What is a Cash Offer in Real Estate Terms

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What Is A Cash Offer In Real Estate Terms

You need to sell your home quickly, and a cash offer may be the ideal way to do it. A cash offer in real estate terms refers to a buyer who makes an all-cash bid. That means the potential homebuyer does not need to go through the mortgage process or other financing. 

Sellers like cash offers because there is no risk of the buyer being rejected by a mortgage lender. As a result, the selling process is usually much quicker. 

In this post, we’ll define what a cash offer in real estate terms means and explain under what conditions it may be the right decision for you. 

What is a Cash Offer in Real Estate

When a home buyer offers to pay the entire cost of a house upfront, that’s considered a cash offer. The upside to this type of offer is that it’s often accepted more quickly than buyers with a mortgage loan pre-approval, even when the buying price is lower.

In a seller’s market, it’s not uncommon for sellers to receive multiple offers from would-be buyers. Usually, these are financed offers—homebuyers borrowing money from a lender to pay the seller.

Home loan sales usually take more time to close because the underwriting and processing are very extensive. You might have a buyer who is at the mercy of:

  • credit score
  • mortgage rates
  • down payment
  • mortgage payment
  • first-time home buyer status

Also, something might go wrong on the buyer’s end that causes the offer to fail, leaving the seller where they started–with no buyer and a home lingering on the market.

A cash sale for a home means the buyer has enough money to pay for the property in full without needing a mortgage. All-cash offers are much more appealing to sellers as they usually close faster and have fewer risks when compared to mortgage-contingent offers. Mortgage-based offers can face delays or denials. 

Even though cash offers seem like something only high-income people can afford, they’re common. Part of the reason is that buyers may be able to use funds from selling another house, savings, or other funding sources.

How Do You Get The Best Cash Offer For Your Home

Sellers often prefer cash buyers because they offer a shorter closing, an increased level of certainty, and the option to sell “as is,” which saves money on repairs. One way you can make sure you get the best cash offer for your home is to know how much it is worth. 

Although cash offers are typically lower than financing-contingency offers, you can still get a reasonable price for your home. The level of competition in the market and the state of your home will determine how much you receive. Knowing the current fair market value for properties like yours will help prevent being lowballed by interested buyers.

Online automated valuation model (AVM) pricing tools have estimated the value of lived-in and new homes for free. 

Although an online valuation is not as accurate as a professional appraisal or a real estate agent’s comparative market analysis, it is quick and free.

A young couple of homeowners negotiationg a cash offer with a buyer.

Can You Negotiate Cash Offers

If you want the upper hand in negotiations, your property must be exceptional. In today’s real estate market, cash offers are becoming an increasingly common avenue of home purchase. For these measures to be effective, your home needs to stand out among comparable properties on the market. If potential buyers are unimpressed with what they see, no amount of marketing will help.

Don’t accept the first bid

If selling your property, don’t automatically accept the first bid, especially if it’s way below what you wanted. Homebuyers usually expect to negotiate with sellers and often offer a lower price at the beginning, which may differ from their final offer.

As the seller, you should make a counteroffer. It should be higher than their quote but lower than your listed price. Most cash buyers are willing to negotiate, especially if they like your house; it may be their dream home. You can also stick to your listed price if you initially priced the property reasonably.

Make buyers compete

Show your house to as many potential buyers as possible by hosting an open house. Although an open house doesn’t guarantee that your home will sell, you will likely receive multiple offers.

With competition from other potential buyers, you are more likely to receive higher bids in a bidding war. Review all offers and start negotiating with the buyer who has submitted the highest bid.

Pay closing costs

Some buyers ask the property sellers to pay for their closing costs, roughly 3% of the total home price. Additionally, some buyers already have closed on another property, so they would need to pay those expenses too.

If the potential buyer requests that you foot the closing costs, show willingness but increase the property price. Paying the closing costs out of pocket will reduce your final property price. Therefore, you should set a higher price than the list price to guarantee that you are still within an acceptable amount.

Set a deadline

Discussions and counteroffers can extend the sales process, so ideally, you want a cash buyer. However, if you have several offers, it’s best to negotiate with all parties simultaneously to find the most favorable deal.

Be mindful that disclosing to prospects that you are entertaining other offers is unethical. Although this strategy could result in more enticing proposals, it might alienate the potential buyer. 

To keep negotiations moving forward, set an expiration date or deadline. This will encourage the buyer to choose; they will either sign a contract or begin discussing terms with other sellers.

The Cash Offer on a Home Selling Process

By now, you should know your home’s worth and be ready to locate a cash buyer. Below are some common types of cash buyers.

Real estate investment companies

These investment firms usually purchase properties without bells and whistles factored in. They’ll pay cash of up to 50% to 70% of the after-repair value to make up for the necessary repairs.

