Whether you’re an investor looking for a speedy sale so you can move on to your next deal or a homeowner trying to unload a property quickly to avoid financial strain, you’re in search of real estate cash buyers to purchase your house without a lengthy or uncertain process.
According to the loan software firm ICE Mortgage Technology, it took 54 days on average to close a home purchase loan in December 2021. If you are relocating for a new job or want to move on with your life after a divorce, nearly two months to sell your home seems like an eternity.
In a HomeLight survey of top agents, 58% expect the upswing in cash offers to continue throughout 2022 as sellers want convenience, speed, and certainty.
Dan Colofranson, a top real estate agent who sells properties 47% faster than the average agent in Cape Coral, Florida, says cash buyers can eliminate uncertainty, whereas mortgage-backed home purchases can come with delays or even deal breakers, such as low appraisals. “In a rising market the way we are today and how quickly homes are going up in value, when you get into some bidding wars you don’t have to worry will the house be appraised or not because it’s not based on a mortgage,” Colofranson explains.
His client received a cash offer of $60,000 over the asking price, but the sale likely would have fallen through because of a low appraisal if the buyer needed financing.
Benefits of real estate cash buyers
- Reduce the time it takes to close your sale. Turnaround time for a cash sale typically takes as little as one to two weeks because you bypass the most time-consuming steps of a buyer getting a mortgage and appraisal.
- Take away risks of your sale falling through. According to January 2022 data reported by the National Association of Realtors®, more than one-fifth of terminated contracts were ended due to financing issues, while inspection concerns ended one quarter of terminated real estate deals.
- Save money on repairs and commission. Investors making a cash offer are more likely to purchase a house as-is, so you can cut costs for renovations, staging, and curb appeal projects. When you add in agent commissions, you could save an average of $31,000 in selling costs, according to HomeLight data.
- Sell your home without the headaches and hassle. You’ll avoid the inconvenience of showings, open houses, and renovations.
- Move according to your time frame. Since you don’t have to wait for a third party to approve a loan or appraisal, you’ve got flexibility on your closing date so you can move when it suits your schedule.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, cash purchases comprised 27% of transactions in January 2022, up 8% over the previous January. Colofranson expects this trend to continue as interest rates rise and inventory remains low.
So how can you cash in on the opportunity to sell your house quickly and reduce upfront costs? Top agents and experienced investors recommend these seven strategies to find cash buyers for houses.
1. Keep it simple with HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform
If you’re too busy to search for cash buyers on your own, let HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform do the work for you.
Simple Sale is among the largest real estate cash buyer networks in the U.S. that connects sellers with cash buyers actively seeking homes in their area. We’ll handle all the details to find qualified cash buyers so you can get a competitive offer.
Follow the ‘Simple’ route with these steps:
- Answer a few questions online about your home, location, and selling timeline.
- HomeLight then evaluates which cash buyer is the best fit.
- You’ll get a competitive cash offer in as few as 48 hours.
- If you accept the cash offer, choose the move date that works for you, and start packing. It’s that simple.
Although cash offers are typically discounted as a trade-off for the convenience of a quick closing— you can expect to get around 90%-95% of market value — you’ll save time and money on repairs, agent commissions, and closing costs.
Whether you’d rather spend your retirement traveling in an RV than make renovations or plan to move in two weeks for a new job, Simple Sale provides the solution.
2. Work with an investor-savvy real estate agent
A well-connected real estate agent who is active in the local investor community can be an invaluable asset even if your goal is to avoid a conventional listing process.
By networking with house flippers and landlords who rely on agents to hear about new deals, they have the inside track to finding cash buyers. They’ll also know if your property aligns with an investor’s buy-box, which refers to their parameters around the condition, price point, and location of homes they prefer to buy.
Agents can also scan tax records to find LLCs that signal investor-owned houses. “If the same LLC owns multiple homes nearby, they might likely be a good prospect for the seller’s home,” says Greg Kurzner, CEO of an Atlanta house buying company. He adds that agents have access to PropStream and other industry tools for finding investment properties.
Investors are looking for a good deal, so be prepared to accept a lower price if you want a quick cash sale, cautions Colofranson. However, working with a top agent who lists your house on the MLS attracts nationwide investment firms with deeper pockets as well as buyers who have searched a long time and can outbid the competition with a cash offer.
If you’ve inherited property that you need to sell quickly or have a home in a popular destination that would be an ideal vacation rental, get in touch with an agent experienced in the investment arena to find real estate cash buyers in your vicinity.
