Chances are you’ve seen one of those signs or billboards that reads “we’ll buy your house for cash!”. Real estate investing is becoming increasingly popular, with small to large investors buying homes for cash across the country. But, selling to an investor isn’t the only way to sell a house for cash.
If you’re in the market to sell your home, you may know that the selling process with a cash buyer is considered easier than a traditional sale. However, many homeowners don’t know exactly why that is, or what risks and rewards come with a cash sale. We created this complete guide to answer all of your questions about how to sell a house for cash.
What Does It Mean to Sell a House for Cash?
When you sell a house for cash it means the home buyer pays for the property in full without a mortgage. Ultimately, this simplifies the purchasing process as financing activities are no longer needed. Selling to a cash buyer is tempting because it offers a variety of benefits to the seller. But, in some cases it also comes with a downside.
Why Sell a Home for Cash?
In some circumstances, homeowners just want to sell the property quickly and avoid as much leg work as possible. When you sell a house for cash, you typically avoid staging the home, multiple showings and the tedious work of decluttering. This can be especially helpful when you own an occupied rental property, or inherited a property from a deceased relative.
The likelihood of a traditional sale falling through is higher due to the number of contingencies involved. This combined with the buyer’s need to secure financing can make the sale stressful. When you sell for cash, you have the luxury of skipping the financial steps involved in selling your home to a buyer that requires a mortgage.
With financing, there is risk the real estate transaction might fall through. A cash purchase ensures this does not happen. As a result the buyer and seller can complete the transaction quicker than a traditional sale.
This is beneficial for homeowners who are in debt or facing foreclosure. Selling a house for cash is also helpful if you need cash for your next home’s down payment. Or if you don’t have the money to complete the necessary repairs on the home yourself.
When you sell a house for cash, the amount of work you put into the home is usually up to you. Versus with traditional buyers, who typically have higher expectations for a forever home. In addition to this, when you sell a house to a cash buyer, the buyer’s offer amount doesn’t rely on what the home appraises for. Plus, cash purchases close quickly since you aren’t on a lender’s timeline.
The Downside of Selling a House for Cash
While selling a house for cash is considered more convenient in most cases, it does come with some challenges. In exchange for a faster sale and fewer contingencies, sellers often get less money for their home. Ultimately, the amount you do get depends on the same things as a traditional sale. Those being location, condition of the home, and your buyer’s intentions with the home.
As we mentioned before, selling a house to a cash buyer typically means less work in repairs for the seller. But, as a result the buyer may offer you less money since the home needs work. Typically, if a cash buyer is a real estate investor or iBuyer company that buys homes, they calculate the repair costs and deduct this from their offer amount.
In a home sale, especially in a hot real estate market, a listing can receive multiple bids from potential buyers. Traditional buyers are likely seeking a forever home and may have fallen in love with a specific feature of yours. As a result, you have the upper hand in negotiating for the highest price. When you sell a house to a cash buyer, there are fewer emotions involved, and thus less negotiating power.
Can a Realtor Help in a Cash Sale?
Working with an expert real estate agent can make the process of selling your home much less stressful, whether it is a cash sale or not. There are some risks in every real estate transaction, that’s why we always recommend having a realtor in your corner to advocate for you.
At Trelora, we represent hundreds of sellers every year as they consider whether a cash offer is best for them. Our agents have a fiduciary duty to work in your best interest and ensure you understand your options along the way. We also have relationships with large and small cash buyers so we can help you maximize your options to sell.
Selling a House for Cash: Finding the Right Buyer
Cash home purchases reached an all time high in 2021 at 30% of all home buying transactions. Many cash buyers fall into two categories: real estate investors and iBuyers.
The two most common investors in real estate are buy-and-hold, and house flippers. Buy-and-hold investors buy properties to become rental properties. These investors hold the property long term after their purchase. This way, the investor receives passive income from renting the home. In some cases, buy-and-hold investors are more flexible with closings dates, and may offer a better price than an institutional investor. However, as iBuyers continue to grow, they offer flexible closings dates, some even have the option to close in as little as 14 days if a seller is hoping to move quickly.
Another league of investors is fix-and flip investors. Typically, flippers buy homes that are in poor condition or in need of repairs for a lower price. Then, they renovate and repair the home with the intention of selling it for a profit. These investors calculate the cost of renovations and estimate the cost of the future sale to ensure the properties they buy will meet a minimum return on investment. In this line of investing, it’s important to renovate and resell as fast as possible to minimize risk and maximize ROI.
iBuyers are companies that purchase homes directly from homeowners. The term iBuyer is short for “instant buyer”. These companies use technology to generate offers faster than traditional buyers. With that, they choose carefully when considering which homes to buy. Often have specific requirements regarding the type of home they will purchase. Selling a house for cash to an iBuyer offers a quick sale and convenient closing. But in some cases iBuyers offer below market value in exchange for a convenient closing.
As with any real estate transaction, it’s important to do your due diligence on individual buyers or iBuyers before providing any personal information, transferring any funds, or signing a contract. Ultimately, we recommend asking your buyer for an official proof of funds, and confirm they’re capable of providing the necessary earnest money for the purchase as this represents the buyer’s ability and intention to complete the sale.
Selling a House for Cash: The Bottom Line
The process of selling a house for cash is similar overall to a traditional home sale. But the transaction can vary based on the type of cash buyer you sell too, whether that is an iBuyer, investor or traditional buyer who’s capable of paying entirely cash. It’s important to ensure you know the value of your home and consider this when evaluating the price and terms of the offers you receive.
We recommend working with a real estate agent who is experienced in your local market to ensure you’ve adequately compared your home to nearby comparative sales. Plus, by working with an expert agent you have an ally in your corner to handle any unique requirements of the sale, and guide you through the necessary paperwork. At Trelora, our agents close hundreds of deals each year, so you can rest easy knowing your agent has seen it all. Get started today with a free home valuation.
Brock Embree joined Trelora in 2017. In 2018, he was part of the founding team that opened Trelora’s Seattle, Washington office, their first expansion beyond Colorado. In 2020, he repeated the process, opening yet another new market for Trelora in Arizona. His team has closed over 200 deals in Phoenix and has expanded to serve Tucson in addition to their growing customer base in Phoenix.