How to sell a house fast for cash | iBuyers | Cash buyer companies | Hiring a real estate agent
🔑 Key Takeaways
How to sell a house fast for cash
If you need to sell your house fast for cash, we recommend taking three steps to ensure you get a fair price for your home while selling on your timeline.
First, identify all the iBuyers and cash buyer companies in your area, then submit your information to each home buying company to see how much cash they'll offer.
Both iBuyers and cash buyer companies typically provide free, no-obligation cash offers and give homeowners a grace period to think things over before committing.
Next, arrange listing presentations with several real estate agents in your area to discuss your home's fair market value and how quickly you can sell your house on the open market. A real estate agent can also help you decide whether the offers from cash buyers or iBuyers are fair.
Once you have all of your options in front of you, choose the one that offers the best combination of speed and profit for your specific home selling goals.
The easiest way to get the process started is to use Clever Offers to request free, no obligation offers from local cash buyers. Clever will match you with a great local realtor, who will bring you quotes from iBuyers and other house buying companies in your area. You'll also get a free home valuation, so you can see what your house is worth on the open market and be sure you're getting a fair price.
🔎 Why can an all-cash offer speed up your sale?
Although we often talk about home selling as one event, the process actually encompasses two distinct stages:
iBuyers and cash buyers can help you get a firm cash offer in as little as 1-2 days — much quicker than the 1-8 weeks homes typically spend on the open market.
Once you find a buyer, closing can add 30-45 days to your timeline — unless it's a cash sale. Because cash buyers don't need traditional financing, they can skip the steps lenders require and close on the house quickly (often in as little as seven days).
Selling to an iBuyer
✍️ Editor's Take: iBuyers can buy your home for cash in as little as 10 days, but they only buy houses in relatively good condition and may not be available in all locations.
» COMPARE IBUYER COMPANIES: Opendoor | Zillow Offers | Offerpad | RedfinNow | Knock | Orchard
If your home is in good condition and you live within an eligible service area, iBuyers can provide a way to sell your house fast for cash.
Though iBuyers vary in their specific approaches, they all follow the same general model. Homeowners complete an online application and quickly receive a preliminary cash offer.
Most iBuyer companies then complete a home inspection and deduct the estimated costs of repairs from your final proceeds.
Compared to other real estate investors, iBuyers typically offer close to fair market value for the homes they purchase. iBuyers also allow homeowners to set their own closing dates, which can be especially helpful if you're trying to coordinate a move or the purchase of a new home.
However, iBuyers are only available in approximately 30-40 cities across the country — and most of them have strict buying criteria.
If your home is in poor condition, RedfinNow has the most lenient criteria but is only available in limited markets. Most sellers won't qualify for a RedfinNow cash offer.
Working with a We Buy Houses company
✍️ Editor's Take: Cash buyer companies have a nationwide presence and can close in as little as 2 weeks. But you should expect a lower offer, potentially as little as 50% of your home's fair market value.
» COMPARE CASH BUYER COMPANIES: We Buy Houses | We Buy Ugly Houses| HomeVestors
You've probably seen telephone pole fliers claiming "We Buy Houses for Cash!" Although these offers may seem too good to be true, we found that some nationwide brands — such as We Buy Ugly Houses— have proven business models that fulfill the promise of a fast, all-cash sale.
If you need to sell your house fast for cash, cash buyer companies can close in as little as 7-14 days and provide greater certainty that the deal won't fall through. You won't have to make any repairs or worry about closing costs, either.
But this convenience comes at a steep cost. It's rare to receive fair market value for your home and more common to receive as little as 50% of what your home is worth.
Fair Market Value
Cash Buyer Offer
$100,000 to $170,000
That's a lot of money to leave on the table, especially if your home is in an attractive location or a competitive real estate market.
Worse, it can be tricky for homeowners to vet which real estate investors are legitimate — and which house buying companies are bad actors that prey on your financial troubles or desperation to sell fast.
In general, we recommend sticking with a nationwide brand rather than a local or boutique cash buyer company. If you're not sure where to start, Clever recently published a collection of in-depth, balanced reviews that will tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly about cash buyer companies.
Hiring a real estate agent
✍️ Editor's Take: With the right market conditions an experienced agent may be able to help you find the right buyer quickly and get the best price — but in general, selling on the open market takes the most time.
Most homeowners who want to sell fast for cash assume that a real estate agent won't be able to offer a solution. After all, listing on the open market can be a lengthy selling process. Traditional home buyers are willing to pay a higher purchase price than house flippers, but they're typically unprepared to make cash offers.
But there are some exceptions to these rules.
Speed varies by market. If you live in a seller's market, you might be able to find a buyer much more quickly than the national average. For example, as of August 2022, homes spend an average of 35 days on the market — but in Seattle, homes typically sell just seven days after listing.
When connecting with potential real estate agents, make sure they know that selling fast is a priority for you. They can walk you through your local market conditions and offer a rough estimate of how much time it might take to find a buyer for a home like yours.
Some agents know cash buyers. If you're certain that you want a cash sale, a real estate agent may still be able to help. Many realtors have personal connections with local house flippers and real estate investors who buy houses for cash— and if your home is in poor condition, selling your home as is can signal a good deal.
FAQs about selling a house to a cash buyer
The fastest way to sell a house is to find a buyer who can pay cash. Since cash buyers don't need financing, you won't have to wait for the mortgage underwriting process, which typically adds weeks to the closing timeline. In cash sales, you can close on the transaction and put money in your bank account in as little as a few days.
Selling your house for cash can be a good idea for some people, but it depends on your situation and priorities. If your top priority is selling quickly, even if it means getting a lower sale price, then selling to a company that buys houses for cash is probably a good fit. But if you want to sell your house for as much money as possible, you should list it on the open market and go with the highest offer, whether the buyer is prepared to pay cash or not.
No, it is not illegal to sell your house for cash. But as with any home sale, you must follow all laws and regulations governing home sales in your area. Taking cash under the table to avoid taxes or other obligations could be considered fraud.
The primary benefits of selling a house for cash are that you can sell your house more quickly and there is less risk of the deal falling through. Since the buyer doesn't need to obtain a mortgage, cash sales let you skip the time-consuming loan approval process and get to the closing table more quickly. You also don't have to worry about the buyer backing out of the purchase because their lender won't approve them for a mortgage.