Looking for cash home buyers in Orlando? Perhaps your Metro West resort-style condo isn’t bringing in the revenue you expected as a vacation rental and you don’t want to invest more money to list it on the market. Or maybe you’ve inherited a charming craftsman bungalow in College Park, but you don’t have the time or resources to modernize its outdated decor.
Whatever your reason for needing a quick sale without making a substantial investment, the Orlando real estate market is teeming with cash buyers ready to make a deal no matter your home’s condition.
We’ve gathered insights from top real estate agents and investors to create this guide navigating Orlando’s cash home buyer market so you can sell your property in as fast a timeframe as you require.
Inside the Orlando cash-for-homes market
“Orlando is one of the more competitive markets for investors in Florida,” says Omer Reiner, co-owner of FL Cash Home Buyers, a Florida house-buying company.
But Orlando’s cooling real estate climate with interest rates that nearly doubled since last year has taken its toll on investor activity. “In the past six months with interest rates going up, a lot of investors are on the fence waiting to see what is going to happen,” comments Reiner.
“Though the frenzy of the Central Florida housing market has slowed, we still have investors buying some of the inventory in the area – a sign of Central Florida’s economic growth,” says Lisa Hill, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA). “The benefit of cash offers for sellers is that these deals tend to close faster and have fewer risks,” she explains.
According to ORRA data for 2022, cash sales comprised 35.31% of overall real estate transactions, nearly 5% more than the previous year. “Generally, I don’t see cash offers going away,” Hill predicts.
“We are still getting multiple offers on houses that are priced well in desirable areas,” says Barrett Spray, a top-performing Orlando real estate agent whose expertise includes investment properties, vacation homes, and foreclosures. He estimates that 30% to 40% of all offers he receives are cash.
“More professionals are reaching out to me,” says John Joseph, Orlando real estate investor and managing partner of Junk Home Buyers. Realtors® contact him about problematic listings requiring a significant amount of work as well as attorneys representing out-of-state clients who want to quickly settle the estate they’ve inherited.
Let’s take a look at the factors driving Orlando’s cash buyer engine.
Booming tourism industry spurs investor activity
With warm weather and popular attractions like Walt Disney Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando is one of the country’s top tourist destinations with nearly 60 million visitors each year. The growing demand for vacation accommodations and rental housing for hospitality and retail workers attracts investors who want to get a piece of Orlando’s real estate market.
Expanding population and job market fuel rental growth
Greater Orlando’s population of 2.67 million is expected to double to over 5.2 million people by 2030. But it’s not just snowbirds who are flocking to Orlando. Lured by one of the nation’s most rapidly growing job markets and no personal income tax, the influx of newcomers creates an opportunity for investors to profit from the increasing need for rentals.
About 63% of Orlando households are occupied by renters. With median rent of $2,359 for a 3-bedroom home, a steady income stream entices buy-and-hold investors. Joseph rents 80% of the houses he purchases and flips the remaining 20%.
High appreciation attracts investors
The overall median home price in the Orlando area reached an all-time high of $365,000 in 2022, a 17.74% increase over the previous year. With appreciation rates among the highest in the nation, it’s no surprise that your home could generate a fast cash offer, especially if located in one of Orlando’s highest appreciating neighborhoods such as Baldwin Park or University Estates.
Aging homes require expensive upgrades and present insurance hurdles
Two-thirds of Orlando homes were built before the year 2000. With the strong Florida sun shortening the lifespan of roofs and air conditioning systems, costly renovations may be necessary.
Many people who contact Reiner have older homes that haven’t been updated. “People don’t have the money or time to fix them up,” says Reiner.
Most sellers approach Joseph because their home did not sell after several months on the open market due to outdated decor, major structural issues, or fire damage. “They often have problems retail buyers don’t want to deal with,” he says.
And obtaining insurance for aging homes in Central Florida is a huge challenge, especially if your house has a roof that’s over 15 years old or polybutylene pipes that are more likely to burst. Insurance companies may not insure homes with aluminum wiring or Federal Pacific Stab-Lok electrical panels due to the greater risk of fire.
“You are either replumbing the house, rewiring the house, or putting a new roof on the house prior to closing so that a financed buyer can get insurance. Or you can sell it to a cash buyer who doesn’t necessarily have to get insurance immediately and can do those repairs right after closing and get insurance when they’re ready,” Spray explains.
