Beware of the house buying scam

30 Replies



warning: Hello all you people who have your property on the market and are marketing your property yourself, apparently according to the one of the french newspapers their are people [ english and french] going around who are coming to view properties and giving rock bottom offers on it hoping that you are desperate enough to sell to them, then after they have bought it from you they then put it back on the market and sell it for double the price they bought it ...any property that has a house attached to land is a good target for these type of low offers as these are the properties which sell quite well if they are selling for under 100,000 euros

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britman-435569 1354827995

Why is that a scam?

sabc15-427548 1354828806

I dont see this as a scam,i bought many houses in the uk with land,hived off the land,resold the house and built on the land,also bought houses at knock down price and put them straight back on the market at full price,all legal no scam,just good business.sabc15.


Bixophile 1354833112

Which newspaper carried this warning? And how does it work, given the high cost of the notaire, and the disincentives against selling property within a short space of time, particularly a maisonsecondaire?

lesang 1354835258

Surely no one forces you to accept an offer , ?

I do not understand why if you choose to accept an offer , that constitutes a scam.

Underdog-872880 1354835345

Its not a scam at all.  Its what people have been doing for years if they can.  No one forces you to sell to anyone at any price.  You have the option to send them packing if someone offers you a stupidly low price.

dailytab 1354836168

lets face it, you cant get a house cheap off someone if they told them the truth, ie that they want to make a quick buck out of it etc, their is alot of lies told in these type of transactions or scams should i say, they will say anything to get your house as cheap as possible all the old stories like they want it for a maison secondaire and havent got enough money to pay your price , or they want it for their granny and shes only got a small amount of money , or they want it to house their cats, or more room for their dogs, if  they know someone who is looking for that type of property all sorts of wheeling and dealing lies can be told to induce you to sell so they can then sell to the other person, its a scam and its rife over here as well as in the uk it might be legal but the lies and deceit make it a scam

maidenflower 1354836825

If their lies and deceit involved its defineatly A SCAM !

lesang 1354837283

In my opinion it is bargaining/negotiation , and no body makes you accept the offer.

Bottom line , nobody pays the asking price . Do they ?

maisonvue 1354867764

I call it a bargain- don't accept the offer if it is too low, isn't that obvious?..or life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thisisridiculous 1354868755

This posting does serve to make people aware that there are less sensitive people out there but it's not really a scam. Whether or not it's 'good business' is debatable but it can be very effective business and is found throughout the world.

Essentially only you know what your house is worth to you and what you need for it to go forward happily. Accepting an offer other than that or fallng for a tall story is quite frankly as much a reflection on the seller as the buyer.

bru-441351 1354869534

I think some people will be relieved to know there are people out there making offers at all. I thought the housing market had fallen into a bottomless pit.

sabc15-427548 1354870650

Sorry,  do not see what the problem is,if your  house is for sale at 100k and you get an offer of 50k,you can say yes/no or make a counter offer,if you accept and sell it,why should you complain afterwards,you made the deal,it's the way it is,if i see a car i like on a forecourt for £5999 and make an offer and if it was accepted is that a scam as well.sabc15

laughingboy-409220 1354874543

Doesn't make much sense to me - if YOU haven't managed to sell a property for a reasonable price and have got as desperate as that, how can they be so sure they'll sell the same property for a good price within a short space of time? Unless there is more to this than meets the eye, I would say they are 'investors' taking a risk, rather than out-and-out scammers. Scum maybe, but not scam.

Of course if they're not declaring themselves to the authorities, that would be a kind of a scam but not one that affects the seller.

I'd be interested to read the article though - have you got a link, bantry?

akers-396658 1354876204

We all came over in our droves years ago,and bought up housing stock for rock bottom prices compared to the UK,and priced a lot of the local french people out of their own housing market,So are we all thieves and crooks...You have to remember that a market in whatever commodity will find its level that people are prepared to buy...Who says that an offer on an inflated price of 100k for 50 k is a scam..

Get a life ....

pinkcat2 1354878186

Why would anyone care what happens to their property after they've sold it?  S'long as the puchasers cough up what was agreed, and as many people have said it IS by agreement nobody is forced to accept an offer, it's not the vendor's business what they choose to do with it.  Can't see that it's scam or scum, just people getting on with their own lives as they see fit.

buster-784461 1354878927

The only way it could be a scam is if the owners were elderly and werent too sure of the going rate etc. & thought they were getting a good deal by selling privately!

But then I though there was a way to protect people from these sorts of sales where a quick profit was made!!

sabc15-427548 1354880190

Even if they were elderly,i am sure, if for instance they agreed to sell 100k propery for 50k,the Notaire would bring it to their attention,and ask why they are selling at such a greatly reduced price,sabc15.

gruau-438709 1354881395

Of course it isn't a scam. And, there is legal protection in place for house sellers anyway; If the buyer makes more than a certain amount of profit within a certain amount of time, then some of it is the original sellers.

