What is a ‘buy houses for cash’ company, and how does it work for selling rental properties?

A ‘buy houses for cash’ company, often referred to as a real estate investor or cash home buyer, is a business that purchases properties directly from homeowners for cash, without the involvement of traditional financing methods like bank loans. This model is particularly appealing for selling rental properties quickly due to its efficiency and straightforwardness. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Initial Contact: The property owner reaches out to the cash buying company, either through an online form or a phone call, to express interest in selling their rental property.
  2. Property Assessment: The cash buyer then evaluates the property, which may include an in-person visit, to understand its condition, location, and other factors that influence its value. This assessment is usually quick and less formal than a traditional real estate appraisal.
  3. Offer Presentation: Based on the assessment, the cash buyer makes a no-obligation cash offer to the property owner. This offer is usually made within a short timeframe, sometimes as quickly as 24 hours after the initial assessment.
  4. Acceptance and Closing: If the seller accepts the offer, the closing process begins. Since the transaction is conducted in cash and doesn’t involve traditional mortgage lenders, the closing can be completed much faster than conventional real estate transactions. It’s not uncommon for the entire process from initial contact to closing to be completed within a few weeks.
  5. As-Is Purchase: One of the notable features of this type of sale is that cash buyers typically purchase properties “as-is.” This means the seller doesn’t need to invest in repairs or improvements before the sale, which is particularly beneficial if the rental property has deferred maintenance issues.

Selling to a cash buyer can be a viable option for rental property owners looking for a quick and hassle-free sale. It eliminates many of the uncertainties and delays associated with traditional real estate transactions, such as buyer financing fall-through, protracted negotiations, and the need for staging and extensive property showings.