Beware of property spruikers and investment seminars

Have you ever been contacted out of the blue by a smooth-talking sales-person offering you the opportunity to attend an ‘exclusive’ property seminar?

Have they used terms such as “above average rental returns”, “no risk”, or “limited period offer”?

These smooth talking, highly convincing sales people may refer to themselves as investment consultants or property specialists, but are more commonly known as ‘spruikers’. And their goal is to make themselves wealthy at your expense.

Property spruikers will often:
• invite you to a free ‘wealth creation’ seminar.
• give advice and tips on how to make money by investing in property.
• promote properties for sale in a particular development or area.
• offer discounts if you sign up on the spot.
• offer personal loans or credit to help you pay the enrolment fees for their training course.

The spruikers’ schemes might offer the promise of turning you into a millionaire in a few years with above-average returns and low-risk investments. But what they won’t tell you is that the properties they offer are often overpriced, or about the huge fees they slap on top of the deal.

With the real estate boom that’s occurred in many regions in recent years, there has been a spate of property spruikers looking to make a quick buck by separating the unwary from their money.

If you need further convincing, Australia’s company and financial services watchdog, ASIC, said recent court decisions had given it a green light to launch the probe into spruikers, despite it not being responsible for real estate agents or the sale of property.

And at Smartline, we recommend always getting independent financial and legal advice before entering into any contract.

If you arm yourself with knowledge about the market, you will start to know a bad deal when you see it, and as always, if an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true then it almost certainly is.

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