porch with skylight and ceiling fans; 2 car garage; fully fenced rear yard; and so much more! This Midlothian Home simply has too many features to list. All of this situated on a lovely landscaped lot in Rountrey where you are only moments away from shopping, dining, interstates, and more! This is a Midlothian Real Estate Listing you truly must see for yourself!

Sell a Home

Are you looking to Sell a home in Midlothian VA? The Richmond Realtors at The 20/20 Team and GO Real Estate Inc are here to help. We have help hundreds of clients sell a home throughout central Virginia in areas like: Richmond, Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Petersburg, Powhatan, and Goochland just to name a few. Our team of Richmond Realtors would love to help you too! We are here from you every step of the way to guide you through the process of selling a home. But you do not have to take our word for it! Check out what our past clients have to say about their experience with The 20/20 Team. Then when you are ready Contact Us and we can get you on the road to making your real estate dreams a reality.

Midlothian Real Estate Search

Are you looking for searching for Midlothian homes for Sale? Well look no further. At www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com you can search all Midlothian Real Estate Listings in one place. We also have three great ways for you to search for Midlothian home as well! First browse our featured real estate listings to see some of our favorite Midlothian Real Estate Listings, then perform a real estate search by neighborhood and see the Midlothian homes for sale in your favorite Midlothian neighborhoods like RounTrey , and finally use our real estate search tool to see all the homes in Midlothian, VA for sale that match your exact search criteria. No matter how you choose to search for Midlothian Real Estate Listings you are sure to find your dream home at The 20/20 Team website.

Chesterfield Real Estate Listings

Recently Sold Homes in Chesterfield VA

This lovely Chesterfield real estate listing is now SOLD, thanks to the Expert Realtors at The 20/20 Team at GO Real Estate! This charming and sophisticated Chesterfield VA Real Estate listing in Spring Grove with 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 1st floor office, updated kitchen & 2,616 sq. ft. This Move-In Ready Chesterfield home for sale offers newer maintenance free vinyl siding & windows, paved driveway, brick sidewalk, rear deck overlooking the private yard w/fence, detached storage for additional exterior storage & rear patio that is great for entertaining. The interior of this Chesterfield homes for sale offers newer carpet throughout, huge family room with beamed ceiling, recessed lighting & brick gas fireplace, beautifully updated eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, Wolf gas stove, tile backsplash, recessed lighting & breakfast nook & opens to the bright Florida room with vaulted ceilings, skylights & ceiling fan. The formal dining room includes hardwood floors crown & chair rail & 1st floor study w/recessed lights & crown. The Rec room is on the 1st floor w/hardwood floors & track lighting. All 4 bedrooms are on the 2nd floor including the master with bamboo flooring, his & hers walk-in closets & gorgeous master en suite with tile flooring, soaking tub, double vanity & shower w/glass surround. The additional bedrooms are generously sized, 2 have walk-in closets.

This lovely Chesterfield real estate listing is now SOLD, thanks to the EXPERT Realtors at The 20/20 Team at GO Real Estate!

8306 Autumn Way

Thinking about buying a home in Chesterfield Virginia?

If you are looking to BUY a home in Chesterfield – or anywhere in the Metro Richmond Virginia area – and be in your new home before the holidays, there is still time! Call the Expert Team of Richmond Realtors at The 20/20 Team and let us help YOU! Our team of Richmond Real Estate Experts have helped hundreds of clients make their dream of owning their dream home come true and we can help you too! We serve the entire Richmond Metro area – including the City of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Goochland, Powhatan and Petersburg – just to name a few. Don’t waste any more time dreaming about your new home – we can help you make it happen! Not sure where to start? No problem! Give The 20/20 Team a call today!

Chesterfield Real Estate Search – Get Started Today!

