The real estate industry is rife with scams, according to a report released Tuesday.
The study by Israel’s Keren Bank found that more than 40 percent of properties in the country have been purchased by real estate companies that have been involved in questionable practices.
The findings are a result of a Keren bank audit in which it found that the company of a real estate agent had purchased nearly 40 percent percent of homes.
It’s common practice to purchase homes through a company such as the one that is associated with the real estate agency.
However, the agency’s business model is unclear, Keren found.
For example, in the past year, the company has bought more than 8,000 homes from buyers without a real-estate license, according the report.
The agent’s company was also the largest single buyer of homes in the region, the report said.
In another instance, the agent bought homes that were not built for the market and was not ready for sale, according Keren.
The agents’ business model was also different from other real estate firms.
The company used to buy homes for a fee, and then sold them to its clients.
However, these days, most of the agents have turned to online platforms to sell their properties, such as online brokerages, the Keren report said.
“The brokers use the platform to sell properties in order to reduce the cost of the transactions, thereby making it more affordable,” the report stated.