Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Spam prevention
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers has your answer (and my reply would be the same).

Just had a looky-loo ask me to show one of my listing which is 30 minutes away. I said sure, and politelty asked for proof of funds or a pre-approval letter to be sent to me.

She said "oh we all have that, but we may not want to buy the place, we just want to SEE it". 

My reply " I understand, and I only wish to SEE your pre-approval letter your lender gave you and I'm excited to show you this wonderful home". 

"sure we'll send it by e-mail today"

3 days later....

They may not buy, but they would have a letter or know POF is a standard request if they were in buy-mode. I serve buyers, not shoppers.

Jul 03, 2016 12:25 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

"looking forward to receiving your pre-approval letter".

No further action until received and verified...

Jul 03, 2016 12:03 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

No, I think it's bogus!  Why? Because I got the same one this past week. I sent a response saying something along the lines of "Great! I look forward to seeing your pre-approval letter and talking further" and heard nothing back. 

Jul 03, 2016 12:11 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Not likely. I got the same exact email yesterday

Jul 03, 2016 12:15 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® - this is NOT a lead, it's just a scam, my guess is. I do get such emails once in a while.

I respond to them to send me a pre-approval letter (stressing the fact that it is mandatory when we write the offer). Usually, the communication ends there. (I do check with my tracking software that person DID OPEN my email.)

Jul 03, 2016 01:05 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Uuuhm... let me think about it for a minute.... NO!

Jul 03, 2016 12:50 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Redflag last line. Spam.

Jul 03, 2016 12:34 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I think this email was sent to many.  We received a similar one not long ago, and it seems fishy.  A

Jul 03, 2016 12:31 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

And the answer is NO!

Jul 03, 2016 12:30 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I think you should respond and then with a phone conversation, you'll know....

Jul 03, 2016 12:27 AM
Toronto, ON

Names are often different than email addresses.  Their own name may have been already taken, they are using a relative's email or joint email address, a business or other generic type name, etc.

Whether it is valid depends on your definition of "valid internet lead".  It seems to be valid because it came from the internet.  Whether it is one that would lead to a client or customer is a different story.

Jul 03, 2016 12:02 AM
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTAcondos.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I don't reply to those online leads unless they come through my website.

Jul 04, 2016 12:27 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers get's it in one - that's all you need

Jul 03, 2016 10:03 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I received something similar only to list a home.  Just for giggles and grins I responded asking for the property address.  She responded with an address that did not belong to her. She also included a link for me to access information ... no deal. Delete. Clearly a scam. 

Jul 03, 2016 06:09 AM
Mike Rock
Complete Design - Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less

it is as phony as the toupe on my head  (jk)   no..not valid and i wouldnt even respond..spam it

Jul 03, 2016 05:47 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 "Hope your weekend is great".    Scam!

Jul 03, 2016 05:17 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It doesn't sound legitimate to me.

Jul 03, 2016 04:15 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

If you request the pre-approval letter and it never comes, then at least you have your answer.

Jul 03, 2016 04:09 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Interesting, will be interested in how it works out.

Jul 03, 2016 03:20 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Meet them at your office, and as Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers stated. Problem is, Pre-approval letters can be fictitious and in the case of BoA, Conditional and no better than a Pre-Qualification Letter.

Jul 03, 2016 02:10 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Hi all: There are several other emails that I just found in my SPAM folder of today with similar messages sent under the same name on it but with a different email address, would you still get back to them? Here's one:

Andrew Talbot <andrew.talbot@trend-interieri.si>

Another group of emails came in with this content/different name/emails:


Good Day,
My Name is Mike Fara, I own and operate an Oil and Gas Servicing Business over here in my Country.
I am seeking to make a possible business investment with you in your country. I am interested to invest into Real Estate Commercial Properties and any other possible Lucrative Business opportunity and i would want to know how much will be required from me as a private/individual investor to make my investment with you on the Business. 
Please Advise Further.


Jul 03, 2016 02:10 AM
Nicholas Crane
Woodland Companies - Cadott, WI
Managing & Appraising Forest Land

Not a valid lead unless they leave a working phone number.  I try not to ever work only with a computer. 