If you would like to get started looking for your new home, start here at our website GoRichmondRealEstate.com! At The 20/20 Team website, we have several easy ways for you to search all homes for sale in Chesterfield, Virginia. Don’t waste your time on those other sites that just give you outdated information! You can perform a search by neighborhood and find your new home in your FAV neighborhood, or perform a detailed search by using our Custom Search tool, and find the home that meets YOUR needs, or you can check out some of our FAVS and browse through our Featured Listings. No matter how you choose to perform your Richmond Real Estate For Sale Search, you are sure to find MANY great homes for sale in Chesterfield, Virginia! Have questions? Give The 20/20 Team a call today!

6 Questions to Ask When Considering a Neighborhood with an HOA

community pool with inflatable innertubeLet’s say you have your heart set on buying a home in a community with a swimming pool, a clubhouse, and maybe even a playground or trails. Having access to these amenities often means living in a community with a homeowners association, or HOA.

Generally, an HOA is responsible for keeping the neighborhood looking beautiful — and as a result, keeping property values high. But since no two neighborhoods are the same, no two HOAs will be the same, either.

What You Should Know About the Homeowners Association

Doing your research on homes and communities means finding the answers to dozens of questions. As a savvy home buyer, you’ve probably already considered some of the most important topics early on in your home search, such as the local property taxes and whether the neighborhood is appreciating in value.

But if you’re considering a neighborhood with an HOA, there are a few additional things that you should know about the community and the association before you buy a home. Here are the essential questions you should ask.

1. What Does the Homeowners Association Do?

home with landscaped yardEach community varies, but in general, a homeowners association assists residents with property maintenance (by providing services like lawn care, trash removal, or Internet), regularly beautifies the neighborhood common areas, and upkeeps any shared amenities. In return for these services, residents pay an association fee, which we’ll talk about later.

Since the HOA is also concerned with keeping property values high, the homeowners association may also dictate what residents can and can’t do with their properties. These rules keep residents from worrying about a neighbor painting their house a funky color or letting their lawn go wild.

2. Are You Required to Join the HOA?

Before you decide to buy a home in an HOA neighborhood, first check to see whether the community has a voluntary or mandatory HOA. A voluntary HOA doesn’t require that you join the association or pay dues, but a mandatory HOA does.

3. How Much Are the HOA Fees?

As we mentioned before, HOA fees cover the services that the association provides. HOA fee costs (and the frequency with which they’re paid) can vary from community to community, so ask your real estate agent about how much the fees are before you buy a home in the neighborhood.

4. What Are the HOA’s Expectations for Residents?

bylaws for a community associationTypically, a homeowners association will have a list of rules and regulations that residents are expected to follow when they live in the community. (These are known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, or CC&Rs.)

These regulations can dictate everything from what colors you can use to paint your home to how many vehicles you can park in the driveway. Again, each homeowners association varies, so it’s best to read the Bylaws of communities you’re considering to learn what’s expected of residents.

5. When (And How Often) Does the HOA Meet?

If you’re interested in joining your neighborhood’s HOA to get involved in your community, you might also want to consider when the association meets. The HOA may meet annually, bimonthly, or monthly, depending on the association’s size, so check to see if the regular meetings will fit within your schedule.

6. Does the HOA Host Any Activities?

Finally, when considering a neighborhood with an HOA, you should learn whether the HOA provides other ways for you to get involved and meet your neighbors. Ask your real estate agent about whether the neighborhood association hosts annual block parties, pool parties, holiday celebrations, Yard of the Month competitions, or any other neighborhood activities.

We’re Here to Answer Your Home Buying Questions!

Have a question about a specific neighborhood or the home buying process in general? We’re more than happy to give you the information you need. Call us and let’s chat.

Richmond Real Estate Listing – Under Contract in The Fan!

