The “cash buyers only” trend looks like it’s here to stay, but that shouldn’t keep you out of your dream home. If you’re in the market for a home but you’re looking to line up a mortgage, you might be annoyed by the many estate agents who send along the message their seller has to say: cash buyers only.
Does that mean that you’re out of the market? Does it mean that the house is a scam and you should run in the other direction? Does it mean that it’s time to throw in the towel and try to do something else? It’s time to look at the different options that you have in front of you. So, below is a list of the reasons why estate agents (and the sellers they represent) are looking for cash buyers.
1. Sellers’ Children Going to a New School
Getting a house sold quickly is the name of the game if the seller’s children have to go to a new school. They can’t wait around for your mortgage to go through, because that might make the children late. Since attendance is such a big deal when it comes to the children’s education, they aren’t going to want to take too many chances. Therefore, the seller’s agent may let you know upfront that they are only entertaining cash offers.
2. The Seller(s) are Going Into Long Term Care
If the sellers are going into long term care, they may have realized they really don’t need the house but would like to free up money to pay for any additional costs involved. In this case, the seller is highly motivated to move forward and they will not wait around for you to make sure the mortgage is solid.
3. The Sellers Have Been Burned by “Almost” Sales
Mortgage deals fall through at the very last minute all of the time. Just about every estate agent has heard an excited buyer guarantee that the sale will go through, only to have to call a few weeks later saying that the mortgage lender changed their mind and would not be granting the mortgage. With a cash buyer, they don’t have to deal with this headache, and they can move on.
4. House Could Have Structural Problems Blocking a Mortgage
Mortgage lenders have gotten far stricter recently about the condition of the house before they are willing to grant the mortgage. So if the seller knows the house is less structurally sound than it should be, they may push for a cash sale rather than waiting for a mortgage buyer.
These reasons don’t mean that you’re out of your dream home. Like in most other arenas, everything in the world of real estate is up to negotiation and interpretation. If you are a well prepared buyer with strong letters of intent, you may be able to slip in with all of the cash buyers. If the seller is motivated to sell fast and you can deliver on that, then you can get the house anyway. No matter how badly you want a house, make sure that you’re still doing the right level of due diligence. Your agent should be doing their homework as well, and following all of the legal procedures necessary. If something isn’t right, it probably is a sign that the house has problems the seller isn’t trying to disclose. Getting an independent survey is still the name of the game. After all, you don’t want to pay thousands of pounds for someone else’s mistake!