There is no simple and straightforward answer to this question, it will depend entirely on the property, your situation, and your preferences. Selling off market to a cash home buyer will most likely net you a smaller amount than putting a sign in the yard and selling with a realtor, but cash buyers can make your life easier in ways that a realtor cannot. Let’s take a look at those, and afterwards consider the tradeoffs.
First, cash buyers buy property AS-IS, WHERE-IS and don’t require you to make any repairs. This is helpful to the homeowner who has a property that has a lot of problems. Sometimes the homeowner doesn’t want to fix it up or simply can’t afford to. We have bought houses with structural and foundation issues before, and not only are these scary items for most people, they are expensive. Sinking foundations or bowing basement walls can be a veritable kiss of death for a homeowner, and sometimes it is just easier to cut your losses and walk away.
Secondly, speed is something cash home buyers can offer. If you’ve held on to a property for many months or years, and have finally made a decision to get out from under it, a cash buyer will often take it off your hands in a matter of 1-3 weeks, vs. listing the property and having to wait probably 2-6 months, depending on what price it is listed at.
Third, privacy and discretion. We recently bought a house that was truly a disaster, but in a very nice neighborhood. The owner had lived there for 35 years, and it was apparent that they didn’t want their neighbors coming through or any tours of the property. Cash buyers don’t judge, this is what we do. We take the ones that have fallen out of care and clean them back up.
Fourth, they pay CASH. Most people don’t realize the significance of this until they are going through the process of trying to get a mortgage on a messed up house. Lenders don’t like properties that have problems, because if they have to foreclose it means they’re stuck with a lemon. This can be anything from fuses instead of circuit breakers, basement issues, leaky and old roofs, even chipping and peeling paint. A cash buyer truly does provide a service in this case because the property might not otherwise be salable.
Now that we’ve laid out how they can help, let’s consider the tradeoffs.
Well, the one and only, is normally price. Because cash buyers buy property off market and often market and work very hard to find those properties, they’re not willing to pay what you may or may not be able to get elsewhere. That’s the tradeoff.
If money is most important to you then you should probably list your home on the MLS with a realtor. If money is not the most important thing (and this happens in a surprising number of cases) consider the ease of selling to a cash buyer.
I hope this was helpful! Best of luck!