Buying a house with cash can sound daunting, but there are a number of pros that come with paying cash for a new home. While it seems like buying a house with cash requires more money upfront, you actually end up saving a decent amount on closing costs. In addition, all-cash offers are the best way to beat out other homebuyers, especially in the tight market that we are experiencing now. Buying with cash allows you to skip a lot of home buying steps related to a mortgage and saves you a ton of time, not to mention that if you’re in a competitive market like Toronto real estate then it can give you an edge.
What is the process of closing on a house with cash, and how long does it take? Keep reading to find out what a cash sale is like from start to finish!
The first step to any cash sale is making an offer and getting it accepted. While this negotiation phase typically takes less time with a cash sale than other sales, there can still be some back and forth between buyer and seller. The good news with cash offers is that there is a chance for a cash discount, especially if the seller needs to close quickly on their home.
Seller Verifies the Buyers Ability to Pay
24 – 48 Hours
When you purchase a house with cash, you’ll have to give the seller something tangible that proves you will be able to pay for the home in full; this is called “proof of funds.” The most simple way of doing this is by providing a bank statement to your seller that shows the proper amount of funds you need (or more) for the home. One way to do this is to have a separate account specifically for your home payment, and transfer the exact amount into that account to send to the seller for verification.
Find Title Search and Escrow Services
As a third party in your deal, the escrow company will hang onto the funds while the offer is completed. The escrow company will ensure that everything runs smoothly and legally throughout your transaction, so it’s crucial that you find a trustworthy one. The best way to do this is by reaching out to your real estate agent; they will have several connections to title companies, escrow companies, and companies that combine the two tasks. If you are researching on your own, it could take up to a day to reach out to a few places and settle on one, but if you ask your agent, this process shouldn’t take more than an hour or two.
Now that you’ve secured your title and escrow companies, it’s time for them to complete the title search. A title search goes back through the entire title history of your home to make sure there are no outstanding heirs or other issues listed on the title. This process generally takes a few days, but if there has been a foreclosure or short sale on the home, it could take a bit longer.
In this step of buying a home with cash, it may be in your best interest to buy title insurance. When you buy a home with a mortgage, the mortgage lenders already have the insurance; however, when you buy with cash, the responsibility falls on you, the buyer. Title insurance is simply a way for you to protect yourself from a financial hit in the future if there is a defect in the title – given that your policy covers the defect. This may seem like it’s just adding an extra step to the process, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
One week to book. 2-4 hours to complete.
This part of the process isn’t much different from any other home-buying process. While you are able to waive an inspection as a cash buyer, it’s still wise to have the property inspected. Getting your home inspected can identify large problems and small ones, giving you further insight into the home’s true value. An inspection can also let you know what you’re getting into when it comes to repairs or upgrades.
15 minutes – 5 days
While an appraisal isn’t entirely necessary in a cash deal, getting one will ensure that your home is worth the full purchase price. Unless you know for a fact that you are getting an incredible deal, it’s always worth it to get an appraisal.
Since you won’t be working with a mortgage lender, the appraisal cost will have to come out of your own pocket, and it typically comes out to around $300 to $400. The cost will be worth it in the long run, though. Especially if you pay for a house with cash, you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t heavily overpaying for what you’re getting.
The appraisal for your home can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours, and the written report could take several days to get back. The time an appraisal takes depends on market activity, comparable home prices, and the inspection findings. However, if the appraisal value is lower than the purchase price, it will ultimately be up to you to decide whether to continue negotiations or move forward as planned.
Similar to a home sale with a mortgage loan, the final walkthrough will be a day before closing. You will head to the home with your real estate agent to do a final walkthrough, ensuring that the previous owners are moved out, the home is move-in ready, and that nothing has changed between the inspection and closing. If you scheduled repairs after your home inspection, they should be done by the day of the final walkthrough.
1.5 to 2 hours
It’s closing day! When closing with cash there will be significantly less paperwork to sign, but that doesn’t mean you should carelessly rush through it. Although this process should take less time with a cash sale, you’ll want to double-check that your purchase agreement is valid and understood on both sides of the transaction.
The best way to ensure that closing goes smoothly is to have professionals with you on closing day. You’ll want your real estate agent there, the seller’s agent, and possibly a lawyer to discover anything out of the ordinary.
Remember that if you are completing the transaction through wire transfer, it may take a day or so for the funds to be transferred over. The property doesn’t officially switch owners until payment is made, so keep this in mind if you are choosing to pay via wire transfer.
How Long Does It Take to Close on a House with Cash?
In short, closing on a house with cash can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple of months depending on circumstances. Many of these steps can occur simultaneously, meaning you could shave some time off of closing as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens during the process. Regardless of how the home and the offer look at first glance, it’s always wise to set aside extra time for closing just in case.