Have you seen a “we buy houses” “bandit sign” or billboard in Cleveland Ohio? Yeah…we all have. If you need to sell your house fast then these signs may have caught your eye.
What are these signs all about? And most importantly are these companies claiming we buy houses legitimate or not? Read on as we will answer those questions in this article.
What’s Up With All The We Buy Houses”Bandit Signs”?
A what sign? A bandit what? If you have ever driven down a road or stopped at an intersection in greater Cleveland you have no doubt seen a “bandit sign” with “we buy houses” or or some variation of that printed or hand written on it.
What is a bandit sign?
Bandit signs are basically poster board signs that act as smaller (and much less expensive) billboards. These signs are put out by Cleveland investors, house flippers, and wholesalers that in hopes of someone calling that wants to sell their house for cash.
Bandit signs can be bought and printed for relatively very little money (say $10 per sign). This means really anyone can afford to buy enough of them to plaster them all over the city…which many individuals obviously do.
We Buy Houses Billboards
These marketing messages are also advertised on billboards, but to a lesser degree. This is because billboards cost a lot more money than bandit signs. In turn, billboards are usually only used by larger companies whereas bandit signs are used by individuals and companies with little marketing budgets.
Are the People Behind the Signs that State We Buy Houses Legitimate or Not?
It’s important to note that anyone, really anyone, can put these signs out. The barrier to entry for putting them out around the city is really low. All you need are some signs, a mode of transportation and a person willing to stake them in the ground or staple them to poles/signs at intersections.
The level of experience, professionalism and ethical integrity of the sign owners varies widely. The person/company who put the sign out may be extremely experienced and ethical when it comes to buying houses for cash. There are several companies that take pride in it and make a living out of it.
Just as easily the person could have zero experience buying houses, are not professional, and/or they are just looking to scam you. Again, anyone can put these signs out. So it’s hard to say if bandit signs as a whole are legitimate. It really depends on who the person tied to a specific sign is.
Our Advice to You Before Calling Numbers on Bandit Signs
If you want to call on one or a few of these signs look for ones that have a company name explicitly stated. This way you can do a Google search to find out who the company is and if they are legit or not.
At a very minimum when researching a company behind a We Buy Houses bandit sign look for ones that:
- Are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, or some other reputable organization
- Have a website that provides full details on the business, such as who the owners are and what the address of the business is
- Have a well thought out and informative website (not one that is thrown together in 20 minutes)
- Have testimonials and reviews so you can read about other people’s experiences
If there is no company explicitly stated on the sign (which 99% of the time there is not) you really have no idea who you are calling before you pick up the phone as you cannot research them.
For example a sign might say “Tim Buys Houses for Cash.” The question you need to ask yourself is who the heck is “Tim”? Tim might not even be the person’s real name. The phone number might be a tracking number or Google Voice number so you probably can’t even look that up.
You really can’t know unless you call them, get their information and then research them to see if they are legitimate.
What is a We Buy Houses Company?
We have written many articles on what a we buy houses company is, when to use one and the pros and cons of them in detail in other articles. If you want to get the full scoop to understand what they are we suggest reading the our article What’s a We Buy Houses for Cash Company and When to Consider One in Cleveland.
In short, we buy houses companies are cash house buying companies that purchase houses directly from homeowners for cash. They buy directly as in they don’t use real estate agents, which eliminates realtor commissions and fees for you, the seller. They also buy houses in as-is condition. There are certain benefits that make these cash buying companies attractive to certain sellers.
It should be noted that not all we buy houses companies use bandit signs to advertise their services. Most established ones DO NOT. In turn, you shouldn’t group all these companies together into a category of people who put these signs all over the city. There are many marketing techniques that these companies use including direct mail (postcards), digital marketing and digital advertising, etc.
Are We Buy Homes Companies in Cleveland Legitimate?
This is very much the same answer as we gave above about the companies that use bandit signs.
There are many experienced we buy houses companies in Cleveland that buy houses for cash for a living. They are honest and act both professionally and with integrity.
With that being said, there are also many people portraying themselves as a legitimate company that are either inexperienced or just outright unethical. However, you could say the same thing about any individual that offers to buy your house or sell you anything.
In turn, you should always do your due diligence before agreeing to sell your house to anyone, whether it is a we buy houses company or a random person that knocks on your door interested in buying your house. We recommend taking the same measures as we listed above in the section on “Our Advice to You Before Calling Numbers on Bandit Signs.”
Are There We Buy Houses Scams? If So What Should I Watch Out For?
For this question check out our article We Buy Houses Scams In Cleveland and How To Avoid Them
Conclusion: We Buy Houses Legitimate or Not?
The term we buy houses company is used to describe a broad group of parties who buy houses for cash directly from homeowners. Some of these parties are experienced, reputable companies. Some of them…not so much.
Not all we buy houses companies market their services by putting up the bandit signs littered around the city of Cleveland. In fact, most established we buy houses companies DO NOT.
As for the signs themselves…who is behind the signs is usually a mystery. Calling a random number may turn out to be a bad idea as you have no idea who is on the other end of the phone. Some of these individuals may be reputable and experienced, but some may be inexperienced and will waste your time. Worst yet they may be scammers looking to get over on you.
There are plenty of ways to find a cash house buying company if you need to sell your house for cash. If you chose to call one of these numbers you should chose a sign that has a company name explicitly stated on it (which is not common) so you can research them before calling.
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