For most people who own a home, home equity comprises the majority of their personal wealth. As a result, they may think it’s impossible to sell a house for cash.
The truth is, however, that a house is like a blender or an umbrella in that it’s simply a product. This means you can sell your house for any form of payment—including cash.
Selling for cash may be the right move if you need to sell your house quickly and don’t want to deal with lenders and real estate agents. However, there are other factors to consider as well.
If you’re curious about selling your house for cash, read on for the steps involved, as well as the pros and cons of this type of real estate transaction.
4 Steps to Selling Your House for Cash
In many ways, selling a house for cash is similar to selling a cup of lemonade at a homemade lemonade stand—albeit one that can fetch a pretty penny. You simply need to offer your house for sale and accept a home buyer’s offer.
That said, you’ll want to follow the steps below to ensure you receive a price close to your home’s fair value.
#1 Research Like a Real Estate Agent
Any kid who’s operated a lemonade stand knows that they’ll have a hard time selling a cup of lemonade for five dollars if their competition down the street is selling a similar product for two bucks a cup.
The same market forces apply to home sales.
To help ensure a successful cash sale, you first need to understand your area’s real estate market. To this extent, research the following:
- Your area’s median home listing price – You may think that a ranch-style home on the outskirts of Albuquerque would fetch the same price as a ranch-style home in Atlanta. However, different locations tend to have markedly different median home listing prices—even for identical homes. Knowing your area’s median home listing price can help you ballpark how much a potential buyer will be willing to pay for your home.
- Your area’s housing demand – The demand for housing in your area directly impacts how much cash you can expect to receive for your home. If you live in an area with a high housing demand (a home seller’s market), your house’s value can potentially increase. However, if you live in an area with low demand (a home buyer’s market), you may have to rethink your expectations.
Additional Pricing Factors
Once you know the market information above, you’ll have an estimate of your home’s fair market value. That said, when selling a house for cash, it’s important to remember that a cash buyer may not be willing to match your ideal asking price.
That’s because a potential buyer will likely consider the following factors alongside your area’s housing market:
- The condition of your house
- The cost of any necessary repairs
- How urgently you need to sell the house
If you’re concerned about getting the most cash for your home, one thing you can do is request as many offers as possible. With multiple offers, you can choose the fair cash offer with the highest amount.
You might even consider sale-leaseback solutions that convert your home equity into cash. You sell the house but stay in it as a renter. You can be sure you’re receiving your home’s fair value—not a significantly lower offer.
#2 Listen to Offers and Sign a Contract
If your home is in a state of serious disrepair or is in the foreclosure process, you may only be able to receive the lowest cash offers. You might even have to sell to the first cash buyer who proposes anything.
However, if your house is still in fantastic (or even decent) shape, you may be able to field several offers.
Once you agree to a buyer’s offer, it’s time to sign a contract. You should also verify that the cash home buyer actually has the cash to purchase the home. The last thing you want is to sign a contract only to realize that the buyer lacks the cash they claimed to have.
#3 Complete Any Required Inspections
After finalizing the contract, some buyers may immediately proceed to the closing process. However, others may insist on a final inspection as a condition of closure.
In this final inspection, the house buyer may inspect and appraise the house themselves, or they may enlist a professional’s help.
Regardless of who does the inspection, the inspector will generally look at the following:
- The structural foundation
- The windows
- The roof
- The electrical equipment
- The plumbing
- The water supply
Depending on the results of the inspection, the house buyer may wish to renegotiate the terms of the contract or, in extreme cases, void the contract altogether.
#4 Sign the Closing Paperwork
Although selling your house for cash often means you can sidestep realtors and loan-approval periods, one step you’ll still need to complete is any required paperwork.
Closing documents typically consist of the following:
- Title deed
- Bill of sale
- Closing cost statement
- Tax information
Once you and the buyer have completed the necessary paperwork, however, you can hand over the keys and breathe a sigh of relief: you’ve successfully sold your home for cash.
Pros of Selling a House for Cash
Selling a house for cash might seem like a less common option, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. In fact, in the first four months of 2021, 30% of all home sales were cash sales.
In short, all-cash home sales come with a host of benefits—from speed and convenience to risk mitigation and reduced costs.