Ask a Notaire, rather than scaremongering.


maidenflower 1354883518

I read the article it was in the connexion newspaper cant remember what issue, but anyway i have heard of people preying on the vulnerable both here and in the uk,  for gain preying on those who havent sold for a while or have clients already  interested in houses with land or they want to build their portfolio up for the rental market with properties without land  etc But for those who are selling and want to sell, and they then get these pariahs scum or whatever you want to label them as, they excacerbate the problem by playing  sadistic  mind games on the already vulnerable person/s who desperately seek a sale, in those cases,  that is immoral, disgusting and sick and that is why its labeled a scam, perhaps it should be labeled something else..another little scum trick they play is taking a person right up to exchange and then dropping the agreed price before the final signing and leaving the seller distraught upset and in turmoil it is out and out sadistic mind playing. But I am intriqued by all the replies to this thread  looks like this thread has struck a nerve and I wonder why?

Squeaky-882728 1354885477


"And, there is legal protection in place for house sellers anyway; If the buyer makes more than a certain amount of profit within a certain amount of time, then some of it is the original sellers."

What total nonsense!! Who told you this and please can you post a link to this incorrect information.

The Connexion at it again then apparently so not a 'French' newspaper at all but a newspaper aimed at Brits living in France, not only scaremongering but only giving half the facts, if indeed any of their articles are fact-based at all.

I don't see it that this thread has 'struck a nerve' I just see it that most people interpret 'scamming' as ripping someone off illegally whereas if someone wants to sell a chateau for 2 euros that's their prerogative and no-one forces them to do so.


gruau-438709 1354887506

@squeaky. Ask a Notaire, or do your own research.

@maidenflower. I don't know where you get your info from, but it ain't France. The whole point of the French system is to stop "gazundering". 

Yes, there are scam artists out there, but nothing on the scale that the OP suggests and not using the means various people pontificate about.


laughingboy-409220 1354889578

I believe gruau is absolutely correct in that there are laws in place to protect the vulnerable, I have heard about this before. When notaires draw up a sales contract they always refer back to the previous time the property changed hands, and a good notaire would pick up on any anomalies. After all it is part of their job to be alert to properties being sold beneath their market value, since in some cases this could be an attempt to avoid cgt, and a notaire is basically a government tax collector.

Maidenflower - yes, that certainly happens in the UK. I know, because I came into contact with that scam myself when I was trying to sell up. But it wouldn't work in France, because once the offer has been made and accepted and compromis has been signed. the buyer is committed to buy the property at the agreed price; he can't change his offer because it's written in the compromis that he has signed, and threatening to pull out would be a fairly empty threat because the 'buyer' would then be liable to forfeit their deposit. 

Where does the Connexion get them from...

Davey1200-812031 1354889624

Well I must be a scammer.

I normally deduct at least 33% off any asking price when I am looking for a  property. If the seller is not interested in making me a counter offer I just walk away and look elsewhere.

Most people are over pricing property and are trying to SCAM buyers.  A property is only worth what some one is willing to pay, that is why so many places are not selling and remain on the market for years.

ALL properties will sell if the price is correct. 

akers-396658 1354891356

Squeaky,South Aquitaine


It is not nonsense.there is a law in France,that within a two year period,that if the house is resold over and above a certain percentage above the original sale price,then the original seller can make a claim on a percentage of this excess profit..

#Maybe you should check it out with a notaire,not ask the poster to do so ...

But I have seen this rule in many articles lately,maybe thats what the original poster is on about...

In response to the other posting on vunerable old people,again the notaire knows the rough value of a property that is put before him for the legalities to be done,so I very much doubt that there is much of that going on these with our invasion onto these shores,the french and the legal system have been made very aware of the property values....

Bixophile 1354892798

I haven't bought the Connexion for ages, and haven't felt deprived. I don't know why an article it carried should be treated as Gospel. After all, the writer is probably less well-informed than some of the people who post on this forum!

laughingboy-409220 1354896947

Google throws up plenty of cautionary tales about people who have been successfully prosecuted for doing exactly this - here is one from last year about an estate agent who put up a pretty good defence, but was convicted of 'abus de faiblesse' and had to hand back the profits plus compensation.

patri-880442 1354903158

@ laughingboy Absolutely priceless well done for posting that bit of info

Reggae-Franko-979732 1611436858

Much obliged for your warning. I'd be way more careful now

Hardisson-Hard-973546 1611475900

Oh, that is the reason why we should careful when we seel or buy real estate. That is very convenient to use the car virtual reality tour when you are choosing the house, I tried to work with this several times. This service allows you to organize VR tours and explore the house that doesn't even exist before you make any decisions about the decoration.

Ronald-McDonald-933428 1611485280

It tickles me how people tack on to a thread that started and finished many years ago, as if it is current news.

Why not start a new thread on a new topic, or find an expat forum that is actually active at the current time?

Join the discussion