SEATTLE — Welcome to Green Lake where seven-figure homes are spread like seeds on farmland. The average price for a home here is $962,260.
But an eagled-eyed viewer with a Zillow habit called me with either the best deal or the worst scam she had ever seen: someone trying to sell a home in Green Lake for $10,245.
Three bedrooms, and two baths near Green Lake for 10k is a smoking deal. Galen Caldwell is the owner of the house that’s being sold at a $990,000 discount.
”It looks like a clear Zillow scam. They’re trying to get people to wire the money,” said Caldwell, who confirmed his home is in fact not for sale.
Even the listing instructions read like a B-movie ransom note: First call Mandi in Vegas. Deposit $245 cash via Western Union. Send to my mom. And, the best part, after the walk-through, the balance of $10,000 will be due at closing – or, over 5 years at $167 a month.
When we called the number in the listing someone said “sorry,” and hung up.
Scams happen. And, no matter how obvious, no one would want a picture of their home caught up in something like this.
We called Zillow and it took the listing down straightaway. The company says it has tools on the site to manage your property.
Your home may have licensed images through your broker and the Multiple Listing Service - where most listings exist. Ask your real estate agent after closing how to best work with the seller’s agent and the MLS to remove information about your home.
And you should claim your property on public-facing sites.
In a statement, a Zillow spokesperson says:
Our teams use several different tools to prevent inappropriate content from publishing, actively screening for possible scams and blocking them from being posted, and if a listing is found to be fraudulent, it is removed from our site as quickly as possible.
We also talked to Redfin who said homeowners can remove photos of their home on Redfin in two ways.
Logged-in Redfin users can claim their home on Redfin. Once they do that, they can edit or remove photos of their home using their Owner Dashboard. This article explains how in more detail. Homeowners who do not have a Redfin account or have not claimed their home on Redfin can contact the Redfin customer service team.
Thankfully, Caldwell’s million-dollar home is now properly listed as not for sale. And, please stay off his lawn.
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