Photo of a happy married couple talking with financial advisor on a meeting in the office

How to Compete With a Cash Offer When Buying a House

Photo of a happy married couple talking with financial advisor on a meeting in the office

After pounding the pavement for what seems like forever, you’ve finally found the place you want to put an offer on. But alas, someone else has already got their fingers on it, and it’s a cash buyer, no less. Buyers with cash are known to swoop in and snatch up properties from under mortgaged buyers. But don’t fret – you’re not necessarily out of the game just yet.

Here are some ways you can be some stiff competition to an all-cash buyer.

Offer More Than The Competition

Throwing more money on the table that what the cash buyer is offering might sound nuts. But when sellers see dollar signs, they might just be willing to look in your favor, even if the cash offer looks like a shoo-in. If you want to increase your chances of landing the house, you might want to consider topping the cash offer with more money. If this is the house you plan on living in for a long time, the extra cash might be worth it.

Give the Sellers the Closing Date They Want

If the sellers still haven’t bough another house to move into, they might need some extra time to find the right place, especially if the supply is short. On the other hand, if the sellers are anxious to get the house off their hands in order to save on carrying costs, they might want the deal to close sooner rather than later.

If you want to stand up to the competition, give the sellers the closing date they want. Whether this means having to wait a little, or closing next week, so be it. It’s just one additional way to sweeten the deal.

Offer a Massive Down Payment

If you can afford to scrounge up as much liquid cash as possible to put towards a down payment, your offer will look more attractive. You may not be able to pay for the house in full with cash, but the more money you put towards a down payment, the less financing you’ll need, which always looks safer in the eyes of the seller.

Many times the reason why financing may fall through is because the appraisal comes in at a lower number than the purchase price. In this case, if you’ve only borrowed 50%, for instance, you shouldn’t have as much of an issue compared to borrowing 75% or 80% of the purchase price.

Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage, and Skip the Financing Clause

Sellers ideally like to see a clean offer, which means little or no clauses. One condition in particular that can get the sellers’ guard up is a financing condition. While this is great to protect you against losing your deposit should the financing not go through, it’s not so great for the sellers. One of the most effective ways to compete against an all-cash buyer is to eliminate this condition altogether.

However, you don’t have to forego all protection whatsoever. To shave off some risk, make sure that you get pre-approved for a mortgage first. Just make sure that you’ll be able to bail yourself out in the event that you do lose your deposit if the seller accepts your offer, but your financing falls through for some reason.

Get a Pre-Appraisal Done

Getting the property appraised in advance can not only cut down on the time it takes to close the deal, but it can also help increase the assurance that the lender will cover you for a specific loan amount to pay for the property. However, this might be easier said than done when it comes to bigger lenders, so you might have to go through a smaller lender or mortgage broker to make this happen.

Of course, there’s only so much you can do before exhausting all your resources and efforts. But by getting your finances in order, working with a mortgage broker in advance, and dealing with a good local real estate agent, you can draft up an offer that’s as attractive to the seller as possible. You never know – you just might end up a winner.