People who are buying a home for the first time may lack experience in detecting the red flags that may point to possible fraud during the home purchase process. Such inexperience may lead the individual to lose a lot of money in case problems develop later on. This article discusses some of the circumstances that an experienced conveyancing solicitor will investigate in order to protect you from fraud.
Recently Issued ID Documents
Conveyancing solicitors are usually wary of relying on recently issued identification documents during the home purchase process. This is because such an ID may have been fraudulently obtained in order to convince a buyer that someone is the registered owner of a property that is on sale. The solicitor may, therefore, request for an additional ID, such as a driving permit, in order to confirm that the recently issued ID document, such as a passport, is for the right person. Additionally, the solicitor may request to meet that seller in order to conduct an interview that verifies their ownership of the property that you wish to buy. This can save you from dealing with a fraudster as you look for a home to buy.
Another red flag that can make conveyancing solicitors more alert is the discovery that the home that you wish to buy is empty. Anyone can claim that an empty home is his or hers because there are no occupants to contradict their fraudulent claim. The solicitor will take extra precautions, such as talking to all the neighbours, in order to confirm that the person selling the property is indeed the registered owner of that property. This precaution is necessary because ID documents can be manipulated to have the details of the registered owner. Physical verification with neighbours can avert such fraud.
Absence of Mortgages
Solicitors may also take added precautions against fraud in case their search reveals that there are no restrictions or mortgages that are registered against the property. This is because those restrictions and mortgages usually provide additional documents that can be used to verify the ownership of the property. Extra measures must therefore be taken to be sure that the person selling is the legitimate owner of the property that has no mortgage or restrictions on it.
Impatience By the Seller
Urgency or impatience on the part of the seller can also be due to fraud. For instance, someone who is falsely claiming ownership of another's property will be impatient to conclude the sale without allowing ample time for buyer due diligence to be performed. Experienced conveyancing solicitors quickly note this diversion from the norm and investigate the reasons behind that impatience in order to rule out fraud.
That new home may be the biggest investment that you have ever made. Never undertake such a purchase without the help of a conveyancing solicitor. The expertise of that professional will save you from being a victim of fraud when you buy your first home.