Best Practices to Sell Your Home for Cash Fast

Best Practices to Sell Your Home for Cash Fast

In the current economy, with high interest rates and stagnant markets, you may find yourself thinking, "I sure wish I could sell my home for cash." A cash buyer can solve a lot of problems for the homeowner. Maybe your house needs renovations, updates or repairs; maybe your mortgage rate is unsustainable; maybe you have encountered unexpected financial difficulties and you need cash now.

Whatever the reason, there are real estate investors with cash in hand looking for homes just like yours. They have the perfect answer to your question: "Can I sell my home for cash?"

Conventionally, when a homeowner decides to sell, they list their home with a conventional real estate agent, wait for an offer close to their asking price, undergo home inspections and other complicated processes, and finally get their money. It's a drawn out process with a lot of possible complications, like poor inspection reports or uncooperative lenders.

Fortunately this isn't the only way to sell a home. There are a few ways to draw the attention of a cash home buyer, and with the right strategy you can get the most money possible for your home--without all the hassles and complications of dealing with banks.

Listing as "Cash Only"

One way to attract cash buyers is to list your home as a cash only sale. In this case you will probably hire a real estate agent and let them show your home to multiple buyers. Real estate investors are always looking for these listings and are likely to have the capital to make you a good deal.

To avoid being asked about repairs or updates to the home you can add a warning to the listing that it is sold in "as is" condition. This tells buyers that you are not interested in suggestions on how to make the home more saleable.

Watch your Mail

Sometimes the more aggressive cash home buyers will reach out to you before you think to try to find them. Their business model often depends on having several houses to renovate and sell, so they try to keep their inventory up and are on the lookout for homes in their area whose owners are considering selling.

If you get a letter from such a home buyer, or perhaps see their ad in the paper or their posters on local telephone poles, it can be very interesting and helpful to call the number provided. Most cash buyers will be willing to look over your house and send you a no obligation offer--no need for real estate agents or mortgage lenders.

If you like their offer, you can sign and have a closing date within a couple of weeks, so this is a great option if you want to sell fast. If you think the offer is too low, you can walk, as there is no obligation to sell your home to any given investor as long as you haven't signed anything.

Find a Cash Buyer over the Internet

Don't want to wait for an investor to find you? If you use Google you are very likely to find a local real estate investor who is actively purchasing homes in your area. Once you find the website of a promising investor you can find their contact information on their site. Sometimes they even have an online booking system to set an appointment for them to view your house.

Just like in the case where you respond to a letter or advertisement, if you reach out to a real estate investor, you can expect them to take a look at your house. While tidying up is not bad you certainly don't have to stage the home as you would for an open house. These investors are accustomed to looking past aesthetics to the true value of a property.

After the viewing you will receive a cash offer. You can accept it and close quickly, or try to negotiate a better price, or let it go with no consequences and try to find a better way to sell your home.

Your goals for the sale of your home will determine whether you want to bother with a traditional real estate agent. Having an agent can be very helpful for making sure paperwork is properly handled, and they often have a very good idea of how much money is usually paid for homes like yours.

On the other hand, a real estate agent will get a cut of whatever money you make from the sale of your home, and you have to be careful to choose an agent who understands your goals. Because they make a percentage of your home sale they may prioritize higher price over selling your house fast, which could be great for you if you want top dollar--but not so great if you need the house sold yesterday.

Nobody likes feeling that they are leaving money on the table. The number of possible cash buyers is limited, and the offers are often lower than those backed by a mortgage lender. Wouldn't it be smarter to sell your home conventionally and get as much money as possible?

The answer to this depends on your individual situation. While conventional sales may tend to have higher dollar amounts, the trouble and expense involved in even making the sale possible could eat whatever extra cash you may have obtained by going that route. Let's explore possibilities in more detail.

Can My House Sell for Fair Market Value?

One question is whether your house is even eligible to sell for a price similar to other local homes of a similar size. If your home has structural issues, unfinished surfaces, malfunctioning mechanicals or other troubles, it may not receive mortgage approval at all. A real estate appraiser has to come before a conventional purchase can close, and if he says that your home is not worth as much as the loan's amount, the sale will come to a halt.