3. Check public records for cash sales
Find cash buyers by searching property sales entered into public records. You can conveniently access sales history online since many agencies house their records this way with limited options for in-person visits.
Follow these tips on how to find cash buyers via public records:
- Contact your county clerk recorder’s office, county courthouse, or city hall for guidelines on searching public records in your area.
- Pay particular attention to houses that were bought and sold within a year, especially ones that were bought low and sold high. These are most likely flip transactions, so contact the owner to find out if they are looking for new investment properties.
- Search for other clues that a cash buyer made the purchase such as no mortgage lien or the owner is an LLC.
If you prefer doing online research instead of hiring contractors to make repairs, check public records to find investors eager to purchase your home as-is.
4. Show up at property auctions
When a homeowner stops paying the monthly mortgage, the house could eventually go into foreclosure and be auctioned off. Buyers who attend these auctions have cash to spend on foreclosed or distressed properties.
Here’s your game plan:
- Find out when auctions are scheduled in your area and choose which to attend. Websites such as auctionadvisors.com provide information about upcoming auctions. Look for in-person auctions rather than those that are online for networking opportunities. Contact your county’s Sheriff’s Department or visit their website for a listing of foreclosures.
- Arrive early and come prepared to pitch your property.
- Introduce yourself to potential buyers, share your contact information, and request theirs.
- Follow up with an email restating your interest in working with them on investment deals. Those investors who don’t win their bid may be particularly interested in hearing from you, especially since they can avoid paying a sizable auction fee.
If you’re outgoing and want to personally meet prospective buyers, networking at a property auction could be your winning move.
5. Join a local real estate club
Join a local real estate investment (REI) club to meet cash buyers. Small, privately run groups as well as nationally accredited real estate investment associations or REIAs provide opportunities to connect with investors face to face.
When you attend meetings, introduce yourself to investors and explain that you’re looking for cash buyers. Exchange contact information and follow up on any leads with a phone call or email.
However, do your homework before joining an REI club. Some clubs have membership fees or ulterior motives, such as asking members to crowdfund real estate investments.
If you enjoy meeting new people and can’t wait to get back out into the world, a local real estate club could open doors to potential buyers with cash to invest.
6. Connect with landlords on Craigslist
While you might be familiar with Craigslist to find a garage sale or sell furniture, real estate investors utilize the classified ads website to hunt for their next fixer-upper. Investors who promote homes for sale or rent are often in the market to buy new investment properties.
But proceed with caution and don’t sign any documents until you’ve done your due diligence. Since the site is free, not every listing and lead will be legitimate or worthwhile.
Make the most out of Craigslist as an investor search tool by following these tips:
- Post advertisements for your home in the real estate section. Keep it short and to the point, focusing on the property’s key benefits for the buyer. Include a call to action, such as following a link to the listing, visiting a social media page, or sending you an email.
- Search for qualified buyers. Find cash buyers, house flippers, and landlords in your area by entering search terms like “real estate investors,” “I buy houses,” “sell house for cash,” and “sell my house quickly.” Then browse the results and contact promising leads.
- Have the right info on hand. Gather all important property information to provide prospective buyers including asking price, the cost of necessary repairs, photos and/or videos, and neighboring sales comps.
For computer-savvy homeowners who don’t want to put their savings into home renovations, browsing online classifieds could generate leads for cash buyers without spending a dime.
7. Attend open houses at nearby fixer-uppers
Kurzner suggests checking the MLS to find fixer-uppers for sale in your area. Then show up at open houses where you’re likely to run into cash buyers who are actively seeking investment opportunities.
Introduce yourself to investors and obtain their contact information or business cards. Follow up with them later to make your pitch.
Consider networking with investors scouting out nearby fixer-uppers if you’d rather attend open houses than spend the time and money to prep, stage, and hold your own open house.
Where’s the cash?
As interest rates rise, prices escalate, and demand outpaces inventory, buyers will pay cash to outbid competitors for the house of their dreams. An all-cash deal means a quick, hassle-free sale that’s not contingent on financing approval or subject to roadblocks presented by a low appraisal. This results in much faster closings, often less than two weeks instead of two months.
While sellers have various reasons for seeking cash buyers, such as needing a speedy sale without contingencies to resolve a financial dilemma or not wanting to disrupt their lives with staging, showings, and open houses, in today’s competitive real estate market cash buyers might even pay the highest price for your home.
While cash offers will tend to beat out offers with financing, this isn’t always the case. Colofranson explains that the agent helps sellers evaluate all offers to determine which is best for them and their situation.
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