House flippers

These are companies specializing in buying homes requiring repair. They renovate the house and sell it as a turnkey property to make a profit. These investors generally follow the 70% rule, which means they offer no more than 70% of a property’s after-repair value (ARV). Estimated repair costs are then subtracted from that original 70%.


Unlike flippers, investors who want to rent out their property take into account the rental income potential of a property before making an offer. Because of this, it is more difficult to identify what price range they will be willing to pay for the home. Offer prices greatly depend on where the house is located and its condition.

Assess the offer 

There’s no easy way to determine whether or not a cash offer is good, as it depends on individual circumstances. To make the decision, you must consider more than just how much profit you would make.

  • Your home’s condition: If your house is in a hot housing market, you can compare it to similar properties recently sold nearby. After adding any desired discounts, you should receive a fair price. If your home needs work, take the value of updated houses in your area and subtract the cost to get your home up to that level and the investor’s potential profit. 
  • Terms of the sale: While it’s essential to consider the offered price, evaluate the terms of the deal. What is expected of you before closing? For example, some investors will purchase your home in its current state but still require an inspection. In contrast, others may waive the inspection in exchange for a reduced price.
  • Offer strength: Consider the following before you agree to move forward with the offer:
    • The buyer’s intent to deposit an earnest money sum that is feasible
    • The buyer’s past performance in terms of closing cash purchases
    • Whether the contract the buyer plans on using is a standard one or if it will require legal assistance to review.
    • Requesting proof of funds is essential to confirm that the buyer has the cash available to complete the purchase. 

Use a comparative market analysis as a guide

A comparative market analysis is a realtor pricing tool that establishes the value of your home with data from similar properties in your area that have recently sold. This information allows you to get a benchmark price to list your home. A CMA is even more powerful when you pair it with a home appraisal to get an accurate sale price.

A young couple of homeowners sign a contract after accepting a cash offer on their house.

Accept the offer and sign the contract 

After you accept a cash offer, sign the contract and other required documents. This part of the process is comparable to what happens during a typical home sale. You can opt to sign and agree to the contract or have someone review it first. 

The contract, which the buyer usually draws up, should cover these key details:

  • purchase price
  • deposit amount 
  • required fees
  • closing date


Depending on the situation, you might have to do additional work to keep the sale process going.

Home sellers are typically obliged to tell buyers about anything they know that could affect the value or livability of a property. Every state has different laws on what this entails. Still, you can get the proper paperwork from a real estate attorney or title company.

Home inspection 

Some cash buyers will want a home inspection before they purchase. In contrast, others may be okay with not viewing the property first or waiving an inspection altogether.

Suppose an inspection is required for your sale, and the buyer finds repairs are needed. In that case, they might renegotiate the offer price to cover those expenses. Because of this possibility, there could be more back-and-forth bargaining than usual and a reduction in the final asking price.

Title search

By ordering a preliminary title report, you can be proactive about possible surprises and take care of unpaid bills or outstanding liens before they become an issue.

If you don’t have a clear title, that could delay the sale of your home. A title search will be necessary to close on the sale, whether your buyer is paying all cash or needs a mortgage. Common title defects include:

  • Unpaid property taxes
  • Mechanic’s liens for work already done on the property
  • Outstanding alimony
  • Child support

Closing day 

Depending on where you live, the sale will close at a title company, escrow company, or real estate attorney’s office. The documents you’ll sign will be the same as any other type of sale and may include the deed, settlement statement, and property disclosures.

Two young homeowners shaking hands with a homebuyer after selling their house for cash to him.

Selling a House for Cash In Today’s Market  

You may get one or more cash offers, mainly if your house is in an affluent area or an area appealing to investors.

Weighing the pros and cons is essential when selling a house for cash in today’s market, no matter who submits it. Even though there are benefits to going with an all-cash deal, not everyone should choose that option.

It’s a good option because:

  • You don’t have to worry about the buyer’s financing falling through.
  • On average, the home-buying process and closing process are quicker.
  • Appraisals are usually optional.

There are drawbacks, though, which include:

  • The real estate transaction could result in a lower sales price.
  • Buyers need to be vetted by the seller to ensure sufficient liquidity.


A cash offer in real estate terms refers to a homebuyer who can pay for your home without needing a mortgage or other sources of financing. 

These types of buyers are generally real estate investors. A cash offer’s advantages include:

  • The transaction’s speed.
  • A more straightforward closing process.
  • Avoiding the hassle of repairing and cleaning your home. 

The primary downside to accepting a cash offer is typically a lower sales price. 

Are you looking to sell your home for cash quickly? We Buy Houses For Cash can help make it happen! Contact our team today to discuss cash offers and get the process started. With our expertise, you’ll be able to receive a cash offer in no time!

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