Why sell your Seattle home for cash to a real estate investor? There are many upsides…
- Lower costs
- Faster process
- Cash in hand!
There’s a catch though…not every real estate investor is worth your time or can give you what you’re looking for. If you’re considering selling your home for cash, you need to do some homework first.
Here’s what to look for and the specific questions to ask to make sure you choose a buyer who is legitimate, trustworthy, and local.
1. How long have you been buying homes in Seattle?
One of the first ways to vet a potential investor is by learning more about their history. You want to partner with a company with proven experience in the community and local people on the ground.
Why is this important? For every legitimate local cash buyer, there are dozens more from around the US scouring popular cities like Seattle in search of a deal. Many of these investors are just collecting leads and selling them to the highest bidder. This person is often another out-of-town investor.
It’s also harder to track the history, experience, and trustworthiness of someone who doesn’t have roots in the area.
A local company, on the other hand, provides greater transparency about their past and work ethic. Plus, this type of investor is more likely to have the community’s best interests in mind.
To suss them out, do your research to learn…
- Are they local to the Seattle and PNW area?
- How long have they been working in the community?
- How many homes have they purchased? (Verify this on the Washington Land Records and Deeds Directory)
2. What do past clients have to say?
Reading reviews from clients is an excellent way to learn more about what kind of experience they buyer provides.
A good place to start is the company’s website — often they will have client testimonials throughout. If they don’t have a website, or the site looks outdated and is difficult to navigate, beware. This is a sign that the company is not professional or established.
Other great places to look for client reviews are Google, Facebook, or even asking the company for a direct referral!
Look for reviews that talk about a positive experience and show that the investor is trustworthy and honest.
3. Can you provide proof of funds?
This is another excellent question that will immediately help weed out a shady buyer. Many so-called investors don’t have the funds to actually buy your home. Instead, their goal is to get you to sign a contract that grants them equitable title.
As soon as they have the title to the house, they’ll turn around and sell your home to a legitimate real estate investor for more than they offered you, taking a high cut of the profit.
You can prevent this from happening by asking for proof of funds. This is a perfectly acceptable question and any reputable investor will be happy to give you proof in the form of a certified bank statement or letter.
4. Will you provide an earnest money deposit?
Another way to determine how serious the buyer is (and whether or not they have the funds) is asking about an earnest money deposit.
An earnest money deposit is common in any real estate transaction. It’s a way for the buyer to show their dedication to purchasing the property. A $5,000 earnest money deposit is the minimum standard. These funds are transferred into your account as soon as there is a written offer.
At Sound Redevelopment, we go above and beyond to show our commitment and credibility. We always deposit $10,000 earnest money into our seller’s account.
5. Do you require home inspections and disclosure statements
A cash offer that’s not contingent on a home inspection is a huge benefit — particularly if your home is in rough shape.
A traditional buyer will make an offer contingent on the results of a home inspection. While the buyer pays for the inspection costs, if problems are found, it will lead to either…
- Price negotiations
- The buyer backing out of the purchase
Depending on the condition of your home, this inspection process can be long and stressful. Demands from the buyer — whether it’s to drastically lower the price or fix the issues yourself — can start to add up. If you can’t meet the buyer’s needs, you’ll undoubtedly miss out on the sale completely and be back at square one.
A trusted real estate investor, though, will want to purchase your home as-is no matter its condition. You don’t have to make any repairs or changes to the home so an inspection shouldn’t be necessary… but it’s important to ask and verify.
6. Are there closing costs involved or other fees?
A trusted cash buyer will never saddle you with selling costs. This is a huge benefit considering most traditional transactions require closing costs, fees, and real estate agent commissions.
You may still come across an investor who wants to charge a fee, though, so be pointed in your questions…
- What are the closing costs?
- What additional fees should I expect?
- Are there any costs if I need a longer closing period?
- Do you charge anything if I want flexible purchase terms?
If the investor is unable to give you a straight answer, look for a different company — you deserve better.
7. How long is your closing period?
Beyond just costs and fees, you should also clarify expectations when it comes to the timeframe of the sale.
Selling your home to a cash buyer is meant to be fast and efficient. A good way to judge how well the company can meet these expectations is to discuss the closing schedule.
Whether you want to close in as little as 2-3 days or need a more flexible timeline, make sure the buyer can fit your schedule.
Questions about selling your home to Sound Redevelopment? Call (206) 717-5787
If you’re having trouble selling your home or if your property needs a lot of repairs, it’s tempting to jump at fast cash offer. While selling to a real estate investor is a great opportunity, make sure you know exactly who you’re selling to. This ensures you get the best offer and have a positive experience.