Homeowners can bypass the expense of replacing the roof with a price tag from $4,000 to $16,000 or central A/C unit starting at $2,000 plus installation by selling as is to a cash buyer.
Investors target vacant homes
Nicknamed the City Beautiful, the vacancy rate of 16.85% tarnishes Orlando’s landscape while providing an opportunity for investors. Homeowners either pay property taxes for a home they don’t live in or risk losing the house in a tax sale.
“People inherit property that has sentimental value. But they live out of state and don’t have the money to dump into the property,” says Joseph. They don’t want to be landlords, so they abandon the inherited house which becomes a target for vandalism. A cash buyer relieves them of the headaches of renovating and listing the property. Joseph simplifies the process by packing up books, pictures, and other personal items to FedEx to the heirs.
Mold, termites, and other issues turn off retail buyers
As one of the country’s most humid cities, Orlando homeowners may face mold problems that are detrimental to health and property. Leaks from faulty roofs or flooding also contribute to mold growth.
Professional mold remediation in Orlando costs between $1,000 and $3,000, so unless you’re willing to pay the price, you might prefer to let a cash buyer rectify a moldy situation.
But mold isn’t the only problem plaguing Orlando properties. Termites thrive in the region’s hot, humid climate causing damage to homes if undetected and untreated. Porous limestone under the soil combined with heavy rainfall or flooding leads to sinkhole formation that may create havoc for homeowners in Orlando. As concrete foundations settle on sandy soil, houses may develop settlement cracks and other foundation issues. These problems are expensive to repair and could scare away potential buyers, thus making a cash offer more appealing.
Frustrated Airbnb owners and landlords call it quits
Joseph has had a recent uptick in calls from Airbnb owners who purchased a second home to use as an Airbnb rental.
“People bought the home at the top of the market, but they’re not getting the bookings they expected,” he says. In an area saturated with vacation rentals, travelers will choose the cheapest option, thus driving prices down. “They’re not making the money to justify the amount of work they have to put into it,” says Joseph. Airbnb owners get tired of paying management fees and dealing with customer complaints and negative ratings, but they have too little equity to sell the traditional way.
Problem renters also motivate sellers to turn to cash buyers who will evict tenants and make repairs. “They hired a property management company that didn’t do the job well or the people destroyed the property. As soon as a problem happens, like they need a new air conditioner, it wipes out the profit,” Joseph explains. Owners may decide that being a landlord isn’t for them, especially if they have a bad experience with their first rental property.
Common types of cash buyers in Orlando
“For the longest time, the biggest players were the hedge funds and iBuyers,” says Joseph. While iBuyers offered higher prices than smaller investors, they have taken a step back as the cost of doing business has soared with rising interest rates.
Although iBuyers such as Opendoor and Offerpad purchase some Orlando properties, other types of cash buyers include:
- Buy-and-hold investors looking for rental income since nearly two-thirds of Orlando’s households are renters
- Flippers targeting distressed or vacant properties
- Investors seeking vacation rentals near Disney World and other Orlando attractions
- Snowbirds or migratory buyers from the Northeast or West who have equity from selling their homes or cash to purchase vacation homes
- HomeLight and other companies offering “buy before you sell” platforms enabling sellers to free up equity so they can buy a new house without a home sale contingency
The challenge with cash investors is they typically lowball the price. An investor is simply there to make a return on investment. So usually with those investor offers, you’re going to get a below market value offer on it just because their job is to flip it right back on the market.
- Barrett Spray Real Estate AgentCloseBarrett Spray Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Currently accepting new clients
- Years of Experience 31
- Transactions 983
- Average Price Point $256k
- Single Family Homes 655
How much will Orlando cash buyers pay?
“The challenge with cash investors is they typically lowball the price,” says Spray. Although cash is king, he says there’s nothing king about offering 20% to 50% below asking price. “An investor is simply there to make a return on investment. So usually with those investor offers, you’re going to get a below market value offer on it just because their job is to flip it right back on the market,” he explains.
While long-term buy-and-hold investors might pay a higher price, Spray says there are fewer of them in the Orlando marketplace than flippers.
House-buying companies in Orlando typically pay 70% of the home’s after-repair value (ARV), which is how much the property is worth after being renovated to sell in the open market, minus the cost of repairs. Reiner says the 30% deducted from ARV consists of 10% profit, 10% for holding costs, and 10% for margin of error in case repairs cost more than expected or the property decreases in value.
