Someone in the real estate biz answered my Craigslist ad for a roommate? Scam?

I’m looking for a roommate, so I posted a listing on Craigslist.

One of the respondents is someone who has her own ad up on CL looking for a room. Her listing says she works as a loan officer in the real estate industry, though her ad does not make a big fuss over that fact. I did a Google search and confirmed her status.

I find this extremely odd. I mean, why is someone who is an insider in the local RE industry resorting to freebee roommate ads on CL? Is there some sort of possible bait-and-switch going on here, where she will try to get me to broker my space through her. Do RE agents try to do such things for roommate situations? Or is there some other dubious scheme going on here?

Or am I just being paranoid?

What do you Dopers think? Thanks all, in advance.

I don’t think working in real estate would give her any special edge when it comes to finding a roommate situation. Realtors deal in vacant units, even in cities where they handle rentals they still don’t manage shares (IME). And some people want to live in shares over getting their own place – they’d rather have half of a nice big 2BR than a tiny so-so 1BR or studio.

There are companies that do ‘roommate placement’ but AFAIK they’re not licensed realtors. And I don’t think a loan officer would have any connection to that anyhow. So I wouldn’t worry about it.

A loan officer in the real estate industry? I would be more concerned about the stability of her employment situation. :slight_smile:

To get you a tenant that will pay them a commission. Remember, you can turn anyone down, and don’t get pressured into accepting someone you don’t want.

I’m gonna go with paranoid, but I’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing. Paranoia is healthy when exercised in moderation.

First, I don’t see the “bait and switch” going on. Also, loan officer is not equal to RE agent. If she’s processing loans she’s probably not an agent, so she can’t broker a damn thing.

Second: Rentals aren’t where the money is in RE. As an agent, I don’t handle them at all, and many agents I know don’t either. The time involved versus the money received dosn’t make it worth it.

Third: The dubious roommate scams tend to be the whole “I’m out of town but moving there, and I’ll send you a check for MORE than your rent if oyu can help me out. . .” If you get that, run away fast. Otherwise, I think you’re safe.

Annie, that’s only the case if they’re a realtor, not if they’re a loan officer. Being a loan officer for a mortgage company does not mean they have access to the MLS or other services. And, as I pointed out, the money usually isn’t worth the time/effort.

**Stuyguy **- I don’t think it’s a scam, I think it’s someone looking for a place to live. That said, Annie’s final comment is correct: You don’t have to take them if you’re not comfortable with them.

Some unsolicited advice:

  1. Require an application and credit check.
  2. Interview them before having them sign a lease.
  3. READ THE LEASE you’re having them sign and make sure it protects you.(It sounds stupid, but I could tell you stories)
  4. Make sure the lease is CURRENT. Check your local landlord/tenant laws and see if there have been any changes that you might want to address.

The credit check can include a criminal-record check, and should.

Also – large cash deposits/security cover many contingencies.