You might need to sell your house fast for cash for many reasons, including:
- Impending foreclosure
- Life changes (relocating, death in the family, etc.)
Regardless of your reason for a fast cash sale, it’s important to weigh your options before you pull the trigger.
Companies that buy houses for cash, like iBuyers and property investors (think those “We Buy Houses for Cash” signs on the highway) can be a quick solution. But depending on your property’s condition and location, you might not be eligible for their services, or you might have to make a major price cut — up to 50% — to close the deal.
Selling on the open market can take a long time — the national average in 2020 was 25 days, plus 30-45 days for closing — but don’t rule out a traditional listing too quickly. Houses can sell in as little as one week in competitive markets.
🔑 Key Takeaways
- A cash offer can speed up the closing process by removing the steps typically required when a buyer works with a lender.
- iBuyers and cash buyer companies can provide home sellers an offer in 24-48 hours and close in as little as one week.
- Cash buyer companies typically pay just 50-70% of a home’s fair market value.
- Given the current high-demand, a real estate agent may be able to help you secure a fast cash offer from an investor or house flipper in your area, while still ensuring a good price.
Compare Your Options
Even if you need to sell fast for cash, it’s worth slowing down to evaluate your options. Choosing too quickly could mean leaving a lot of money on the table.
Most iBuyers and cash buyer companies can provide a free, no-obligation cash offer within 24-48 hours of getting your name, address, and a brief description of your home.
You could request multiple offers from different companies, and then speak to an experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent may be able to help you get an all-cash sale on the open market.
At the very least, an agent can provide:
- A free consultation that includes comparing your home to others in your area to determine its worth
- An estimate of how quickly your home might sell, based on recent local sales
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to choose the option that gives you the best combination of speed and value.
Cash Buyer Companies Move Fast, But Don’t Pay Fair Market Value
🏆 Best for: Homes in very poor condition or difficult-to-sell locations.
The primary benefits of selling your home to a cash buyer company are:
- They move faster than a retail buyer that needs conventional financing
- There’s less risk of the deal falling through than selling with a real estate agent
By comparison, individual cash buyers who aren’t affiliated with a company are less likely to follow standards that protect you as a home seller, such as:
- Never charging upfront fees
- Explaining how your offer was calculated
Selling to an investor or flipper for cash is a fast, no-hassle process. The deal can close in as few as 1-2 weeks and you don’t have to worry about repairs or closing costs.
The catch? You’ll only get 50-70% of your home’s fair market value at most. Your home could sell for tens of thousands of dollars more on the open market. For example, an investor might only pay $75,00 for a home that has the potential to fetch $150,000 on the open market.
Still, a cash buyer might be a good option — or possibly your only option — if your home is in poor condition. Homes in need of significant repairs are usually out of reach for the average buyer, as most lenders won’t write loans on properties with major defects..
🤓 Read our full cash buyer reviews!
|We Buy Ugly Houses||One of the largest cash buyer companies, with franchises across the county.|
|We Buy Houses||A national cash buyer with vetted, licensed investors across the county.|
|MarketPro HomeBuyers||A regional cash buyer that serves home sellers in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.|
|Expert Home Offers||The company allows homeowners to submit information about their home online, giving them the opportunity to connect with local real estate investors and agents.|
|I Buy Houses||The company allows homeowners to submit information about their home online, giving them the opportunity to connect with local real estate investors and agents.|
iBuyers Offer Speed and Fair Market Value, but Aren’t as Widely Available
🏆 Best for: Homes in good condition located in eligible service areas.
iBuyers offer the best of both worlds: They pay closer to fair market value than cash buyer companies, and they allow you to sell almost instantly, or on your own timeline.
Most iBuyers deduct money from their final offer to cover repairs, but this means you can sell without having to complete any repairs.
Selling to iBuyers comes with restrictions, so they’re not a viable option for most home sellers:
- They’re only available in 30-40 cities.
- They have strict criteria for homes they’ll purchase, so anything built before 1950 or in poor condition might not qualify for an offer.
Essentially, iBuyers work best for sellers whose homes are market-ready or only need a few cosmetic updates to get there.
🤓 Read our full iBuyer reviews!
|Opendoor||The largest iBuyer, with operations in more than 30 markets across the county.|
|Offerpad||One of the largest iBuyers. Offerpad can also list your home if you'd rather try selling on the open market first.|
|Zillow Offers||Zillow's iBuying service, with instant cash offers based on your Zestimate.|
|Orchard Real Estate||iBuyer operating in select markets across Texas, Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.|
|RedfinNow||Redfin's growing iBuyer service purchases homes "as is."|
Listing On The Open Market May Take Longer, But You’ll Get The Best Deal
🏆 Best for: Homes in competitive areas with a lot of buyers.
Even though listing with an agent on the open market is usually slower than selling to an iBuyer or investor, it has potential to yield the highest sale price.
In practice, how long it takes to find a buyer depends on local market conditions. While the national average is 54 days, average timelines are quicker in some cities. For example:
- Seattle: 7 days
- Phoenix: 29 days
- Boston: 37 days
A local agent can estimate a selling time based on market conditions in your region and the type of home you’re selling.
If you’re certain you want to sell to a cash buyer, you can:
- List your home “as is,” which tends to attract real estate investors.
- Work with an agent who has connections with house flippers and landlords looking for new deals.
Want to learn more about selling your house quickly? Check out these resources.
Top 6 iBuyer Companies in 2021: iBuyers offer home sellers a chance to sell on their own timeline with minimal hassle. Learn more about the leading iBuyers, and how they compare to each other.
We Buy Houses For Cash Companies: Are “We buy houses” companies a scam, or a legitimate selling option? Find out how they work, what to watch out for, and which companies stand out.