Hackers Are Trying to Nab Your Down Payment – Be Cautious

There is always a new scam to be wary of. This one involves possibly losing your down payment. Here is an article from National Association of Realtors explaining how these scammers can get their hands on your money.

Just before closing, an email from your real estate agent pops up, claiming a last-minute change to the money-wiring instructions. You wire the funds. But the money never makes it to the bank. Turns out that email wasn’t from your agent – but a hacker. You got spoofed.

Unfortunately these days, enterprising hackers are busy tricking homeowners into sending them their hard-won down payment.

How? They access email accounts by snagging passwords through public Wi-Fi and via email solicitations that appear to be from senders you know.

The bad guys comb through the email accounts, searching for any information about home sales and upcoming closings. Once they’ve found what they need, they send consumers an email posing as their real estate pro, attorney, or escrow officer. The email includes wiring instructions linked to a fraudulent account.

Here’s how to prevent a hacker from running away with your home before you even have a chance to buy it:

  1. Never, ever send personal info over email.
    Personal info includes a bank account number and a Social Security number. Your agent shouldn’t be sending this stuff by email either.
  2. Pick up the phone.
    If you ever receive wiring instructions by email, call your agent or lender to confirm one of them sent it. Call the phone number you have on record for your agent, not the one listed in the suspect email.
  3. Discuss the funds wiring process with your agent.
    Early on in your relationship with your agent, ask about what you should expect, when, and from whom.
  4. Change your passwords often.
    Create a reminder on your phone or computer to update passwords monthly. Make them strong, something even your friends and family members wouldn’t be able to guess right away – you know, something other than password1 or your dog’s name.
  5. Set up two-factor authentication.
    Two-factor verification, which requires both a password and a code that’s sent to your phone or other device in order to log in, is more challenging to hackers than a single layer login. Make sure you set it up on your email and bank accounts.
  6. Read up.
    Get even more email security best practices.

So as stated above – bottom line your financial information should never be discussed in an email. It is just too easy for prying eyes to access. I prepare my clients for events such as this and insist if they have any questions or concerns to call me immediately and not to rely on email.



Water Conservation Initiative Becomes Law 2017

New Law Effective January 2017

All homeowners across the state will be required to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures on homes built before 1994. If the current fixtures in your home use more than the following amounts of water – replacement is required:

  • Any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush
  • Any urinal manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush
  • Any shower head manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons per minute
  • Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons per minute

If you are planning on selling your home, and the above requirements have not been met, a disclosure to buyers will be required. At some point the new buyers may have to install these water conservation plumbing fixtures.

Danville Market Update August Numbers

For the month of August 2016 here are the home sales results:

  • 63 Homes Listed
  • 70 Homes Sold
  • $1,254,000 – Average sales price
  • $1,195,000 – Median sales price
  • $2,030,000 – Highest sales price
  • $815,000        Lowest Sales Price
  • 23 Days on market
  • Sales to List price ration – 100%

Year To Date home prices in Danville are up 4% over the same time period in 2015.

Don’t Let Your Real Estate End Up In Probate

Did you know that a even with a Will, if you don’t have your real estate in a trust, when you die your real estate will end up in probate. Regardless of who you designated to receive your house.

A recent law passed, Assembly Bill 139, makes it easy and inexpensive to ensure that the property avoids probate. Assembly Bill 139 creates the revocable transfer of death (TOD) deed which transfers to a named beneficiary real property on the death of its owner.

Probate can be expensive and a lengthy process. Many people set up trusts for all of there assets, yet this can cost a couple thousand dollars to establish. The TOD is simple and inexpensive. The document must be notarized and recorded to be effective and can be changed at any time if anything happens to your first beneficiary of choice.

Click here or more detailed information.

San Ramon Home Market Update- August 2016

For the month of August, there were 76 homes listed in San Ramon, 55 closed sales. The average sales price was $1,101,852 down 2 percent from the average price for homes sold in July. The average days on market is now at 30 and sales to list price ratio is 99%.  Here are the year to date results of average sales prices for all of San Ramon. The chart shows a down ward trend which has been expected. Markets go up and down all the time and it is due for a correction.


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