How to Deal With Non-Paying Tenants

Are you a landlord tired of tenants who are habitually late on their rent or simply not paying at all? Now, I know that COVID-19 has made things tough for people to pay their bills, so I am not talking about renters who are in a jam because of the worldwide pandemic. I am talking about fast talking tenants who never pay their rent, month after month – always giving you a new excuse.

You are facing a dilemma that is all too common for landlords across Maryland. It’s frustrating and unfortunately, your options are limited since Maryland is a very tenant-friendly state.

Don’t give up hope just yet though. I’ve got some tips that will help you if you are struggling with rent issues at your Maryland investment property.

Hopefully, you only accept tenants who pass a strict background check, who give you a deposit equal to at least one month’s rent and you have verified that they have a consistent source of income. After all, it is your rental property and you have the right to choose any tenant you want to live in your investment. Unfortunately, even with a solid lease in place problems sometimes arise when it’s time to collect the rent.

Here are four easy tips for dealing with non-paying tenants:


So many landlords use this strategy and it is certainly not recommended. Most of the time the problem is not going to just go away if you ignore it. You need to be proactive with your investments. After all, you spent good money acquiring the property, doing a rehab and soliciting for tenants. Ignoring a non-paying tenant will negate all of your hard work. And guess what? If you do nothing, I guarantee the tenant will do nothing also and just hope you don’t do anything to rectify the situation. DO NOT BE COMPLACENT.


At some point a landlord needs to decide on the best way to stay profitable. Especially in the current coronavirus world, it’s a much easier proposition to take some money as opposed to no money at all. Negotiating a payment plan is a good compromise between ignoring and evicting. But proceed with caution because the end game is to make sure that the tenant has the ability to catch up on what is owed in a reasonable time frame. And PLEASE make sure than any payment plan is backed up by a written addendum to the existing lease. 


Sadly, eviction is sometimes the only option remaining. Remember, you are in the business off renting for profit and a delinquent tenant can prevent that from happening, month after month, if you are unable to reach another compromise. Be forewarned though – evictions are often difficult, especially in states like Maryland where the laws most definitely tilt in favor of the tenant. If you go the eviction route, be prepared to weather the storm for a few months and make sure you have plenty of supporting evidence so that the courts have no choice but to rule in your favor. In this situation, the name of the game is closing the gap as quickly as possible between when the tenant is given notice to when they legally have to vacate the premises.  


Sometimes it’s just better to cash out and sell your rental property. If none of the aforementioned solutions are working, it’s often best to determine an acceptable price, take the money and move on to the next project. Problem tenants, excessive repairs, property management company fees and sleepless nights worrying about your property sometimes just aren’t worth the hassle.

At Brad Buys Houses, we buy rental properties from landlords like you all of the time. We buy with cash, we close quickly and we pay all of the costs and fees at settlement. Most importantly, we solve your problem. If you are a tired landlord or just want to cash out of an investment property, please fill out the form at or call us at (240) 424-0423

6 Signs it Might be Time to Sell Your House

You are Out of Room for Your Stuff!

Are you feeling cramped? Do you have more family members than when you first moved into your home? Is COVID forcing you to work from home, so you don’t have room for a home office? Maybe you want a bigger yard or more storage space. Whatever the reason, often times homeowners simply outgrow their house and need a bigger one.

You are Now an Empty Nester

Time to downsize! Now that the kids have gone on to college or starting families of their own, you simply have too much space. A smaller house, townhouse or condo will be less maintenance for you, result in lower utility bills and save you big money on property taxes. As you get older, fixing broken appliances or HVAC systems is not something you want to deal with, so it may be time to consider selling a lot of the things cluttering your home and move to a smaller, more manageable house.

The Community is Changing

It’s quite possible that your community was much smaller and quieter when you moved her many years ago. When you moved in, it was a quiet neighborhood with only a few families. Fast forward several years and now there are major roads running through the neighborhood, a Starbuck’s on every corner, an HOA forcing you to adhere to their guidelines and even another school down the street. It’s no so quiet any more. Look, development isn’t a bad thing, but it may not be what you wanted when you originally choose to live in this neighborhood.

neighborhood street with rowhouses

It’s too Hot….or it’s too Cold!

Are you constantly complaining about the weather? That’s a good sign you may be ready for a change of scenery. Heat, humidity, rain, snow, whatever the weather is in your area you are tired of it. There’s no reason to live in a place where you are unhappy. Why not move somewhere that has the climate you desire all year long.

