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If you’ve ever seen a sign saying “Cash for Homes” in your town or a website offering cash for your property, you may have wondered if the idea is worth entertaining. In fact, many of these cash offers are legitimate, but if you chase one it is also much easier to get scammed and you will likely get a worse deal than the open market.

How cash offers work at home

There is a wide range of cash buyers willing to buy your home, from sketchy speculators putting up cheap signs saying “We’re Buying Homes” in distressed areas to legitimate online businesses known as “iBuyers” are key players (Opendoor, Offerpad, Zillow and Redfin) who make offers based on algorithms that calculate the value of your home. Some may even buy your home visor invisible, with some inspection options. The market is also growing – there were no cash buyers 15% of house sales in July 2020According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), an 11% increase over the previous year.

Cash offers are based on a variety of factors including comparable sales, repairs needed, the neighborhood of the property, and the size of your mortgage. The bottom line, however, is that the supply is below the fair market value of your home. Generally iBuyers will be closer to 98% of the value of your home, but dodder cash buyers will be a lot less. These companies will tell you that you can actually save money by avoiding real estate commissions, but studies show that homes tend to do so Sell ​​for more when you hire a broker.

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Why would someone sell for less than their home is worth?

Speed ​​and comfort. The average time to complete a sale is 47 daysHowever, cash purchases can be made in just a week. Plus, you don’t have to worry about staging, hiring a listing agent, or the uncertainty of getting your home on the market.

Homeowners who sell their homes for cash are often in foreclosure or have homes in need of repair that they cannot afford. Fast cash offers often forego inspections, making it easier to sell an old, battered house. If the offer is close to the property’s open market value, it can be a convenient option.

The disadvantages of cash deals

The biggest blow to money dealers is that the worst of them fall victim to vulnerable people who are struggling financially due to bankruptcy, death, or loss of income. Since cash buyers don’t need to be licensed like real estate agents, the room is cluttered with malicious negotiators who take advantage of homeowners in dire need of short-term cash.

Many use aggressive sales techniques, e.g. B. Get you to reveal your mortgage balance and use that number as the basis for a lowball offer. Other examples include hidden fees or last-minute changes to the sales contract after you’ve set a price. Without a licensed agent, you will defend yourself against these tactics.

How you can protect yourself

Information is power. Get a feel for how much your home is worth, ideally through a right one House valuationor by asking a local real estate agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA) for little to no cost.

Carefully research the buyer making an offer. Are you from a reputable company with a good rating from the Better Business Bureau? Beware of potential buyers who don’t have a proper website or company logos on their signs, or who have limited contact information. Just walk away when the buyer seems sketchy.