(MA) 617-297-8641 (RI) 401-641-5774


What’s the difference between a lease and a Tenant At Will (TAW)?

Read more

5 Terrific Negotiation Tactics For The Massachusetts Home Buyer



Read more

A lot of my friends comb through craigslist for apartments that do not have realtor fees. I completely understand as I used it as my primary search engine a few years ago as well. The problem with craigslist is that there are few checks and balances which therefore leads to rental scams posted. A new report from New York University explores just how common these scams are. Spoiler alert: they are everywhere.

How the Scam Works:

You are looking for a new place to live on the very popular Craigslist apartment listings. You know that scams are common on the site, but just how prevalent are they? Very! Craigslist fails to identify more than half of rental scam listings, and suspicious posts linger for as long as 20 hours before being taken down.

Researchers reviewed more than 2 million for-rent posts and found 29,000 fake listings in 20 major cities. Yes, Boston was on the list for researchers and I have discovered a few myself within 10minutes on the site. Of those, there were three key types of scams. In the first, a fake post instructs a would-be tenant to purchase a credit report. The scammer gets a commission from the credit reporting site, even though there is no property for rent.

In another scheme, con artists duplicate rental listings from other sites and post on Craigslist at a lower price. Prospective renters pay a deposit via wire transfer. Another pervasive scam is “realtor service” companies. Targets are asked to pay fees to access listings of pre-foreclosure rentals or rent-to-own properties. In the majority of cases, the companies leading the scams have no connection to the properties listed. Realtors do not ask for fees up front nor should you pay, especially when the information is public knowledge. There is NO SECRET PRE-FORECLOSURE LIST… ITS PUBLIC INFORMATION! You find them in your newspaper, local search engines, Zillow, RealtyTrac, your city’s public records database. If someone is asking for money before they prove themselves… RUN!

How to Spot a Rental Scam:

Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card: You should never pay a security deposit or first month’s rent by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payments are the same as sending cash – once you send it, you have no way to get it back. Real Estate professionals ask for checks which are held in escrow and you receive a deposit receipt. Realtors are held to a code of Ethics and you know who they are, you can track them, report them, not so with online tricksters.

Watch out for deals that sound too good: Scammers lure in targets by promising low rents, great amenities and other perks. If the price seems much better than offered elsewhere, it may be a scam. Many people search for rent-to-own opportunities… while these do exist, they are usually MORE EXPENSIVE than market rent and not thousands cheaper. You will never find a 3 bedroom for rent at $900 in Boston. We all know that is unrealistic..why would you fall for that scam on craigslist? Even if it was rent-to-own…where is their profit? Think like a business and you won’t get got!

See the property in person: Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met for an apartment you haven’t seen. If you can’t visit an apartment or house yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it is what was advertised. Call their bluff… You will show up with check in hand if you like the property…scammers generally never have access to the property so they will find an excuse as to why they can’t get you in on a specific date or ever.

Search for the same ad in other cities: Search for the listing online. If you find the same ad listed in other cities, that’s a huge red flag.


The moral of the story is…. feel free to use craigslist for finding apartments and homes but understand there are ALOT of scammers out there. Do your due diligence (research) before handing over your hard earned cash. Sometimes paying a realtor fee is worth it not to have the stress or risk losing your money. For assistance in finding an apartment in the greater boston area…be sure to connect with one of our agents

Source: PR Newswire
Read more

Foreclosures Up in The Bay State

The Bay State saw an increase in foreclosure petitions once again, up 45.6 percent compared with February 2015, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

This marks the 24th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition starts and is the highest number of petitions reported in February since 2012. The market has improved substantially but many people are plagued by lay offs and unemployment pushing them into pre-foreclosure. 

This year, lenders filed 1,264 petitions to foreclose in comparison with the 868 filed last February. Year-to-date, there have been 2,188 petitions filed in the state, a 47.2 percent increase from last year’s mark through February of 1,486. Petitions note the first step in the foreclosure process, when lenders file notice of their intention to foreclose with the Commonwealth’s Land Court.

“While there’s no doubt some new delinquencies are occurring, the majority of what we’re seeing as ‘new’ foreclosures are loans that have been delinquent for quite some time,” Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a statement. “Lenders continue to work through what remains of their backlog from several years ago, when the entire industry ground to a halt to await the outcome of legislative and regulatory changes and updates.”

There were 644 auction notices filed in February, an 8.8 percent increase from the 592 filed in February 2015. The state has seen 1,389 auctions year-to-date, a 19.2 percent increase from the same period in 2015 when there were 1,167. The auction notice acts as an alert to the Land Court that the lender has scheduled an auction and publically announced the time, date and address in legal notices in local newspapers.

In February, there were 519 foreclosure deeds filed, marking a 66.9 percent increase from the 311 deeds in February 2015. There have been a total of 867 deeds recorded in Massachusetts in 2016, a 52.6 percent increase from the 568 filed through February 2015. The deeds represent completed foreclosures, indicating there has been a change of ownership in the foreclosed property. Do not let this be your situation. Many times, your home is worth more than you owe and you could sell for a profit or at least not damage your credit score. Foreclosures stay on your credit history for 7 years, that is a long time which will make it hard t purchase another home or even find an apartment. Ask Questions, do not wait until it is too late to seek assistance. 

Source: Bankers & Tradesman

Need Help Avoiding Foreclosure? Want to know your options? 

Read more