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With low inventory and high prices, prospective buyers are trying new tactics to secure properties in Teton Valley, such as sending offers to strangers in the mail.

Last month valley resident Danielle Hannon was surprised to receive a letter in the mail asking her to sell her home.

“It’s not listed, we’re not selling,” she said. The letter offered ultimate flexibility and the buyer, a man from Seattle, was willing to purchase the house as is, with whatever closing date, at a “reasonable price.”

Hannon spoke to her friend Amy Dery, an agent at Alta Realty, about the letter, and Dery warned her that in this super-charged market, there are a lot of potential scammers hoping to dupe property owners into selling for less.

“She told me, ‘even if you do want to sell, it’s not in your best interest to accept an offer from a letter,’” Hannon said.

Tayson Rockefeller of Teton Valley Realty has been alerting property owners for several months about unsolicited offers.

“In times like these, those looking to capitalize or at least get their foot in the door are out in droves doing what they can to get a deal,” Rockefeller wrote on his real estate blog in February.

Rockefeller even knew of the man who wrote to Hannon; she’s not the only one in the community who has received a missive from him.

“I would definitely recommend not replying,” Rockefeller said about the letter. “These people (not all, but most) are highly trained individuals that likely make a living taking advantage of people with real estate that may not have a pulse on the current market trends.”

Hannon agreed. “My concern is that elderly people or people who may not be too savvy about real estate could be taken advantage of.”