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  • Concerned!!

    Hi, would be glad if someone could give me some advice or info. My friend has 2 buy to let houses for sale on a private website. Last week a woman e-mailed to say she was interested in them at the given price. Following numerous e-mails and phone calls (she provided a mobile number). Says her company in the Midlands buy properties to let and they have £500,000 to spend in Scotland. My friend had decided to keep one of the properties but said she was also selling her family home. The woman said she would take it (without even seeing it)!!!! An offer has been put into my friend's lawyers at the asking price (subject to survey). I am not sure if this is some kind of scam but cannot work out if it is as surely doing it through solictors would be safe. Any opinions??? Many thanks

  • #2
    Hi there,

    My husband runs a private property website called 4gettheagent and we may be able to offer some advice... It seems completely ridiculous that somebody would be prepared to spend half a million pounds on properties without even seeing them. Obviously, when something is being dealt with by a solicitor you would think it would be above board. In this situation I would advise your friend to make sure her solicitor knows that the buyer has not viewed the properties. That should ring alarm bells for the solicitor. There is a possibility that it is completely legal and that the buyer knows a good deal when they hear about one. However, a more likely answer would be that the buyer is tangled up in some sort of money laundering scam. i.e. they have half a million pounds of illegal funds that they need to 'launder'. They would be buying the properties to sell on again quickly. Then the money they get from the property sales looks 'clean' again. However, if this were the case, the buyers solicitor is likely to be in on the deal too, because when any 'cash' is put down on a property purchase the solicitor has to see proof of where the cash has come from.
    This situation could get complicated and I would just make sure that your friend ensures her solicitor knows what's going on.
    I hope this helps you and I wish your friend luck with her property sales.


    • #3
      Hi and many thanks for that info. She is really not getting a good deal with this house purchase and that made me wonder. I had thought of the money laundering thing and will tell my friend about it. Quick question though, what would happen if the deal went through and it was then discovered that it was a money laundering scam. Would my friend be ok or would she be liable. Thanks again.