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Thursday, November 9, 2017

We’d Like to Thank You By Taking Care of the Pie This Thanksgiving

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and we are thankful for you! As a token of our appreciation,
we’re giving away pumpkin or apple pies for your Thanksgiving feast.

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You have made an impact on Riddle Realty. You have made an impact on the people in our company as well, and for that we are immensely grateful. 

We’d like to offer you a token of our appreciation by giving you a pumpkin or apple pie for your Thanksgiving feast.

All you have to do is give us a call at 480-448-2238 or send an email to Let us know if you want pumpkin or apple and we’ll get that ordered for you!  
Let us know if you want a pumpkin or an apple pie!
On November 21, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, stop by our office between 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to pick up your pie. We’ll also have cranberry mimosas, mulled wine, pumpkin bars, and other fun munchies for you to enjoy. 

Of course, if you need to run in and run out with your pie, that’s fine too. 

Again, we are so grateful to you for your support over the years. We would love the opportunity to say hello, give you a hug, and, of course, give you your pie. 

As always, if you have any real estate questions, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Prevent and Identify Wire Fraud

Being protected in today’s digital age is incredibly important. Today, I want to go over some of the ways you can prevent a particularly insidious scam which often targets buyers in real estate: wire fraud.

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Today I would like to bring you some information about a particularly insidious scam. I’m talking about wire fraud, and it particularly pertains to the environment of buying and selling a home.

Wire fraud is something I hope you never have to experience. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly important to be informed. Wire fraud occurs when a home is close to closing and the buyer needs to wire funds to a title company.

Hackers will send a fake email to a buyer, giving them instructions to wire funds to a different account. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. 

Rarely does a seller ever have to send funds via wiring, but it does happen. This could affect either party in a transaction. Even if the seller is not the one being scammed, they will still be affected if the buyer is left unable to close as a result of wire fraud.

There are a few different ways you can identify and avoid this scam:

1. Use encrypting. If you are sending any personal information, send it through encrypting. If you don’t know how to do this, feel free to reach out and let us help.
2. Confirm the wiring instructions are correct. Before you send the money, you can simply give a phone call to the title company. Don’t use the phone number on the scam email, though. Use a phone number you receive directly from an agent.
3. Clean your emails out regularly. This will prevent any hackers from noticing habits you may have and learning information about you. It could even prevent hackers from knowing you’re buying or selling a home at all. 
Once the money is sent to a hacker in a wire fraud scam, there is no way to get it back.
4. Change usernames and passwords regularly. Using the same information across multiple platforms and for long periods of time can hurt your security.

5. Never click links in suspicious emails. These links can take you to dangerous websites, cause viruses, or give hackers access to your information.
6. Don’t conduct business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Hotels, coffee shops, and restaurants aren’t secure places to do business.
7. Trust your instincts. If you see something that is off, don’t trust it. As an example, there was an email that was once sent to a buyer with a history of emails. It looked as if there had been a string of emails over a series of days, all to make the message look more authentic. Emails like these can even appear to be coming from your agent.
8. Implement up-to-date virus protection. Having anti-virus software will be critical. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
9. Make sure all parties have security measures in place. You aren’t the only party who needs to be protected in order for your information and money to stay safe. Don’t send any personal information like your social security number to your agent. They don’t need it, and this would be a massive red flag.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Should You Work With an Agent When Buying New Construction?

Why should you hire a real estate agent to buy a new construction home? There are many reasons, but the main one is that the builder's agent will not protect your best interests.

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If you are interested in buying a new construction home, should you work with a real estate agent? 

Builders like Richmond American or Taylor Morrison will have an office you can walk into and model homes for you to look at. Do you need an agent with you when you walk through the door? Yes, and there are a few reasons why. 

The agent you meet at the builder’s site is there to represent the builder. They are all wonderful people who are great at their job, but the bottom line is they are not there to protect your best interests. You need someone there with you to represent you.  

If you want to look at model homes and you walk into the office without an agent, they will ask you to sign a form. If you sign with the builder and decide that you would like to buy from them, it is now too late to bring your real estate agent into the transaction. You already signed without them on that first visit. 

To avoid this issue, make sure your agent goes with you. Your agent can sign you in. If you decide not to buy from that builder, then there’s no problem. If you do decide to purchase from that builder, your agent will be able to represent you. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the builder has pre-approved lenders who offer great incentives to work with them. It’s no secret that the builder and the lender are a team, and you can get fantastic incentives. However, if you have your own agent, they may know other lenders that could be a better choice than the one recommended by the builder. 

The contract with the builder is completely designed to protect the builder and their interest. That’s okay, but it is important to have someone there to tell you the black-and-white of that contract, not the spun version the builder will present. If you listen to the builder and you decide to cancel the deal after you’ve signed the dotted line, there is a very good chance that you will lose your earnest money. 
The builder’s agent is there to protect the builder’s best interests, not yours.
When it comes to taxes, the builder will quote taxes on the unimproved land. To get an idea of what your property taxes will be once the home is built, your agent will do some research to figure out what your tax bill will be 12 or 24 months from now. 

The public report is a critical piece of this transaction. I’ve seen clients walk in ready to sign a contract that says, “You have read the public report.” The builder agent may say, “This just shows that I gave you a copy of the report.” 

Don’t fall for this; the contract says that you have read through the public report. It’s a very important document that you need to read. 

I also recommend that you walk your lot to see if it will be a good fit for you when all of those other homes are built down the road. Things may be wide open now, but your agent can help you make sure that the lot will work for you in the future as well. 

As your real estate agent, we are there to protect you and your investment. You may not plan on selling this new home for another 20 years, but we can still give you a little advice when it comes to resale value. You never know—you may need to move sooner than you think. When it’s time to choose your cabinets and countertops, your agent can help you increase your resale value so that your home will be adored by prospective buyers in the future.   

Those are just a few main reasons you should absolutely work with a real estate agent when buying a new construction home. If you have any other questions about this process, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!