Thought Leadership | Real Estate Investing | Real Estate Tools
“Cash is king.”
It’s an oft-quoted but nevertheless true adage—particularly when it comes to real estate transactions. For real estate investors, cash buyers streamline the transaction, eliminating the need for a lender, reducing risks, cutting down complications, and speeding up the closing timeline.
But how do you hunt down the elusive buyer able to make an all-cash bid? In this article, we’ll go over seven creative strategies for real estate investors, wholesalers, flippers, and agents to find cash buyers for their property.
Cash Buyers: A Quick Overview
Before we jump into strategies, let’s begin with a quick overview of cash buyers and the benefits they bring to the real estate investment table.
A cash buyer is an entity who wants to purchase a property with an all-cash bid without a mortgage or other financing. By comparison, a financed buyer is someone who wants to purchase a property by obtaining financing from a lender.
Many different scenarios can prompt buyers to make an all cash-bid. Here are the most common kinds of buyers who are able to offer cash:
- Buyers who have just sold their previous property and profited from the sale.
- Buyers in a highly competitive market who want to stand out.
- Affluent buyers who can afford to put down large amounts of money.
- Retirees tapping into their savings to avoid the cost and hassle of financing.
- Home fix-and-flippers seeking “unmortgageable” properties with defects and damage.
- Investors and investment companies.
The Benefits of Cash Buyers
The process of buying and selling real estate can be dramatically simpler with an all-cash buyer than a financed buyer. Below, we’ve outlined the main reasons cash buyers are preferable to financed buyers:
- Fewer contingencies. Contingencies are conditions that the buyer and seller must meet for the real estate transaction to close. Cash buying eliminates the loan contingency (also known as a mortgage contingency), which is a clause in a real estate contract that the buyer can use to back out of a deal and keep their deposit if they are unable to obtain a loan with specified terms during a certain period. Cash buying can also eliminate a home sale contingency, a clause that allows buyers to walk away from a deal if their own home doesn’t sell by a certain date.
- Streamlined closing. Without the need to obtain financing, the closing process is significantly faster for cash transactions. Cutting out tons of paperwork and eliminating the need for a mortgage application, the cash buying process can be virtually as simple as signing a settlement statement, title, and deed, receiving a check or wire transfer, and handing over the keys. While the closing time for a financed purchase is typically at least 30 days, an all-cash purchase can be as speedy as two weeks and with really sophisticated cash buyers it can be the same day.
- No appraisal required. To minimize financial risk, mortgage lenders typically require a property to be appraised to confirm the home they are potentially financing is worth at least the amount of the loan. If an appraisal comes in too low, the lender may back out of financing the purchase. Because cash buyers aren’t working with a mortgage lender, a cash sale typically eliminates the need for an appraisal. However, note that some cash buyers may still ask for an appraisal—particularly if they are an investor seeking to generate returns.
- Less overall risk. With financing removed from the equation, there’s less risk of the deal falling through due to a lack of funds at closing.
- Quicker flipping. Combined, streamlined closing, lack of appraisal requirement, and less risk of a deal falling through all translate to quicker flipping. For investors, this is perhaps the most appealing benefit of having a pipeline of cash buyers ready to buy. With a collection of prospective cash buyers, an investor who closes on an “okay” deal can quickly flip it to free up funds when a bigger, better deal comes along.
Think about it: Earning $10k on a 10-day flip can deliver a superior return on capital than earning $50k on a six-month flip. An investor who earned $10k on a flip every 10 days would make $180k over a six-month period instead of $50k. Investors can only accomplish this when they have a reliable pipeline of cash buyers ready to buy.
The bottom line? Even for experienced investors with significant capital, there are times when quickly flipping a deal makes the most sense. That’s when an eager cash buyer becomes worth their weight in gold.
How to find cash buyers – 7 strategies
So how can investors, wholesalers, flippers, and agents hunt down this highly coveted type of real estate buyer? As we noted, cash buyers come in many shapes and sizes—from recent homeowners to wealthy retirees to investment firms—and are not constricted to a single demographic, age group, or industry. That’s why it comes in handy to get creative when looking for cash buyers for your property.
