Monday, June 25, 2012

Cash Deals In Today's Market

I thought it was about time I took some time and wrote a blog about cash deals in today's market.  Interest rates are at a all time low still, but some buyers are still opting to buy their homes in cash figuring it will earn them interest quicker invested in a property than sitting in the bank.  If you are the buyer who has the ability to buy in cash you do have the upper hand on some other buyers, but not all.  This blog is for both the buyers, and for sellers to help both understand how a cash deal works, benefits of accepting a cash offer, but also how/why a seller may not be able to accept a cash offer.  

Presenting A Cash Offer
There are certain steps to presenting a cash offer that you may not ordinarily have to do, normally when you present an offer with a mortgage you would be presenting the offer with you mortgage pre-approval.  When you are doing a cash deal you will need to provide "Proof of Funds", this must be  recent, if your proof is 3 months or older you must get a new one.  Generally you can contact an agent at your bank and ask them to provide you with a letter, or even simply a copy of a recent bank statement with your bank account information hidden with only your name and available balance displayed.  

If you are purchasing your new home, with the cash from the sale of your current home than you must let this be known in the very beginning of negotiating.  Before you can place an offer, just like any other buyer you should be under contract on your current home.  

Benefits Of Cash Offers 
A seller may or may not prefer a cash offer because of the benefits it presents to them.  Not all homeowners are in a position to accept a lower cash offer because they may have a certain amount they need to "clear" on their home.  There are benefits that can make taking a lower cash offer vs a higher offer with a mortgage appealing to a homeowner.  
  • No Bank Appraisals - This is pretty simple to understand, you do not need to worry at all about whether or not your home appraises because there is no bank involved which can sometimes be an obstacle.  
  • No Loan Funding Contingencies - Whenever someone obtains a mortgage there are certain paperwork the bank will require from them, if they can't meet those requirements they will not be able to obtain the mortgage.  This can sometimes be avoided by using a good mortgage company but their are no guarantees, financial circumstances can change quickly and unexpectedly. 
  • Home Inspections - Every buyer is entitled to a home inspection, but generally with cash deals the home is sold "as is", which means there will be no repairs or credits done to the home.   This is because generally homeowners are already accepting a lesser offer because of it being cash.  
  • Faster Closing - It generally takes 60-90 days to go to closing on a home, the time frame is usually decided by how quickly a buyer can get the mortgage commitment, and close.  With no bank comes the benefit of being able to close at a time that is good for both the seller and the buyer.  
I have many homeowners ask me when is the best time to accept a cash offer vs waiting for a buyer with a mortgage pre-approval, unfortunately there is no set criteria but I can give you some pointers on when or why you should consider it.  
  • If you need to move or relocate quickly, no one likes the idea of leaving there home vacant because of the risks and costs associated with it.  
  • If you have your eye on another home that is on the market the benefit of having your home go to contract quickly will in turn mean you can put in a stronger offer for your new home.
  • If the home is an estate sale it may need work, or you may not know the full history like the actually homeowner would.  Homes that need work will generally take longer to sell, which is why a cash offer allows you to move the home quickly reducing costs, as well as risks while giving you less responsibility after your home inspection report comes back.  
Always remember your Realtor should be advising you whether or not a cash deal is a good option for you, this goes for both buyers and sellers.  If you are the buyer placing a cash offer, my best advice is to make sure your Buyer Broker has helped you come up with a fair offer, remember there is a difference between a cash offer and a low offer ! For homeowners that have received a cash offer the process of deciding whether to accept it, or perhaps counter all depends on your home, situation, and the market for your immediate area. Your Realtor will be able to pull what cash sales have closed to help you make an educated decision about what is a fair offer for your home! 

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