How to Avoid Deed Scams in Minnesota

Our Minnesota Attorney General has published a warning to all buyers and sellers of homes to beware house deed scams. These deed scams aren’t just affecting Minnesota or the Twin Cities area, but have affected people across the country.

These swindlers are tricking buyers and sellers by sending letters posing as a government authority and recommending that they send money to obtain an official, certified copy of their deed. People who are falling for these house deed scams are sending money, but receiving nothing in return.

Some instances where you may need or want a copy of your property deed may include buying or selling your home, refinancing, or transferring title. If you are ever asked for a copy of your deed, ask if they need just a copy or a certified copy. This can save you a little money if just a copy is needed.

If you need a copy of your deed, you can contact the county that the property is in to request it. Typically, if you just need a copy, it is about $1 per page. If you need a certified copy, the price can go up to about $10. Also, you may be able to obtain a copy of your deed from the title company that handled your purchase.

Sadly, scammers are constantly reinventing new ways to con people out of money or personal information.  It is affecting the Real Estate Industry more often.  The best thing to do is educate yourself.  The Minnesota Attorney General’s website is a great resource to read up on “How to Spot a Scam” and common scams that are out there.

If you would like to learn more about how to avoid house deed scams, contact Watermark Title. We’d love to help answer any questions you might have.

Mortgage Interest Rates Update

Mortgage rates are remaining relatively unchanged (still very low) for time being, but volatility is expected ahead.

Please read this informative article, courtesy of Mortgage News Daily – which lays out how rates are not responding to bond markets as they traditionally do – which is certainly advantageous to those looking to buy or refinance. Either way, mortgage interest rates are at near historic lows – with most rates in the higher 3 percent range. Phenom!

Market Update

Courtesy of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR): Please see this video from February
from MAAR. What is discussed, are some of the very encouraging sales statistics, when comparing the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Metro area for January 2016, with one year ago, in January 2015:

  • Home prices are up.
  • Total Home sales are up; ‘Pending’ (sold, but not yet closed) sales increased +3.5%. Closed sales are up 17.8% (be careful with this stat), for a total of 2,799 home sales in our local market for January ’16.
  • Low Inventory continues to be a drag on sales in our market – there are simply not enough homes for the buyers out there, and it’s potentially looking like a strong, sellers market again, with a mere 2.1 months of inventory. This is a 22.2% decrease in inventory from one year ago, in January, 2015.
  • The percent of original list price received at the sale increased year over year; for January 2015, sellers were receiving a full 95% of the original list price at sale (see inventory problem; the two are related).

Anyhow, enjoy this short video from MAAR:

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