Selling a house for cash and without a realtor are both complicated processes. We recommend getting cash offers from multiple sources to get the best price.
Set an asking price based on fair market value
Determine your home’s fair market value to help avoid taking a lowball offer and maximize your home sale profits. You can get a ballpark figure online and get more precise with a CMA or appraisal.
- Start by comparing value estimates from real estate websites like Zillow Zestimate, Realtor.com, and Redfin. These sites will give you a ballpark figure, but they’re generally not accurate enough to set a fair listing price.
- A comparative market analysis (CMA) looks at recent sale prices for similar homes. You can find properties that have sold in the past six months with the same square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall condition as your house on sites like Zillow.
- If you have a couple weeks and around $350, consider getting a pre-listing appraisal. The appraiser will factor in local market trends, compare your house to similar properties in your area, and conduct a thorough, in-person evaluation.
Pro tip: Use the appraisal report in an MLS listing and during negotiations to show buyers why they can be confident about paying your asking price.
Fair market value vs. after-repair value
A move-in ready house is more likely to sell close to its fair value. However, cash buyers typically pay only 50–70% of your home’s after-repair value.
Fair market value is the price a willing buyer would pay for a property in the current market. It factors in location, condition, size, and market conditions.
After-repair value is the estimated market value after a property is renovated. This is usually used by house-flippers to calculate how much they’re willing to invest in a property.
Do I need to make repairs?
Cash buyers will often take your home as-is, so you don’t have to make repairs. However, you may have to lower your asking price if your house has serious issues (like a broken HVAC system or leaky roof).
If you want to get the highest price possible, consider making some necessary repairs or cosmetic upgrades. Be sure to focus on the highest return improvements to maximize your profits. A pre-listing inspection can help you identify which problems to target.
Your cash sale options
Depending on your local options, you could sell to a homes-for-cash buyer (sometimes called a “we buy houses” company), an iBuyer, or a house-flipper.
If you have the time, you can also test the open market and list your home for sale by owner (FSBO). Any additional offers give you more negotiation power and increase your chance of getting a higher sale price or better deal terms.
» Already have a buyer lined up? Skip down to the closing process.
Cash home buyers
If you want to sell quickly, working with a “we buy houses” company could help you close on a sale in 7–10 days, regardless of the home’s condition.
An iBuyer may be able to close in two weeks and will pay closer to market value for your home. However, iBuyers are more selective than the “we buy houses” companies and typically buy houses that are move-in ready or only need cosmetic updates.
You may be able to sell your home to a local real estate investor, like a landlord or house-flipper. They often buy houses to hold as rentals or to fix and resell. Finding investors may take work, such as searching online or attending local real estate investor meetups.
Your best bet is to post your home on a multiple listing service through a flat-fee listing service (FFMLS), and request cash buyers only in your listing.
Posting on the MLS gets your home more views, giving you a better shot at finding a buyer willing to pay FMV for the property.
How to compare your cash offers
In addition to which offer is closest to your home’s market value, consider the following:
- Buyer’s financial situation. Can they provide proof of having the funds required to close?
- Contingencies listed in the real estate contract. Individual buyers may request a home inspection or appraisal to make sure they’re not buying a money pit. Investors or cash home buyers will typically skip these.
- Concessions requested by the buyer. While rare on cash sales, the buyer may ask for repairs or help paying closing costs.
- Proposed closing date. You can negotiate the date based on whether or not you’re in a hurry to move.
Sign the paperwork and close
Once you’ve signed and ratified the deal, the last step of any home sale is the closing process.
- Cash home buyers, iBuyers, and investors typically close in a matter of weeks since they tend to skip the appraisal and underwriting process.
- Agent-assisted buyers can take around a month to close to finish up inspections (if agreed upon) and complete title work (e.g., title search, insurance).
You’ll need to provide the original sales contract from when you bought the home, any state disclosures, and possibly a certificate of compliance — among other paperwork for selling your house.
Some states require you to have a real estate attorney at closing: AL, CT, DE, GA, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, ND, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA, WA, WV. We recommend hiring one anyway to ensure all legal forms have the necessary disclosures and are filled out properly.
After the sale, you’ll also need to submit a mortgage payoff statement to the lender that financed your own purchase.
Are Cash Offers Really Better? Here’s What Realtors Have to Say. In a bidding war, cash is considered king. But do cash offers come with a downside? We asked more than a dozen realtors and investors to weigh in.
Should I Sell My House for Cash or Wait for a Better Deal? We discuss the situations when accepting a cash offer can make the most sense and when it’s better to hold out for a more favorable offer.
I Want to Sell My House for Cash: Where Do I Start? Learn how to sell your house fast for cash by either listing it with a realtor, selling to a cash buyer, or to an iBuyer.