Homeowner’s Guide to Selling Your Home for Cash

One of the more interesting developments that are sprung up from the wild real estate market lately is the rise of the cash buyer. With inventory dropping and intense buyer interest across the board, more homeowners are considering the possibility of selling their home for cash, instead of in a more traditional financed sale.

Pursuing a cash sale is a bit different from the usual path to closing a home sale. You start by directly asking for a cash offer, bypassing the usual staging and showing of the home. After your buyer takes a look at the house and evaluates its features, they’ll send an offer and contract if they decide to proceed. There’s no lender’s appraisal or financing contingencies to worry about, so you both get to the closing in as little as a week to 10 days.

Yet as simple as it sounds, a cash sale can present some traps for the unwary. Consider the following three tips to protect your interests while you negotiate a good offer and a quick closing.

Do Some Due Diligence

Whether you’re selling your home to a person or a company, you want to do your due diligence on the purchaser. Primarily, you’ll want to ensure the buyer is who they say they are, and that they have the cash on hand or access to the funds necessary to close the sale.

In most cases, cash purchasers are legitimate and there’s no need to worry about their ability to handle the transaction. However, you want to be sure, and you want that reassurance well in advance of the closing.

One good way to start if you’re dealing with a corporate purchaser is to check the Better Business Bureau. A legitimate and trustworthy house-buying company should have positive reviews, with a history of timely responses to any complaints that they might have received.

You’ll also want to ask the buyer’s bank for official proof of adequate funds to confirm they can provide the expected earnest money as well as the funds to purchase the property.

Talk to a Real Estate Agent

Even if you’re selling your home quickly for cash, you’ll want the assistance of an experienced local real estate agent. A good realtor who’s intimately familiar with the area real estate market conditions can help you sort out your options, evaluate potential purchasers, and decide how to respond to offers.

You don’t need to contact a real estate agent too early in the process since market conditions can change pretty quickly these days. A few weeks before you’re ready to seek cash offers is probably plenty of time. If you think your home will need more than a minor touch-up before you list it, you may want to add to that time frame.

Spruce Up Your Home

One of the advantages of seeking a quick cash sale is that you can usually skip all the intense staging, redecorating, and repair work that typically accompanies a traditional financed sale. However, you still want to make some adjustments before you take photos and put out the call for cash offers.

First, declutter and depersonalize your house. Remove all personal pictures, papers, and correspondence from view. The goal is to create a pleasing backdrop on which others can project their own tastes and preferences.

Next, make minor repairs that will bring a decent return on your investment (ROI). Here’s another place where your real estate agent can be especially helpful. An experienced realtor can tell you which repairs will pay off in a higher offer and which you can safely leave for the purchaser to handle after closing.

Finally, don’t forget the outside of your home. Clean up the yard and freshen up the flower beds. Trim overhanging tree branches and scraggly bushes back to a manageable level. Curb appeal is just as important as the interior to the overall impression your home makes on potential purchasers.

A Cash Sale Can Work for You

If you want to skip the hassle of the traditional home selling process, you absolutely can. Prepare to be flexible on price, as cash sales typically work out to be discounted off a financed offer, but the speedy closing can more than makeup for that.

Wait! Read This Before You Sell Your House for Cash
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