So, without further ado, here are seven highly effective, imaginative strategies for finding cash buyers for your real estate property:
1. Build a lead generation website
With a simple website, you can easily create a lead generation form that lets prospective cash buyers submit their names and contact info. To draw traffic to your website, we suggest trying diverse methods like traditional advertising, content marketing and SEO, posting on social media, creating pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns with Google Adwords, or posting on classifieds platforms like Craigslist.
2. Post and search on Craigslist
Craiglist.com is a wonderful resource for finding both motivated cash buyers and sellers. In the Craigslist “real estate for sale” section, you can post advertisements for your website or properties for free to drive buyer leads. A succinct, simple ad with an eye-catching photo and brief description of your property and purchase criteria can connect you with serious cash buyers.
Craigslist is useful for more than posting your own ads. You can also leverage the platform to search for other sellers, who are often likely to be looking for properties to purchase as well. Check out the Craigslist section “houses/apartment for rent” to find the contact info of dozens of landlords and investors who may be able to deliver a cash deal.
3. Attend property auctions
Property or home auctions offer buyers the opportunity to purchase foreclosed homes at below-market value. Since home auctions draw real investors who have sufficient cash to purchase a property, these events can be an excellent place to meet and network with cash buyers.
To find property auctions in your area, try your local city or county website or browse a local newspaper.
We suggest going to as many events as you can in different areas to capture a diversity of leads. When you attend home auction events, make sure you come armed with business cards, a compelling 30-second elevator pitch, and a smile.
4. Connect with real estate agents
With local insights, experience, and access to realtor-exclusive tools, real estate agents can be an invaluable resource for finding cash buyers. Building a solid relationship with a real estate agent can earn you a list of recent cash sales. While a realtor might not be able to disclose the names and contact information of cash buyers, a list with addresses of properties purchased with cash can give you a good jumping-off point for conducting your own search through public records.
5. Join local Real Estate Investing Associations (REIAs)
Joining local Real Estate Investing Associations (REIAs) lets you network with key players in your market. At REIA meetings, you can meet a huge variety of like-minded individuals with varying interests, backgrounds, and resources. Not only will you likely meet high-quality cash buyers, but you can also connect with everyone from real estate agents and hard money lenders to wholesalers and rehabbers.
Finding a local REIA can be as simple as a quick Google search or browsing the National Real Estate Investors Association website. Note that many REIAs charge a small fee per meeting or for an annual membership.
6. Search public records
You can find information on every sale in your county at your local public records office or potentially on its website. Although access to this information may vary from county to county, you can typically see when a property is purchased with financing, as the deed and the lien from the loan are recorded by the county. If no lien is provided, you know the purchaser was likely a cash buyer.
Though browsing public records often requires you to visit your local office in person, your hunt can begin online. Start by Google searching your local office or the office in the area where your properties are located.
7. Browse cash buyers’ lists on PropertyRadar
You can look up owners and properties with cash buying history using trusted cash buyer databases on PropertyRadar. PropertyRadar databases have details on recent buyers in different states who have made real estate purchases with cash, as well as info on real estate renovators and wholesalers who have the capital or access to private funding to purchase properties without the need to secure traditional financing. Best of all, PropertyRadar lets you find repeat cash buyers: who are, as seasoned investors know, the holy grail of cash buyers.
Find Every Cash Buyer in Your Market with PropertyRadar
Keep in mind: While most of the methods above may connect you with a few cash buyers in your marketplace, the last two options—browsing public records and PropertyRadar cash buyer lists—are your best bet for finding every cash buyer in your market. But since browsing public records can be time-consuming, subscribing to PropertyRadar stands out as the most efficient, appealing example for many time-strapped investors.
Are you interested in seamlessly building a comprehensive list of buyers who have recently made all-cash bids in your market? You can browse local cash buyers’ lists right now with a subscription to PropertyRadar, which lets you look up as many owners and properties as you want. Our listings include all the details you need to understand your market and connect to serious cash buyers directly. Get started now and preview your first cash buyers’ list for free with a free PropertyRadar trial.