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What are the advantages to selling my house for cash?

Tops in the “pro” column are the speed of sale and convenience. Once a cash offer has been accepted, you can often get your money in days. For folks facing a relocation, foreclosure or bankruptcy, this can be a life saver.

Fewer sales fall through

A cash sale also removes the all-too-familiar drill of accepting an offer only to lose the buyers at the last minute when they can’t qualify for a loan. Once the cash is passed along, there’s no backing out or last-second cold feet. Such cash sales typically close in one to three weeks compared to about four to seven weeks on a conventional sale. Also, cash sales are typically “as is,” so there’s usually no major repainting and repairs needed.

Get professional advice

Unless you hire an agent, it’s up to you to adequately price your home to keep bottom-feeding cash buyers/investors from swooping in for significantly less.

Get an appraisal and perform a little additional homework of your own. Look at the various listing services for comparative pricing and price adjustment records on similar area homes and time-on-the-market stats to get a better idea of what the market is bearing. While the appraiser will probably do at least three such comps — based on recent sales — a broader data search can further enlighten you.

There are quick-sale real estate agents out there who will help with paperwork and do the brunt of their work by telephone and email to speed things up for you. They charge either a flat fee or a smaller-than-standard percentage commission. Since their job is to sell fast, however, they may suggest a listing price thousands of dollars lower than what you could get in the conventional loan market.

Protect yourself

When lining up that cash buyer, get proof of funds from the party before agreeing to anything. (Cash-paying buyers who still want to add contingencies for appraisal, inspection and the like don’t warrant a great discount and sort of defeat the purpose of a cash sale.)

Because many cash buyers intend to repair and resell such properties, it’s possible to cut a short-term lease-back deal to remain in the home if that’s suitable for you and give the new owner an income stream while he or she tends to repairs or other projects.

You can avoid costly repairs and other complications while enjoying speed, convenience and less paperwork (and worry) in the process.

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