If you’re looking to buy a home, it can feel like an extremely weird time.
The rules of the real estate game look different these days. Housing construction is revved into high gear, which has left many prospective homeowners wanting. While there are roughly 140 million single-family homes in the United States, the supply can’t keep up. The country is around five million homes short of the demand, according to recent reports.
If you’re struggling to make an offer enticing enough to attract sellers, you’re not alone. And it can be hard to figure out what will make you stand out.
“The market has people doing a lot of crazy things,” says Miami-based real estate agent Demi Lee Antelo of the situation. “We’ve definitely seen buyers pushing the envelope when purchasing in this market.”
There’s one thing eager homebuyers can pull out of their pocket with the right means: an all-cash offer. Buying a house in cash tends to put you above the rest of potential buyers, at least with the right terms.
“Cash offers are definitely coming in at or above the asking price. We aren’t seeing many of those low-ball cash offers like we were before,” Antelo adds. “And these cash buyers are definitely waiving contingencies to make sure they beat out the competition.”
But paying for a home in cash is not for everyone and comes with major caveats. An all-cash offer, according to experts, should only be done in the right way and for the right reasons. Even in a market as voracious as this one, prudence is critical.
“The number-one reason to make an all-cash offer would be that you have the cash and you’re looking to be a strong offer,” Antelo notes. While many think the cash itself is the point, really the terms that are typical in cash offers are what sellers want, such as being liberal with inspections and appraisal contingencies. If you’re not insistent on those extra steps, “whether it be that you have plenty of capital to do any repairs or just really love the house and the area,” it may make sense.
Luckily, there are multiple ways to put in your cash offer, and you no longer need to be notably wealthy. Better, a digital homeownership company that aims to make the process of home buying less complicated and more transparent, is known for its home mortgage offerings through its subsidiary, Better Mortgage. But it also has a Better Cash Offer program offered by its real estate arm, Better Real Estate, for buyers looking to infuse liquid capital into their deal. As Better points out, cash offers are four times more likely to win home bids.
If you can’t afford the cash offer yourself, Better Real Estate helps make it happen by buying the home in cash for you. From there, you finalize a mortgage through Better Mortgage. Better Real Estate’s local agents walk you through the whole process, helping you find your dream home and the bid that works for you. Once you close on your house, you’ll work with Better Mortgage to get the mortgage for the new property.
Better’s Cash Offer Program is for people who have been so far dissatisfied searching in the home market, and want to navigate another path.
The upside of a cash offer is that there’s “no third-party that needs to okay the purchase. This often allows buyers to be more flexible with how soon they can close,” Antelo notes.
But making terms favorable to the seller is just as important.
“There is so much competition right now that most sellers will get what they are asking or above,” she says. “So if you want to stand out, make your offer terms strong!” Shorter closings, shorter inspection periods, fewer contingencies, the option for a seller to stay after closing — these are keys to a glide path.
And yes, if you desperately want that house, cash is still king.
About Better: Better is a family of companies. Better Mortgage Corporation provides home loans; Better Real Estate, LLC provides real estate services; Better Cover, LLC provides homeowners insurance policies; and Better Settlement Services provides title insurance services.