Moving out of state but the house we are looking at sounds too good to be true. HELP : RealEstate

Hi, I’m pretty new to posting on Reddit so here goes.

Me and my family (Mother, Sister, and I) Are looking to move out of state. We live in the U.S. and my mother found a deal on a house but I’m afraid it may be a scam. We live about 15 hours away from the house so we can’t check, and the landlord lives even further away than we do if what he says is to be believed.

The landlord who we are in contact with agreed to send keys and lease papers after a security deposit. Against my gut the money was sent (from bank to bank if that makes a difference) however the landlord is now requesting that we also pay first months rent before sending keys and papers. He says he was advised by his lawyer not to do so before first months rent stating that he will be out of the state’s in January and if the lease and keys are sent now then we have rights to the house for a year since the agreement is yearly.

The whole thing seems off to me, is there any way to discover if this is a scam or not? Is there any legitmicacy to what we have been told? We were told the security deposit is refundable but I’m reluctant to send anymore money before receiving anything in return.

I’m sorry if this isn’t the correct place to post this. If someone could point me in the right direction it would be appreciated. Thank you!

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