You Don’t Want to Pay Capital Gains

Home prices are on the rise in Maryland. It doesn’t matter what neighborhood you live in – Catonsville, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Laurel, Pikesville, Reisterstown, Westminster, etc. If you have lived in your home for more than two years, you can collect up to $250,000 tax free from capital gains. The number goes as high as $500,000 if the house is co-owned. Why not take advantage of that tax free money now?

Commuting is Getting in the Way of Family Time

Do you spend an hour in your car or on public transportation each weekday, commuting to and from the office? It may be necessary, but that’s up to 10 hours a week that you don’t have to spend with your family. Quality time with your spouse or kids is critical to mental health. If commuting is taking over your precious time, it may be an opportunity to consider moving to a home closer to your occupation.

If you need to sell your house for any reason at all, please fill out the form on my Web Site or call me at (240) 424-0423. If I can’t buy your Maryland house, I will find a solution for you.

Sell Your House Fast Without a Realtor

Selling your home with a realtor isn’t the only option if you need a fast sale. Not every property requires a realtor and there are numerous benefits to eliminating the middle man.

Obviously, the biggest benefit is saving money. You will save dollars on both agent commissions and out of pocket expenses. And let’s not forget closing costs associated with settlement – sometimes as much as 10%.

Fact: You Will Likely Need to Upgrade Your House to Get More $$$ at Closing
To be able to sell your property fast for top dollar, you will definitely need to make some repairs and upgrades to the home. Translation: you need to spend money on contractors, supplies at Home Depot or Lowe’s, plus let’s not forget the time it will take to complete the renovation. Let’s face it, it your neighbor’s house sold for a nice sum of money because of granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new hardwood floors and upgrading HVAC then you will need to invest in the same upgrades. No realtors and no contractors in the equation equals instant savings on big home selling expenses.

Fact: A Direct Sale Will Save You Big Time
You can expect to pay in the neighborhood of 6% of your final sale price in real estate agent commissions. Plus you will likely be locked into a legally binding contract with the agent for at least 30 days and likely more. For example, if you sell your house for $200,000, you are looking at paying $12,000 to the agent. Wouldn’t you rather keep that money in your pocket for future use?

So, how do you start the process of selling your house directly to a cash buyer?

step 1

Set your price based on similar SOLD properties in your area

Generally, a comparable property is one that has sold in the past six months to a year, is within a mile and is similar in style, square footage, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. Be as accurate as you can when putting a value on your home. As I mentioned in a previous post, you cannot trust Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or Their data isn’t perfect. Knowing the price of a house that actually sold that meets the criterial I mentioned before is your best gauge. Realtors have that information handy and you DO NOT have to sign a listing agreement if you ask a realtor for a few comps in your neighborhood. Try to price the house fairly and adjust as needed. Remember, you aren’t fooling anyone since buyers have access to the same information you are using.

step 2

Be Your Own Marketing Pro

If you want to sell your own house, make sure you take great pictures and get the word out. The internet is a gold mine for motivated sellers right now. Using Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all other social media channels make home selling easier than ever. Present your house as if you were the one looking to purchase it.

step 3

Prepare Your House for Viewing

If there are glaring repairs that need to be made, make them. It is also critical to do a deep cleaning, remove any clutter and stage your house to the best of your ability. Prepare checklists for prospective buyers that highlight the selling points and mention any upgrades. Creating a flyer that can be printed as easily as distributed electronically is important as well. Maps of schools, places of interest, parks, restaurants and other local amenities help as well.

step 4

You Have a Buyer…What’s Next?

If you aren’t using a real estate agent, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney, in your state, who can draw up the necessary sales contract. Only accept WRITTEN offers. And only use a contract fully vetted by a licensed attorney.

It’s not hard to sell your own home without a realtor, but if you want some guidance, don’t want to do it all yourself or just want an evaluation to see what your Maryland house is worth, please visit or give us a call at (240) 424-0423.

Why You Should Sell Your House to a Local Home Buyer

WE BUY HOUSES FOR CASH! Yes, that’s right, we all buy houses. You see the signs all over Baltimore, Annapolis, Essex and Rosedale. “We Buy Houses Fast” or “Sell Your House in 30 Days”. Some are legitimate for sure, but some are not. And I can assure you of one thing: you will NEVER see one of those signs with my name or number on it. It’s low class, doesn’t convey trustworthiness and it’s just not my style. Furthermore, I am willing to bet many of those guys – even with local phone numbers – aren’t local at all.