For example, if the ARV of a home is $300,000, then 70% of the ARV is $210,000. After subtracting repair costs of $30,000, the investor would make a cash offer of $180,000.
But this formula may be modified depending on the location of the house, the value of comparable home sales, the property’s condition, and the kind of repairs needed.
“I evaluate the property to see what repairs need to be done. If the end goal is to flip the house, I need to spend more. For a rental, not as much,” explains Joseph. “The numbers have to make sense,” he says.
Joseph says the cost to renovate a home varies from a light rehab at about $10 per square foot to more extensive repairs like a new roof, drywall, air conditioning, exterior renovations, and electrical work which could run from $25 to $30 per square foot.
“I’ve walked inside houses where you see the stars,” says Joseph. Major roof damage from the intense Florida sun as well as mold growth from Orlando’s high humidity could reduce cash offers.
Joseph says you’ll probably get a higher cash offer from a local investor. “They are more willing to invest in the community. They have an emotional attachment to the area,” he explains.
But be cautious if a large investment company or iBuyer gives you an offer that’s too good to be true. “They give you a number based on the raw numbers,” says Joseph. But after sending a representative to look at the property, don’t be surprised if their offer goes down. Some investors may wait until just a few days before closing and then try to renegotiate a lower price or threaten to pull out of the deal.
While a good location may bring in an offer closer to market value, Reiner says cleaning out the property and removing most of your junk might also boost the offer. Joseph adds that a fresh coat of paint and new carpet may increase the price.
The following tips can help generate a better cash offer:
- Sell to a rehabber who makes renovations without hiring outside contractors. They might be willing to pay more if their repair costs are less.
- Look for an investor who plans to hold on to the property and rent it out. While flippers usually need a larger margin since they may have to gut the home and make costly upgrades, a cash buyer who keeps the house long-term as a rental could go as high as 80% or 90% of ARV.
- Sell to a cash buyer from another state who plans on living in the home as their primary residence or as a second vacation home. “They could have sold their house in New York, Pennsylvania, or California where the price point is double or triple what we have here. Everything here seems like a bargain that they can simply buy things with cash,” says Spray.
When you sell to a cash-for-homes company, the offer price will typically be less than with an agent-assisted sale. Before committing to a cash home buyer company in Orlando, HomeLight suggests you consult with a top local real estate agent to get a better idea of what your home might be worth if sold on the open market. Then compare cash offers to what an experienced agent might be able to get for your home. HomeLight can connect you with a top-performing agent in your market.
You can also use HomeLight’s free Home Value Estimator right now to get an initial ballpark estimate in less than two minutes.
Benefits of selling to a cash buyer in Orlando
If you are in a tight financial or deadline situation, Reiner says: “It’s in your best interest to sell directly to a cash buyer.” If your home needs significant updating and repairs, you could end up selling to a cash buyer even if you list with a real estate agent. But you’ll still have to pay the agent’s commission and may not get the price you were hoping for.
If you paid top dollar for your Orlando home and need to sell before you intended due to a change of life circumstances such as divorce or lost job, you might have little or no equity which makes it difficult to take the traditional sales route. Joseph has encountered active military who recently purchased homes with a VA loan, but got orders to ship out only to find that their home hadn’t appreciated much in a short time.
While the cash offer you receive may be lower than with an agent-assisted home sale on the open market, there are notable benefits of working with a cash home buyer in Orlando, especially if you need a fast, convenient sale.
- Speed: You can typically sell your house in as few as 10 days. “Most people who come to me have problems. They need to sell quickly to stop foreclosure or stop a tax sale,” says Joseph. When time is of the essence, a cash sale could be the quickest solution.
- More certainty: With a pre-offer walk-through, a cash home buyer can generally provide a firm cash offer that comes with few contingencies, or no contingencies at all. “There’s just so much less risk with a cash offer than with a financed offer that it is night and day,” says Spray. If you’ve lost your job, are going through a divorce, or dealing with a medical issue, you have enough uncertainty in your life. You don’t need the added stress of waiting for the buyer’s mortgage approval or a home inspection turning up any unpleasant surprises.
- No repairs: If your home is in need of repairs you can’t afford or don’t want to handle, you can skip them altogether. “People don’t want to buy a 1980s house for $300K that had no work done,” says Joseph. Rather than invest a huge sum of money and a great deal of time to update your home, you can let someone else deal with renovations while you embark on the next chapter of your life.
