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, in the United States, it is illegal 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 two weeks. This gives the title and escrow companies enough time to clear liens, provide insurance, and complete paperwork.
Click Here to read more about the Homebuying Timeline
If you are going to make a cash offer, you will need to make it clear that this will be your approach–this lets both the seller and the appraisers know that this will happen. See, lenders will often place contingencies when they prequalify a homebuyer, so if the home doesn’t appraise for the amount of the loan or if there is some serious issue with the home, the lender can pull out of the deal. But since this is a cash offer, there is no lender, and the buyer gets final say.
If you are making a cash offer, you probably want to prove to the seller 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 aware that you will need to wire funds from your bank to the seller’s and that you should do so 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 deed, house keys, garage door remotes, and codes to keyless entry and alarm systems, and the buyers should have a certified cashier’s check to cover any outstanding costs such as lien payments, property taxes, or utilities. Need more help? Metropolitan Title is in the business of helping Hoosiers realize their homeownership dreams.