La Plata, MD – When driving around you often see the “WE BUY HOUSES” or “SELL MY HOUSE FAST” signs. You see the signs along the medium strips on the roads, posted on telephone poles and all over the place on major traffic intersections. Are these company real, are they just trying to get your money, and will they really give you a fair offer?

Posting these signs at these locations are against the law and carry fines. Normally these companies or individuals use numbers that are harder to track. What they normally do is take a weekend real estate investment class and are told to use an untraceable number and place bandit signs everywhere to generate leads.

I had a conversation with Jeff, the owner of Simple Homebuyers of La Plata and he explained that the people behind the bandit signs are looking for motivated sellers. They would be owners of homes that may need to sell as is, inherited a house through probate, need to sell to avoid foreclosure or just need to sell their house fast. He also explained that a lot of times these individuals that place the bandit signs can’t close a lot of their deals. They end up attempting to assign the purchase and sales contract to a company like  Simple Homebuyers but often they offered too much for the house or attempted to buy in a less desirable location. The homeowner ends up often having to start the process over to find someone to buy their house.

There are ways you can better protect yourself when you’re in a situation and need to sell your house without a real estate agent.

• Most reputable companies will have a web site
• Don’t call individuals/companies that are breaking the law and posting these bandit signs
• Call a local home buyers company, as some are in the west coast but advertise in Maryland
• Check to see if their business is in good standing, for Maryland search the business entity.

There are benefits to contacting these home buying companies. Like the ones provided earlier also not having to pay any realtor or closing fees. The fees are all paid by the home-buying company. The offer they give is what you’ll receive from the title company. These companies are in it to make a profit, but they do make sense for some people. If you’re not in these tight situations or your house is updated, it’s best to list with a realtor. A good home buying company will suggest this, as they are not trying to take advantage of anyone.

Lastly, make sure you review any contract your presented with. It’s normal as with any home sales agreement to have an inspection period but don’t let it go over 10 days. Read it carefully to ensure there’s no crazy weasel clauses.