- Less hassle: You won’t need to worry about showings, open houses, fielding offers, negotiating, low appraisals, or the buyer’s financing falling through. When you work with a reputable cash home buyer in Orlando, you’ll likely experience a smooth journey from offer to close.
- Save money on closing costs and other fees: Although you’ll probably give a discount by selling to a cash buyer, you’ll save on various costs that cut into your profit with a traditional sale such as real estate agent commission of 5% to 6%. Home-buying companies generally pick up closing costs including title search and title insurance that usually range from 1.5% to 3% of the sale price in Orlando. Joseph also pays back property taxes, probate fees, and even liens, thus saving the seller thousands of dollars.
What’s the process of selling a house for cash in Orlando?
“It’s pretty easy compared to selling the traditional way,” Reiner comments about the process for selling a house for cash in Orlando. The steps are generally the same as with a conventional home sale, although you’ll get an offer and close in a much shorter time frame:
1. The seller finds a buyer, or the buyer’s marketing efforts may lead to the seller. While there are many reputable home-buying companies in Orlando, Joseph cautions sellers to do their homework so they don’t fall victim to a scam. Check the company’s BBB rating and read online reviews. Examine public records for deeds recorded under the buyer’s name to verify that they purchase and sell properties.
2. The seller and buyer agree on a price and terms. Reiner advises asking for proof of funds such as a bank statement to ensure the buyer has sufficient resources to close the deal. Otherwise, instead of a speedy sale, you could lose valuable time if you have to search for a new buyer.
3. Both parties sign a contract and submit it to a title company. With a cash home buyer, there are usually no financing or inspection contingencies typically found in traditional real estate contracts. So you won’t be holding your breath until the buyer’s loan approval comes through or be on the hook for needed repairs discovered during the home inspection. Since as-is contracts are the norm when selling for cash, an unreliable air conditioner that’s seen too many hot, humid Orlando summers isn’t your problem, although the buyer might deduct replacement costs from the offer price. Read the fine print to look for hidden fees or reasons why the buyer could back out.
4. The buyer does due diligence during the option period in Florida. The option period is negotiated between buyer and seller. Cash buyers may want three to 10 days, or even none at all, for due diligence, while this period is typically 15 days for an agent-assisted sale. The buyer can thoroughly inspect the property and terminate the contract for any reason during this time.
Due diligence for a cash buyer is mostly title related. “Some people may try to sell a house they don’t own,” says Joseph. Owners who inherit homes in Orlando may not be upfront about other heirs who have a stake in the property. A title search determines if the seller legally owns the property and if any outstanding liens could impede the sale.
5. The buyer and seller sign the closing documents. In addition to typical closing costs ranging from 1.5% to 3% of the sale price, Orlando home sellers also pay a state transfer tax known as the documentary stamp tax. This tax, which is calculated at 0.7% of the property’s sale price or $0.70 per $100, is commonly paid by house-buying companies along with other closing costs.
Is a disclosure needed when selling for cash in Orlando?
Although cash buyers generally purchase homes in as-is condition, Reiner points out, “This doesn’t eliminate the responsibility to be honest and disclose issues about the property that are known to the seller.”
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the seller of a home must disclose material defects that they know about affecting property value that are not readily observable and known to the buyer. Real estate agents provide a seller disclosure form for their clients to complete that asks about significant problems including issues with the roof, HVAC and electrical systems, environmental hazards, wood-destroying pests, and numerous other items.
While there is no required form when selling to a cash buyer, known defects must be identified either verbally or in writing. However, a written disclosure offers more protection from legal liability should issues arise after the sale. So if you’re selling your Orlando vacation rental, you’ll need to let the buyer know if the hot tub jets aren’t working properly or any other problems you’re aware of.
Spray adds that you’ll also have to disclose issues specific to your location such as if your Orlando home was built on the site of a former World War II bombing range or near a power plant involved in a lawsuit.
What’s the timeline for a cash home sale in Orlando?
When selling to a cash home buyer in Orlando, you can typically close in seven to 30 days, depending on the situation, says Joseph. “You get a decision and close relatively quickly. As long as the title is clear, you can close even in three days,” he notes.
An agent-assisted sale takes much longer as the process involves prep work, staging, showings, and open houses. Then you wait for offers and counteroffers in addition to loan approvals, appraisals, home inspections, and further negotiations if problems arise during inspections.
