You want to sell your house quickly and you’ve heard that selling it for cash online could be an option. Like anything in life, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Research is important for any home sale, and especially if you are thinking about selling your house for cash online — an area that is unfortunately prone to scams. Here are a few realities to consider to head into this transaction with the full picture of what to expect, with some tips from agents who reveal what it’s really like to sell your house for cash online.
Hire an expert
Just because you are selling your home for cash online, doesn’t mean you can skip the step of working with a real estate expert as you likely would when a buyer is financing the purchase of your home with a mortgage. The options for selling your home for cash can be overwhelming, and an agent can help you navigate to the best scenarios, and avoid scams. Consult an expert early, telling them about your aspirations to sell your house for cash. You can also be an expert yourself, by knowing how much your home is worth before you start the process, using a net proceeds calculator or other tool that can assess how much you might get for your home.
Be aware of scams
Going into the process of selling your home for cash online means being aware of common real estate scams that this type of sale is prone to. Here are some common ones to watch for that might be found on ‘house for cash’ sites: Bait and switch is where you may have a verbal agreement with a buyer, which is later presented to you as an altered written agreement. This is where an agent can be an asset, to help you assess contracts carefully, noting sale price, ownership, and mortgage terms. You’ll also want to have your radar on for ‘equity skimming’ where a person or investor gains the title to another person’s home, then refinances it and takes out all the equity on the property. This could play out with an investor coming in and offering to help buy a home before it gets foreclosed, taking over the title and promising that they will return the property after everything has cleared — but instead, the investor could disappear.
Consider your options
When you say you want to sell your home online for cash, you could be talking about a few different scenarios. There are many options for a quick home sale in cash, and different investors can provide different types of cash offer packages. A tool like HomeLight’s Simple Sale Network can help you assess different ways to sell your house for cash and make an informed decision about which route might be best for you.
Understand your potential buyers
Not all cash buyers have the same motivations, and a cash buyer is more likely to buy a house as a business transaction rather than a home to live in. Knowing about these different approaches is key before attempting to sell. Among different types of “direct” buyers are buy-and-hold investors that purchase rental properties; fix-and-flippers that renovate tear-downs; and high-tech venture capital backed companies called iBuyers. How much you get for your home can vary depending on which type of buyer you end up working with, so you’ll want to consider how much you might get from each one.
When embarking on the path to selling a home for cash there is a lot to consider, but the payoff can be worth it if you work with an expert and stay alert and aware of all possible scenarios.