Have you noticed the flurry of “avoid foreclosure – we buy houses” signs all over the state of New Jersey? And have you also noticed many of them are HAND-WRITTEN? What’s up with those sketchy Real Estate signs?

A NJroute22.com reader had this to say:

“This is something I’ve been driving past recently that I thought might interest you. I find it so funny, the unprofessionally hand-scrawled sign drawn out by some person or business that suggests they could legitimately enter into a deal to buy actual assets, like REAL ESTATE? Who would give this the time of day, even, I wonder? It doesn’t look like a very professional way to conduct a major transaction. Maybe this works for a garage sale, but not a house sale. Or am I wrong?”

Who buys houses in any condition via hand-written roadside signs?

Without even looking deeper into this – I’d avoid it like the plague.

However, there is some psychology behind this. Apparently, the whole “hand-written” thing has been a thing for a long time.

As many unsuspecting people actually THINK it’s more “genuine.” This is why you often get mailers sent to you with all these phony hand print fonts. That age-old game still has value for scammers! Can’t believe it still works after all these years!

Additionally – it’s also quicker and profoundly cheaper to hand-write the signs. Guess it’s a “win-win” for the scammer, right?

Two outcomes: Scam or Bad Deal

From what we understand – most of these signs have real people behind them. But they’re most likely trying to find the perfect customer. One who either needs the money REALLY FAST or someone they can rip-off by severely underpaying for the property. Or both.

Many times – these scammers don’t even have the capital to buy the property. They get owners contractually connected to a very bad deal – and in turn, FLIP the property to an investor that DOES have the money – and they take their cut of the sale. Quick-talking middle-men is another way of putting it.

They choose slow traffic areas like this one near the Somerville Circle for that reason. People in the situation where they want to quickly sell the home may very well fall for it. They wouldn’t put those signs out there if they never worked, right?


PS – we searched this phone number 908-866-6331 – and it appeared to be some kind of Voice over IP number (VoIP). No business attached.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.