Read This Before You Sell Your House for Cash

On the surface, fast-cash companies in real estate may not have the most pristine reputation, but you’re not crazy to consider selling your house for cash. As a rising number of companies provide cash offers for homes and improve experiences for sellers with advanced technology, the idea that you don’t have to wait months to list and close on your house appeals to many stressed-out sellers. A divorce, job move, or low bank account can all be strong motivators to go for the speed and convenience of a cash sale.

What does it mean to sell your house for cash?

Selling your house for cash has similar benefits to trading in your old vehicle to the dealership when you buy a new car. Sure, you might pocket a little more money if you sold it yourself. But it would likely take longer — and require extra work on your end. You’d have to make minor repairs, advertise it on Craigslist, organize test drives for potential buyers, and handle all the paperwork yourself.

Translating that to real estate terms, selling a house for cash goes something like this:

  • Request an offer: You skip the staging and showing process and go straight to requesting an offer. At this point you can communicate whether you’re selling “as is” — meaning you don’t intend to make repairs or change anything about the house — or if you’re open to making any repairs.
  • House is evaluated: The buyer will collect some information about the home, possibly send a representative to do an onsite visit to the property, and determine what they’re willing to pay.
  • Review the contract: You as the seller then review the offer, including the contract price and terms, and decide whether to accept.
  • Ask for proof of funds: You should always obtain documentation that a person or company is who they say they are and actually has the funds and abilities to complete a transaction of this size.
  • Complete inspections: If the deal moves forward, the cash buyer may still perform steps like the inspection and appraisal — it all depends on who you work with and how they operate. Even if you’re selling “as is”, an inspection could still be required.
  • Fast-forward to closing: Without a lender’s involvement, there will be no lender-ordered appraisal or loan processing period. As of June 2021 the average home closing where the buyer used a mortgage took 51 days.
  • Clear title: The cash buyer will require a title search to make sure that you can convey the property free and clear of any claims or judgments against the property, such as mechanic’s liens, unpaid taxes, or boundary encroachments.
  • You get paid! The cash buyer will likely wire the funds over to your bank account in a process that all in all may take only a matter of weeks or even days.

In summary, selling for cash won’t mean that a person shows up on your doorstep with a briefcase full of hundred-dollar bills. You’ll still have official steps to complete and hiccups like a title defect can still arise. But when your buyer doesn’t have to wait for the lender to underwrite or process their loan, you can usually coordinate a much faster sale.

Why would someone sell their house for cash?

Speed, convenience, peace of mind, and financial motivations top the list of reasons a growing number of sellers are turning to cash buyers, says Van Soest. Here’s how each one of these motivations could apply to your situation.

Certainty

  • You’re moving for a job and have to be there by a certain date.
  • You’d rather not deal with the risk of a low appraisal.
  • You don’t have the time to hire contractors and make major repairs.
  • You’re nervous accepting an offer with tons of contingencies.

Speed and convenience

  • You inherited a house you’re unfamiliar with and perhaps far away from.
  • You don’t want to disrupt your life with house prep, staging, and showings.
  • You have a problematic or occupied rental property.

Finances

  • You need cash for a down payment on your dream home.
  • You don’t have the funds to make necessary repairs.
  • You’re on the brink of foreclosure.
  • You need cash to get out of debt.

Want to sell your house for cash? Give St. Louis Realty Advisors a call at 314-270-1601 today to learn more.

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