Let’s explore a few of these benefits further.
#1 Simplified Selling
Because selling a house for cash mostly involves just you and the buyer, the process can be much simpler than a traditional home sale—and requires much fewer people to be involved.
In other words, you usually don’t have to include the following parties:
- Real estate agents
- Appraisers (unless they are a requirement of the contract)
In most cases, you simply need to stick a sign in your yard authorizing cash offers and wait for buyers to arrive.
Imagine this scenario: after months of searching for a job, you finally land your dream job in San Diego, and they want you to start in a couple of weeks. However, you still need to sell your home in Syracuse.
While you could list your home with a real estate agent and wait for a lender to approve a buyer, this process could take months. By opting for a fast cash offer instead, you could wrap up the sale in as little as two weeks.
#3 Decreased Risk
Another benefit of selling your house for cash is that you know up front whether the buyer has the means to purchase the home.
While selling to a buyer who is using financing (instead of cash) may result in a higher offer, financing often falls through. You don’t want to go through the tedious process of prepping for the open house, showing your home, and waiting for a lender to approve a buyer, only for the buyer to lose their financing at the last moment.
Cash-buyers, however, are often able to pay cash immediately. This means fewer financing variables are at play.
#4 Decreased Cost
If you’re wondering, “How do I go about selling my house for cash?” chances are you’re hoping to decrease the costs of your home sale.
Most all-cash home purchases are for properties being sold “as-is.” This means the house most likely needs extensive repairs, but buyers are still willing to purchase the house. Whereas, if you were using a realtor, you’d likely have to make expensive repairs before selling the house.
By selling your house for cash, you’ll also be able to save money on agent commission fees.
Cons of Selling a House For Cash
While speed, simplification, and a reduction in both risk and cost can all be enticing benefits of selling a house for cash, this option can also come with a few disadvantages.
To ensure you receive a fair offer and know what to expect, it’s important to consider the following factors before attempting a cash sale.
#1 Lower Offers
Selling your home for cash can potentially net you lower offers than if you sold through a realtor. That’s because when you sell for cash, you’re effectively choosing speed and convenience over the ability to earn the most money for your property.
That said, not every cash buyer will look to undercut you. If you’re seriously considering selling your house for cash, look for a cash buyer who’s committed to serving you by giving you the cash you need.
#2 You’re on Your Own
Selling your house for cash gives you a ton of control over the transaction. However, this control also means you’ll be in charge of the more complex side of real estate transactions—chiefly, negotiations and contracts.
If you feel completely confident in your ability to deal with buyers, then an all-cash sale might be a superb option for you. But if you feel like you’d benefit from a professional’s help, hiring a realtor may still be the best move.
#3 Increased Risk of Scams
When it comes to the all-cash house market, not all people have your best interest at heart. For example, some buyers may construct deceptive contracts that loop you in for more than you bargained for.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: only work with buyers who want to create solutions to your cash situation—not more problems. These are buyers who customize each sale-leaseback plan to fit your needs and who embrace transparency every step of the way.
Selling Your House for Cash Made Easy
Selling your house for cash means you need to find answers about the process—but you also need to ask the right questions. Instead of just figuring out how to sell your house for cash, ask yourself “how can I get the most cash for my home?”
The answer is easy: Sale-leaseback.
With a sale-leaseback, you sell your home, converting your equity into cash while allowing you to stay in the home as a renter. With some programs you may also have the option to repurchase the home at a later date when you choose. This means financial freedom today and tomorrow.
Selling your home for cash can provide a lot of financial freedom. Whether you need to sell a house to pay off debt, plan for retirement, or just to enjoy your best life, talk to a financial advisor to learn more about the solutions that can help finance your future.
Bloomberg. Home Buyers Paying Cash Are Dominating the Property Market in These Cities. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-15/real-estate-market-dominated-by-cash-buyers-in-2021
Forbes. Selling Your House Might Be Easy, But You Should Still Heed This Advice from Experts. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/how-to-get-the-most-when-selling-in-todays-hot-real-estate-market/
Nerdwallet. Home Inspection in North Carolina: How It Works and What It Costs. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/home-inspection-north-carolina-what-you-need-to-know/