“Do you want to sell your home?”

Here’s how some realtors and investors are desperate to find a new home to sell in Florida’s bright red market. They are sending unilateral text messages to find potential sellers.

“I hope you have a great day. By the way, do you own a house for the 26840 SW 142nd Ct?” Read the message sent to Wladamiro Romanovski in Miami on Friday. “If you do great things! Want to sell if the price is good?”

Consumers who don’t want to be contacted by a real estate agency respond with the word “quit” and rely less than expecting the sender to obey.

Romanovsky, who owns several investment properties in South Florida, says he receives at least seven texts a day asking if he wants to sell. “It’s a big pain for me,” he said. He says he blocks the number, but the company changes the number displayed on his phone and keeps sending him text.

Putting your name and phone number on the state and national phone ban lists makes it illegal for businesses to use automated systems to market goods and services, but texts that solicit sellers are considered a violation. not.

Romanovsky is one of the recipients of 244 complaints to the Florida Consumer Services Department for unsolicited real estate texts in the first nine months of 2021. This has increased from 145 in 2020 to 16 in 2019.

Homeowner Richard Levis says he’s been “non-stop harassed” by a text message asking if he wants to sell his home in Hollywood. “They have your name, they have your address, they put everything about you in the text,” he said.

Jupiter resident Bill Lafram has lost a number of text solicitations received from people begging to buy his property, as well as a number of property he has never owned. “If I say hundreds, I wouldn’t lie,” he said. “I’m very tired of it. I don’t want to sell my house.”

Real estate owners are not the only ones to solicit texts. A sample of the last 10 complaints from the consumer services sector includes some consumer complaints that they don’t own a home and don’t know why they were contacted. Others have said they do not possess the properties mentioned in the text.

Find a seller who is not illegal

Levi’s and Romanovsky have filed multiple complaints with the state, but said they have never received a response.

Possible Reasons: State law does not prohibit voice or text solicitations to call ban list subscribers if the sender is trying to convince the recipient to sell something rather than buy it, Alan Parkinson, who is responsible for mediation and execution of the department, says of consumer services.

Under state law, a company may send a text, telephone, or direct voicemail message attempting to sell a product or service to a consumer on the telephone ban list or a consumer who does not have written permission. Is not allowed. Violators will be fined.

“If you’re asking if they’re selling a service: cleaning carpets, installing a new roof in your house, or pressure-cleaning your driveway, that’s what we’re looking for,” Parkinson said. Mr. says.

Asking if someone wants to sell something is “no”.

Parkinson said it would be difficult to track the source of unilateral texts, even if they were illegal. Most caller IDs are likely to be spoofed by the software that sends the message, he said.

Unless the consumer chooses to respond, there is little way to know if the sender is an authorized agent or broker, part-time real estate flipper, or scammer.

Of the 10 complaints received from the state, only two were identified as legitimate real estate companies. One said they didn’t respond to the request to discuss marketing strategies, while the other said they would only send text messages to consumers who signed up for a customer interests program and checked the text message opt-in box. , Disputed the complaint.

The other two complaints identified companies that have difficulty tracking common names, such as We Buy Houses and Property Cash Buyers.

Most of the phone numbers identified as the source of the text were not used for Friday’s call back or text. One number says, “I’m on another line. Please leave your name and address of the property you’re calling or send us a text.” No one responds to the text trying to talk about a male text solicitation. It was.

Richard Levis will be seen outside his Hollywood home on October 9th. Levi’s received a number of one-sided text messages from real estate companies trying to buy a home and reported them to the state’s consumer services department.

Increasing complaints about unsolicited real estate texts

“Do you want to sell your home?”

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