According to ORRA data for December 2022, Orlando area homes spent an average of 49 days on the market and took an average of 83 days to close the sale. And if your home hasn’t been updated in decades, it’s likely to take much longer to find a buyer and sign the contract. If you’re behind in the payments for your Airbnb that isn’t rented most of the time, you might not be able to wait several months for your money, so selling to an investor or house-buying company is an option that puts cash in your pocket in just a couple of weeks.
How do I find cash buyers in Orlando?
Finding a reliable cash buyer on your own can be overwhelming. To get started, HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform makes it easy and safe to get a convenient, no-obligation cash offer in Orlando. With our nationwide coverage and extensive investor network, we’ll help you find the right cash buyer to meet your selling goals.
Here’s how it works:
1. Enter the address of your Orlando home.
Answer a few quick questions about the property. Is it a townhome in Baldwin Park or a historic house in downtown Orlando? Does it need a little work, a lot of work, or none at all? How soon are you looking to sell? It could be ASAP or in six months. Our easy questionnaire makes getting set up on the platform a breeze.
2. We’ll provide an all-cash offer within a week.
You won’t be obligated to accept any offer you receive. In addition, HomeLight can also introduce you to a top real estate agent in your neighborhood for an expert opinion on what your home is worth if sold on the open market. It’s good to know your options.
3. You sell your house in its current condition.
No additional repairs, prep costs, agent commissions, or hidden fees. This can save you time and money — a study conducted by HomeLight found that, on average, sellers spend over $31,000 to sell a house. This includes prep and repair costs. Fortunately, roof issues and older A/C units are often no problem; our platform will provide a full cash offer for homes in almost any condition.
4. You can sell your house fast for cash in as few as 10 days.
A 10-day closing translates as selling your home around five times faster than you would with a buyer who needs traditional financing. According to data from Ice Mortgage Technology, purchase loans take an average of 50 days to close. With a cash offer provided through HomeLight, you’ll also have the ability to pick a move date that works best for your schedule. That’s the ease of Simple Sale!
If you have the time and energy to search for cash buyers on your own, Orlando real estate experts offer these tips:
- An investor-savvy real estate agent who is active in the local investor community can help you connect with cash buyers even if your objective is to avoid the conventional listing process. Top real estate agents have networks that include house flippers and landlords looking for their next investment property, so they’ll have the inside track to finding cash buyers. They’ll also know if your home aligns with an investor’s buy-box or their parameters around the condition, price point, and location of homes they usually purchase.
- Contact local real estate investor clubs on Facebook and other sites to locate cash buyers close to home.
- Call rental management companies that may work for mom-and-pop investors. They might put you in touch with potential buyers who are looking for additional properties in your area.
- Ask local title companies and real estate attorneys for referrals of reputable investors they’ve already vetted and have done deals with in the past.
- Drive around your neighborhood to find homes being renovated. Look for dumpsters, permit boxes, or contractor signs. Talk to contractors and find out the name of the investor they are working for or if they are flipping the house themselves.
- Be on the lookout for vacant homes in your development that are undergoing renovations. These are likely owned by flippers, so leave a note with your contact information.
- If you need to sell in a hurry and aren’t concerned about leaving money on the table, slashing your price could be a surefire way to get the attention of cash buyers. “If you underprice a house in just about any market, but specifically in this one, you are going to get inundated with cash offers because investors are still looking to make a profit and that’s how they do it,” says Spray.
Selling your house for cash in Orlando
“Go through a Realtor first to see if you can list your home,” Joseph recommends. But if your Orlando home sits on the market without a viable offer, you don’t have the time or money to make repairs, or you need a fast sale to avoid foreclosure, then reach out to a cash buyer. “See if a cash buyer can solve the problem for you,” says Joseph.
You might feel overwhelmed when you need to sell your home quickly in Orlando, especially if you live out of state, face an imminent financial demand, or encounter a tight moving-date deadline. Fortunately, there are individual buyers and investors willing to pay cash for your Orlando home. And with a platform like Simple Sale, you’ll also see price estimates of what you might receive if you sell through a top local real estate agent.
Whether you’re selling a pristine Mediterranean-style house in Avalon Park or a Pueblo design home in Thornton Park that needs a major overhaul, request a cash offer from a trusted cash buyer in Orlando whenever you’re ready to move.
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