Since the Great Recession made itself known in late 2008 and early 2009, the amount of cash-only real estate closings has risen (nationwide, it has nearly doubled). In fact, south Florida is a hotbed for cash-only real estate closings; the rate routinely hovers around 50 percent in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from real estate sales that do not involve mortgage financing. Why would someone offer cash for a piece of real estate? One type of buyer that engages in this type of transaction is a house flipper, who might have cash in hand for a house in a depressed area. Others could be wealthy people from overseas who are concerned about their ability to qualify for a mortgage or those who simply want to stand out in the bidding process.
Considerations For Sellers
Overall, real estate transactions with cash are likely to close more quickly. You can expect a cash-only sale to go through in about two weeks, while the median time for a closing with a financing contingency takes around 43 days. Additionally, there is significantly less risk for a seller when the buyer has cash in hand as sellers don’t have to worry about financing falling through when it comes to the buyer.
However, sellers still need proof from the potential buyer that he or she has sufficient funds to cover the property price. This usually comes from the buyer in the form of a Proof of Funds letter from the appropriate financial institution.
Consideration For Buyers
As we previously mentioned, buyers who can cover the closing in cash have a distinct advantage over other prospective buyers. As well as having a quicker process, a buyer with cash has lower closing costs. Mortgage professionals, taxes in escrow, and mortgage origination fees are rendered unnecessary.
As there are no lending institutions involved, cash-only buyers also are not required to have an appraisal of the target property. It is still a good idea for any buyer to have an appraisal performed, as well as an inspection of the property. These provisions should be included in the contract.
Cash-only real estate transactions make the closing process simpler for everyone involved and reduce the risk for sellers. There are also numerous benefits for buyers in this situation. However, there is a relative lack of regulatory oversight in cash-only transactions, so there is still an opportunity for risk mitigation in these circumstances. In any closing, it is well worth it to have an experienced attorney on hand to ensure everything is in order. The Law Office of Tania Sayegh Bartolini, P.A. has extensive experience in both residential and commercial real estate closings and would be honored to be your legal advocate. Call us at 954-368-4050 to set up an appointment!