Jul 03, 2016 02:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Valid is an elusive word when considering lead generation.  Offer to meet with them at your office to discuss their needs.

Jul 03, 2016 01:54 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® As soon as possible before the end of this year. A Hotmail address is a pretty good clue. Next!!

Jul 03, 2016 01:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

I'll go with Barbara Todaro on this one. Try to initiate a phone conversation and go from there!

Jul 03, 2016 01:44 AM
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

They probably went to a recent seminar and the email template was included in the course.  Moving along...

Jul 03, 2016 01:34 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

I think that this deserves a "chat".  If they did not leave contact info, I would send them an e-mail telling them to call us at to discuss their needs.

I don't think you can evaluate a lead by two e-mail sentences.  YOU GOTTA TALK TO THEM.

People from out of the country do not understand or follow US political correctness.



Jul 03, 2016 01:24 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

I have received that email almost word for word(and more than once) and have followed up with a reply(no phone number was included).  Never heard from again -- I guess they(and others) have moved on to Carmel or Hawaii.  

Jul 03, 2016 01:18 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I am suspect to anyone that says they are there is an immediate demand without details. Something just doesn't feel quite right.

Jul 03, 2016 01:07 AM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Get the pre-approval letter and then decide. In the meantime don't use so much energy pondering this.

Jul 03, 2016 01:02 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Hella - Based on my experience, I would say that is a scam email. I got a similar email once and actually followed up with the individual. Then they started making some odd requests, and I knew something was up.

Nobody contacts you out of the blue and tells you they want to buy a home as soon as possible, and that they are pre-approved, especially if they don't know you at all, or anything about you.

Jul 06, 2016 09:10 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

They are all valid leads until they invalidate themselves.

Reply and keep escalating the commitment or disclosure.

Your objective is to reach a position where you must TALK to the corespondent. Evey-thing else, not relevant to what normal activity should be, is to be ignored.

This should be true even if the name on the HotMail was MickeyMouse99.

It is interesting that agents ALWAYS direct buyers to get pre-approved so they know what they can afford. Doing so, proactively, results in the message being ignored. There must be a better way.

Jul 03, 2016 11:45 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I would not  click any attachments. Sounds like a scam.

Jul 03, 2016 09:36 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Why not to ask to provide you with that preapproval letter? I'd answer. 

Jul 03, 2016 04:28 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I'd say this is likely a scam.  I agree with Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers!

Jul 03, 2016 02:59 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville


Jul 03, 2016 01:15 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I wouldn't waste my time with it.

Jul 03, 2016 12:09 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Sounds like there is more to this story.....

Jul 03, 2016 11:38 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Yes, I think you spend a good amount of time searching and researching homes for this potential buyer.  What are they thinking?????

Jul 03, 2016 11:26 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I get so many internet leads that do not pan out that when I do get one that becomes a client it is a total surprise.

Based on some of the terminology this one sounds suspicious, or someone who has talked to several other agents already.

Jul 03, 2016 09:56 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

This year has been the worst for me, but I've been getting more and more emails like this, and since none of them has ever panned out ... either the email is fake, or the phone number is fake, or I never get a response I have now made the determination that they are scammers and I don't want to waste my time, so if I get that "feeling" I just delete the email.  If I miss something I am confident they will either get back to me and say I never responded to their email or I just missed the boat.  Sometimes you just have to make a management decision.

Jul 03, 2016 09:50 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I'd say "Send me proof of funds, the pre-approval letter and re-write your initial email with proper grammar, sentence structure AND capitialization!"

Jul 03, 2016 09:05 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Run, Hella. I had a guy call me a few weeks ago. He kept telling me he was a good buyer. He sent a list of properties he was interested in. Most were undercontract, not available, or in one case, and apartment. I asked for his lender letter which he promised to provide, and I never heard from him again. 

Jul 03, 2016 08:16 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Guess you'd have to follow up to find out!  And how many no good leads that sounded terrific have you followed up on?

Jul 03, 2016 07:26 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®  I don't think this is a valid lead.

I am glad you are sharing it.

Jul 03, 2016 03:46 AM