After this, you will be faced with a decision. Will you try to come up with money to make one or more costly repairs, bringing the home's value up to match your desired value of the house? Or will you put it back on the market and look for either a much lower conventional offer, or a cash buyer who looks to buy ugly houses?

The conventional sale process is long and painful, and to have it end with a bad appraisal can be heartbreaking. If you look around at local homes for sale and recognize that they are all in better shape than your home, you may have no choice but to make a cash sale.

How Fast Can I Complete the Sale of My Home?

Conventional home sales take a long time even if demand is hot and buyers are plentiful. Even a beautiful home in a great location can take well over a month before the closing date arrives, and if local home inspectors are busy it can take much longer. Banks are meticulous about protecting their assets and won't leave anything to chance, so your time constraints will take a back seat to everyone else's schedules.

On the other hand, if you go to a reputable cash buyer, you could have cash for your home in less than two weeks. A hassle free sales process is just one of the benefits of selling to a cash buyer. The investor shoulders all responsibility for repairs, allowing you to walk away from all the troubles that have plagued your house up until now; no need to wait for an appraisal.

Sometimes time is of the essence and a bird in hand is often worth two in the bush. If you need money quickly and the transaction takes several weeks or longer, it may be worth taking a slightly lower purchase price in order to have the cash you need.

The idea of a buyer intentionally seeking out homes in poor repair may seem untrustworthy to you. If they are offering a certain amount of cash for your home, with the intent to sell it a few months later for a higher price, shouldn't you be able to get that higher price yourself for a little work? Why should the investor get the good price for your home after paying you less?

Different Kinds of House Flippers

There are many types of cash home buyers. Some are just people with cash in hand looking for their forever home. Others are investors of some stripe, looking for properties to either sell or rent out at a higher value than they paid.

Buy and Hold Investors

Some aim to rent the property, generating passive income for the long term. These buy and hold investors will need to put work into a property in order to rent it out, and it will take many months' rent to make back what they paid for the house, so unless you are willing to make improvements and become a landlord yourself, you are unlikely to mimic their strategy successfully by declining to sell to them.

House Flippers

Some companies that buy houses do so with the intention of putting them back on the market quickly, with little or no improvement. These cash buyers will make the lowest possible offers, sealing the deal by promising you a fast and hassle free sale. These sellers may aggressively seek homes to buy, reaching out to you directly.

It never hurts to entertain a no obligation cash offer by this type of flipper, but it may be wise to get other offers too, just to see if you can get a better price.

Companies that Buy Houses for Cash

Some real estate investors seek ugly houses with the intention of fixing them up and selling them for a much higher price. It can be tempting to think you might be able to do the work yourself and get the highest possible price for your home, but there are a lot of considerations as to whether this is a viable strategy.

Real estate investors often have contractors with whom they work closely, who are able to quickly take a distressed home and make it beautiful. They also have cash reserves ready to invest in making the necessary repairs. Need a new furnace? A septic system? A roof? What might take you months of saving and work to accomplish, an investor could pay for in the next few weeks.

If you choose to sell your house to this type of cash homebuyer, you will know that while they did not pay you top dollar, they did take on a substantial amount of financial liability and hard work that you now do not have to worry about. This can be an excellent personal and financial decision.

The real estate market is always fluctuating. Local jobs, new housing developments, and time of year can all impact sales and prices.

A real estate investor comes with the advantage of being willing to take on the risks of owning your particular home in your particular area, whatever may happen next in the real estate market. The real question is, when do you need money? Would an extra ten thousand dollars six months from now be of more value to you than cash in hand by the end of the month?

Sometimes you need money from the sale of your home to start a business or purchase another home at a great price. If that's the case, the difference between the investor's offer and fair market value can easily be made up. So the real question is, when is the right time for you to have a large cash infusion?

If the answer is "now," seek out a cash home buyer today and see if their offer is right for you.

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For personalized advice, consider consulting a tax professional or a real estate attorney who can provide specific guidance based on your situation.

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