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Jim Valentine: Can’t hide anymore

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

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One nice thing about living in Northern Nevada is that we are sheltered from most of the chaos that is going on around the nation and globe. We read about people doing irrational and hurtful things and most of the time it is so foreign to how we think around here that we believe it would never happen to us. This past week has given pause to that faux secure feeling.

The first situation was our first-hand brush with a potentially life-threatening experience as we drove down Main Street in Gardnerville. We were in the left lane with all four lanes full of cars when all of a sudden someone in a lifted blue pickup truck came flying up the middle lane waving his arms and weaving in and out of our lane.

He passed us by with his arm out the window going so fast that when we looked after him to see what in the world it was, there was such a vortex created by the sand from snowplowing in the middle lane that he was invisible. We’ve read afterward what that was about.

Then there’s the touch of real estate oddities. Everyone has been warned of assorted scams going on and it’s a good thing the warnings have been issued. We received a call from a party in Florida wanting us to sell their lot in Genoa. We asked them to provide us with their name and the lot information.

This went on for a day or so when they finally sent a text with the information we had been requesting. We were very familiar with the lot, so we proceeded to ask how much they wanted to sell it for. The retort was that they were getting chemotherapy in Florida and wanted to “aggressively sell it.” The price was $200 - $220,000. This is a lot we know is worth in the area of $350,000.

When we confirmed their name, they were saying it backward. The county has the names listed as last name first, comma, then first name. We mentioned this and they insisted that their name was the way they were pronouncing it. In the meantime, we had been trying to reach the owner listed on the county assessor site, but there was no answer.

The caller then became a different person, now a man instead of a woman, but insisting that we had talked a couple of days previously. He was aware of our conversations, but he was clearly not who we had been talking to. We were about to ask the caller to send a copy of his driver’s license when the real owner sent a text saying it was a scam, he had no interest in selling.

We talked on the phone with the lot owner and were relieved that he confirmed our hunch, that someone was trying the now prevalent scam of impersonating a seller. In this case, there was an additional funny twist.

The seller’s wife is a real estate agent in Reno. She received a text from someone in Florida asking her to sell their lot. They provided the name, lot number, etc. She laughed at them and let them know that the lot belonged to her husband, and he didn’t want to sell. Yes, they have the same last name. This one ended well, but not all do.

Be careful if you are a buyer or an agent being solicited by a seller of vacant land. If the deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Title companies these days won’t sell vacant land without confirming that the sellers are indeed who they represent themselves to be.

When we tracked the number that was calling in, we saw that it had been traced six times in the past two weeks. Further, it was not linked to any address. These callers are plundering from innocent people. Be diligent and protect your assets and those of your clients.

There is a lot of turmoil in the real estate industry these days from outside causes. It leads us to realize that Realtors are needed now more than ever for their ethics and professionalism in the best interest of the public.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Gold Carson Valley, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com.


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