Real Estate Blog

Find all the real estate news from Luxembourg and the Greater Region on the IMMOTOP.LU blog. Get tips, tricks and guides! Whether your real estate project is for construction, renovation, buying/selling or renting, all practical info can be found here!

11 November 2016

Real estate ads: Avoid the scams!


Piracy, phishing and scams are the scourge of the internet. And carrying them out is much easier via ads for real estate agents in which owners, agencies and tenants leave behind themselves a certain amount of contact details and information in order to post or respond to an ad. The IMMOTOP.LU security service is well put together and reacts quickly in the event of an attack. And even if scams are very rare on our real estate portal, nobody is safe. Here is some advice for not becoming a victim of those scammers that do pass through our net!

Too good = distrust

When one sets off in search of ideal accommodation, whether to rent or buy, one is often expecting to find a good deal. But be careful of the “mega bargain”.

If during your daily search for a 70 m2 apartment to rent in Luxembourg Centre, you find prices starting from € 1,200, beware of the ad for € 750 that appears suddenly or which arrives in your email inbox after signing up for an alert according to your criteria. This is very likely to be a scam because the price is unrealistic with respect to the Luxembourg real estate market!

To assist yourself here, take a look at this page: Municipalities of Luxembourg, look for the municipality in question for the property you have doubts about and refer to the price change graphs for property for sale or for rent. In our example to Luxembourg, you will see that an apartment for rent in Luxembourg costs about € 27 per square metre, which is a rent of € 1,900*. A displayed price of € 750 would be completely unrealistic! Run from this ad!

*Estimated according to the average. The price will depend of course on the type of apartment, its services, the age of the building, etc..

Avoid the owner who is overly sentimental.

If you still want to try your luck, despite the unrealistically low price, beware of unscrupulous owners drowning you with a family story that will melt your little heart: An uncle who dies suddenly, a handicapped cousin who cannot climb up to the first floor … The pretext will be to get you to make use of this apartment which is better to be lived in than left empty, regardless of the price. Do not spend any time on this! An owner worthy of the name would never rent for nothing.

Owner … or agency

The great majority of real estate ads on IMMOTOP.LU are posted by real estate agents in the Greater Luxembourg Region. The risk of encountering a scam is therefore very limited given that you are dealing with professionals. It may be, however, that the agency has had its account hacked and that before this is even noticed, information on its profile can be modified (telephone number, email address) and real estate prices changed in order to attract contacts.

If you respond to a fraudulent ad, you may become the victim of strange exchanges and your interlocutor will soon ask you for money. Run away! A real estate agency does not proceed in this manner. You will duly complete all the formalities in the office of the agency in question only after you have visited the property!

Never send your documents too quickly.

Is there a property that interests you? Good. Make an appointment with the owner or the agency to visit it and then prepare your file. You can send it once the visit has taken place and your interest is confirmed, but never before! That would be to give too much personal information to a possible scammer that you will probably never meet.

Do not make any payment

Let us return to the 70 square metre apartment in the heart of Luxembourg for € 750. At this price, it is a safe bet that there will be dozens of internet users responding to the call. And your weak point will be to rush things because “first come, first served”. The perpetrator only has to ask you to pay an advance on the rent or a deposit to supposedly reserve this property for you. A meeting in the street, a bank transfer or a payment via an internet link later on and you are poorer by hundreds of euros, and without getting anything in return.

In all cases, keep a cool head, remain realistic and be attentive regarding offers that seem to you to be suspect or just too good.

If you think you are dealing with a fraudulent ad on IMMOTOP.LU, do not hesitate to contact us. And if you have already responded to such an ad, if you have the slightest doubt you must put a stop to your exchanges. Do not send anything and pay nothing. If a suspect payment has been made, contact the Grand Duchy police and file a complaint with the help of the copies of your exchanges and emails with the perpetrator.

Other recent articles:
Winter is coming: here are a few tips to reduce your heating bills
The Impact of the 2017 Tax Reform in the Field of Real Estate
Buying an apartment in Luxembourg, but at what price?
Will mortgage payments stop during parental leave?
Property in Luxembourg: Home sweet home?
Mortgage: fewer penalties in cases of early repayment?
Everything you need to know about real-estate credit in Luxembourg - Part 2
Everything you need to know about real-estate credit in Luxembourg