Paying cash for a home is not a new trend in the homebuying and real estate market. Depending on the actions of the market, paying cash at closing can be a real boon to both buyer and seller. For the buyer, being able to pay in cash can strengthen negotiating positions while for the seller, a cash closing means fewer obstacles. But what does the cash closing process look like? Let’s find out.
The first thing to know about cash offers is that there is no such thing as a cash offer. What? Yes, some states do not allow buyers to close a real estate deal with actual cash. Instead, a cash deal is when someone buys a house without financing and the house is bought outright. The transaction itself is done when funds are transferred either electronically or with a cashier’s check. So, what does a real estate transaction look like when a cash closing happens?
A typical homebuying process can take upwards of 45 to 60 days, but because a cash closing doesn’t require a lender the closing process can move much quicker–sometimes as little as a week or so. This gives the title and escrow companies enough time to clear title and complete the paperwork.
If you are going to make a cash offer, you will need to make it clear that this will be your approach. There is no lender to place contingencies when qualifying the homebuyer, so the buyer can move quickly to inspections and a closing. If there are some serious issues with the home, the buyer, since this is a cash offer, gets final say.
Also, if you are making a cash offer, you probably want to show proof of funds to the seller and that you have the available funds to pay for the house. The sellers won’t want to take their home off the market without absolute certainty that the sale will go through. Consider making a copy of your bank statement, blocking out any sensitive information such as account numbers, and showing it to the seller’s team.
As mentioned above, when the cash buyer goes to complete the transaction, this is not done with literal cash. Rather, the buyer should be in touch with the title or escrow company as they will need to wire funds to the title company or go to the bank to obtain a cashier’s or certified check made payable to the title or escrow company. That should be done shortly before closing–this is no different from what you’d be expected to do if you were taking out a mortgage.
Finally, when it comes time to close, you should come to the signing appointment prepared. Both buyer and seller should bring your government-issued ID, and the seller should have the house keys, garage door remotes, and codes to keyless entry and alarm systems, and the buyers should have proof that the funds were wired to the title or escrow company. All that is left to do is sign the closing documents and move in! Need more help? Metropolitan Title is in the business of helping Hoosiers realize their homeownership dreams.