Recently SOLD Richmond Real Estate | W. Franklin Street

This great Richmond real estate listing is now under contract thanks to The 20/20 Team at GO Real Estate and our team of Richmond Realtors. We are so glad that our Richmond Real Estate Investor didn’t miss this GORGEOUS Multi-Family Building smack dab in the HEART of The Fan! Each unit of this real estate listing is rented and has positive cash flow. There’s also a partial basement for great storage in this Richmond real estate listing and OFF-STREET Parking in the rear! Each unit in this terrific Richmond real estate for sale has separate electric & gas meters.  Walk to the VCU, hop on the bus around the city and so close to everything RVA – What a great find!

Richmond Investment Property

W. Franklin Street

Invest in Richmond Real Estate

Are you thinking about investing in Richmond Real Estate? Are you confused about where to begin and if this is even an option for you? Contact The 20/20 Team Today and we can help you get on the right track. Our team of Richmond Realtors has helped many individuals get their start in investing in Richmond Real Estate and know what to look for in a great investment property. Our team is also home to some of the best Real Estate Investors which helps to make our agents even more qualified to help you! If you have questions about Richmond Real Estate and Real Estate Investing we have answers. Let us give you the help and information you need to become a successful Richmond Real Estate Investor!

Richmond Real Estate Search

Are you looking to buy a home in Richmond Virginia? Visit The 20/20 Team Website and start your Richmond Real Estate search today. Here you can perform a real estate search by neighborhood helping you find the perfect home in the perfect location, Browse our Featured Real Estate Listings, or use our real estate search tool to search all of the Richmond Virginia MLS listings for the perfect buy!

Real Estate Listing – Richmond Condos

Recently Sold Condos In Richmond VA – 2400 Lakeview Ave

Thanks to the EXPERT Marketing by the Real Estate experts at The 20/20 Team and GO Real Estate, this Richmond Condo for sale is now SOLD! This quaint Richmond real estate listing is a TOP Floor corner unit that features 2 Bedrooms, a Jack-N-Jill Bath, HARDWOOD Floors AND Fresh Paint throughout, Large Great Room with a FAB Fireplace AND Built-Ins, Formal Dining Room, Eat-In Kitchen and LOADS of POTENTIAL! One-Of-A-Kind LOCATION – SMACK DAB in the MIDDLE of Byrd Park with BREATH-taking VIEWS from the BALCONY – PERFECT to take in the stars on a balmy Summer evening! Located directly across from Byrd Park this Richmond Real Estate Listing is just a short walk from Fountain Lake, Swans Lake, Shields Lake, all of the wonderful local RVA shops, entertainment and dining in Carytown, the distinctively beautiful Museum District, or The FANT-tastic Fan District – and only a short bike ride from VCU, Scotts Addition, Downtown, Shockoe Bottom, & more!

Recently sold condos in Richmond, VA - 2400 Lakeview Avenue

2400 Lakeview Avenue

Richmond Real Estate Search

Are you looking for a home – or a condo – for sale in Richmond VA? You came to the right place when you start your Richmond real estate search at www.GORichmondRealEstate.com today! Here, you will find thousands of homes for sale in Richmond – and we have so many great ways for you to search! You can browse our featured real estate listings and check out our Favs, perform a real estate search by neighborhood, or use our state-of-the-art Custom Real Estate Search Tool! No matter how you choose to search you are sure to find what you are looking for with The 20/20 Team!

Experienced Richmond Realtors

Are you looking to Buy A Home, Sell A Home or invest in RVA Real Estate? If you are looking for Experienced Richmond Realtors that provide concierge-level service, call us TODAY! Our Team of Richmond Real Estate Experts has helped hundreds clients Buy a home in Richmond, Sell a home in Richmond, and invest in Richmond Real Estate. We will be with you EVERY step of the way – from writing an offer, to inspection negotiating, to educating you on the Richmond Real Estate Market and Trends, to being with you on closing day – we will be right there with you. At The 20/20 Team, we believe in ‘Keeping The Focus On YOU‘ – let us show you how we are THE BEST! So what are you waiting for? Contact The 20/20 Team TODAY!