Well, I am local. And I am not in the business of low-balling or wasting anyone’s time.

I jumped into real estate investing in 2016 for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s profitable. Let’s be honest, investors are in the business of making money. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what makes this country great. We have the ability to manufacture our own success and there is nothing stopping us other than our perceived limitations. I am no different from any business person in that respect.

But I also made a commitment to invest in Maryland because it’s my home. I am born and raised in Baltimore (Mt. Washington area), and have lived in Montgomery County since 2001. Both of my parents – an attorney and a caterer – still run their business in Maryland as well. My father has practiced law in Maryland for more than 50 years! Most importantly, my daughter has grown up in Maryland.

I once even did a five year stint at The Rouse Company in Columbia, best known for building Columbia, Maryland plus Harborplace, Faneuil Hall, South Street Seaport and several other notable properties. Columbia has been the prototype for master planned communities across the United States, since the 1960s. My parents even bought their first house in Mt. Washington with money they made investing in the company’s stock. I was there when the company was sold in 2004 and it was sad to see a Maryland institution, since 1956, getting sold off to a Chicago based company. We still have a reunion every year, on the anniversary of the Rouse Company sale, at a restaurant in Ellicott City.

I know Baltimore and I know Maryland. I want to do business with Maryland homeowners. There’s a lot of out of state, and even foreign, investors looking to buy your house for pennies on the dollar. Why? Because they think they can come to Frederick or Glen Burnie or Pikesville or Dundalk and take advantage of your situation. I don’t operate like that and I also know you are far too savvy to fall for fast talking investors.

That said, my process for making offers is in the How it Works section of my web site, in plain English and with no hidden tricks. I defy you to find another investor in the Baltimore-Washington area who is walking you step by step through the cash offer process right from the start. I don’t make offers with emotion (yours or mine), I make cash offers based strictly on real numbers.

I have said this many times: I don’t just buy houses, I solve problems – inherited homes, relocation, tax liens, divorce, tired landlords, expensive repairs, retirement – there’s a laundry list of reasons that someone may need to sell their home in Maryland quickly and without a realtor.

I have a track record of helping homeowners (for example, take a look at this clip from WBBF-TV from 2014) and I will continue to offer the same assistance and value that I have for more than a decade.

If you still have questions about me or my business, please take a moment to peruse the Brad Buys Houses website or find me on Facebook. You will see that I am not an anonymous “We Buy Houses” guy, with a sign on the corner of North Avenue and St. Paul Street. I’m a real investor, I’m local and I want to solve problems for Maryland homeowners.

Save Money by Selling Your Home FSBO

Are you ready to sell your house, but don’t want to pay commissions, fees and all of the other costs associated with using a real estate agent? Instead of listing your home perhaps you should consider For Sale By Owner or FSBO. Don’t get me wrong, I work with real estate agents all of the time, but sometimes you need to sell you house fast for various reasons – expensive repairs, inherited property, relocation, divorce, tax liens, code violations – reasons that make selling with a real estate agent challenging.

Below I’ve listed several advantages for going the FSBO route because sometimes selling your Maryland house directly is simply the best option that puts the most cash in your pocket.

we buy houses in as is condition

No Repairs & No Renovations Needed
To list your home with a realtor and get top dollar for your house, you often need to spend major dollars on repairs – kitchen renovations, new flooring, HVAC upgrades, new roof, new windows, even new electrical and plumbing. This adds up to big homeowner cost just to get your house to the level often required by a realtor. Plus, you will spend additional money on inspections and appraisals – thousands of dollars. And let’s face it, in 2021 a kitchen that hasn’t been upgraded since 1979 isn’t going to attract many traditional home buyers. Neither is shag carpeting in the living room.

