Consumer Protection Director of Bucks Mike Bannon reprised his role on UpWords with Chris Ermer Tuesday to talk about real estate scams that can happen in the local area.
“You need to have a good relationship and chemistry with your realtor. It’s really important that you shop around and do that before you sell your house,” Bannon said. “Buying a house is a huge transaction, so you definitely want to make sure you have chemistry with the realtor.”
There are very specific rules for real estate brokers in Pennsylvania, according to Bannon. These rules are applied by the real estate commission, as they oversee all brokers.
Bannon says it is very dangerous to make “handshake agreements” when it comes to real estate deals.
“Lots of times there’s a lot of things that are complicated entitled transfers, lots of things that real estate agents can bring to the table, but of course you can sell your house without a real estate agent.” Bannon continued. “Usually you get into a contract before you sell for a certain amount of time to sell your house and you agree on a percentage of the sale that your going to pay them.”
Bannon’s advice to those looking to purchase a new home is before anyone sells their house, if possible, shop around and ask friends and neighbors about real estate agents that have done good work for them and meet with them in advance to know what all the details will be before hiring an agent.
Bannon also discussed scam calls that have been increasingly prevalent in calling peoples cell phones. Bannon advises typically blocking a number won’t help because it’s usually different numbers that call on different days.
“Scam Artists can spoof numbers for free if you go on the internet and search spoofing, you can see how easy it is to trick caller ID,” the consumer protection advocate warned. Bannon believes there is good news on this front, as there is mounting pressure on phone companies to block the robocalls and the spoofing devices.
There is a free service called “NoMoRobo.com” where folks can sign up for free, and block some of the scam calls coming into the phone number. Regardless, the best thing to do when anyone gets a call from a number they don’t recognize is to not answer the call, according to Bannon.
Listen in for more consumer protection tips every Tuesday at 1 p.m. on UpWords with Chris Ermer.
WBCB’s Keith Noonan contributed to this post.