Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry: I’m trying to sell my home and my agent presented an offer that sounds fishy. The proposal is to have the house appraised for more than I am asking. The buyer would get financing for the inflated price and I would refund the excess money to him after the close of escrow. What’s your take on this? Anne

Dear Anne: Don’t even consider doing this. It’s an old trick that allows a buyer to purchase a property with no down payment. The practice is totally fraudulent and could get you into serious legal trouble with the mortgage lender and the IRS. Any agent who would present an offer of this kind should be reported to the state agency that licenses real estate professionals.