No Cleaning Required
Cluttered homes and hoarder homes require extensive cleaning to sell for the best possible price. Why not sell direct to a cash buyer, pack what you need and forget the expensive de-cluttering. A real estate agent will want all surfaces and furniture free from debris to show your property whereas a cash buyer won’t care.  And let’s not forget about the costs associated with cleaning and/or packing stuff you don’t want to keep anyway.

cluttered kitchen with trash and debris all over the room

No Closing Costs or Realtor Fees
It is easy to save money when you sell your house directly to a cash buyer in Maryland. Taking this approach will eliminate most of the fees associated with traditional closings. Most cash buyers will cover your closing costs at settlement, plus eliminating the real estate agent from the equation will also mean no realtor fees, sometimes as high of 6% of purchase price. Plus, there will be no appraisal or inspection fees that you need to be responsible for paying. If you want to see the process for selling direct to a legitimate cash home buyer, just check CLICK HERE

Save on Marketing
The bottom line is that you can’t sell your home without marketing it to potential buyers. But selling the traditional way will require time, money, and effort. You will need perfect pictures, you need to keep it clean at all times as strangers walk through and you will likely need to hire a real estate agent. Selling FSBO eliminates the need for expensive and time consuming marketing.  

Monthly Costs Eliminated
There are myriad monthly costs associated with owning a home and they get compounded if you are already moved out and handling things from a distance. These costs can run into the thousands of dollars. What are these expenses? Well, taxes, mortgage, insurance, utilities, and maintenance are the big ones. Plus it’s possible you are in a tax line situation or already behind on mortgage payments. If you are in any of these situations, an aging house is sucking your finances, dry. The easy solution is to cut those expenses ASAP and sell directly to a cash buyer, who will offer you fair as-is value for your home.

If you are having trouble selling your house in Maryland for any reason and are looking to save on big on any of the expenses listed above, I highly recommend selling FSBO to a legitimate cash home buyer. In fact, give me a call at (240) 424-0423 or visit if you want me to give you an accurate, fair no obligation offer on your house. If I can’t make a reasonable offer, I will find a solution for you.

Zillow Isn’t the Gospel

So…you are ready to sell your home now, huh? If you are like millions of homeowners, you are going to Zillow immediately to see what your house is worth.

Even though Zillow claims its “Zestimate” is usually within 10 percent of the selling price of the home, don’t believe everything you see on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, Zillow is an excellent resource. I use it all the time. But it isn’t the gospel. Why? Because even though Zillow gets a substantial amount of public data, it also allows for user submitted data. And let’s face it, if you are adding information about your home, you are always looking for the best angle. If a homeowner decides to update or change the square footage, number of bedrooms or features, it will change the value. Likewise, public data isn’t always perfect either.

In short, Zillow gives you a range based on its best data.

What’s the best way to get the most accurate value for your home? Well, that’s easy. Obviously, an appraisal is the best way. But that will cost you money, usually around $500 for a thorough appraisal. The other way is to know the “comps”, or comparable prices, of similar homes sold within a certain time period. I generally look at similar homes sold in the past 6-12 months within a mile of the subject property.

The key word here is “similar”. Not every property in the neighborhood is a good comp. At least not for buyers or real estate agents.

You need to take into consideration several factors to determine if a house is actually comparable to your property, such as:

  • Square footage (actual living space – plus it needs to be within 300-400 square feet)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Year built (a house built in 1910 is not a comp for one built in 2010)
  • Style of house (rancher, colonial, split level, etc.)


You need to know the condition of the property being compared.

  • Is it newly renovated?
  • Does it need major repairs?
  • Is there a lead paint issue?
  • Is the foundation sound?
  • Is there mold or termites?

All comps are not created equal. It’s that simple.

So, what’s the best advice if you are using Zillow to determine what your house in worth? Use Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or as a baseline, but ultimately seek out a professional opinion. If you have a Maryland house to sell for any reason, I have a simple form that you can fill out right HERE to get a no obligation offer. And if you want to see my methodology for how I assess home values and make offer, please click HERE

Keep it simple, Stupid!

As I mentioned in the previous post (which I am cleverly mentioning in vague terms so you will read it again), I felt like the well-intentioned celebrity foreclosure awareness campaign that kicked off in January of 2009 was a total train wreck.

The basic problem with the project was that there were way too many cooks in the kitchen. It was my understanding that the Fannie Mae Foundation was going to give HOPE NOW the $1.5 million and let the organization manage the project as we saw fit.

It didn’t happen that way.

Read More »

Celebrity Disaster, Part I

In late 2008, HOPE NOW received a sizable grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation to embark on a celebrity campaign designed to bring awareness to foreclosure prevention solutions and mortgage scams.

On paper it seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. The housing crisis was out of control and harnessing the power of celebrities, with ties to cities with major foreclosure issues, would go a long way in educating at-risk homeowners on the myriad mortgage solutions available to them.

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