How Long Does It Take To Close On A House With Cash?

If you want to sell or buy a house fast, you need to be talking in cash. In a traditional house sale, where one or both parties need to seek mortgages to buy their next property, there are a huge number of boxes to tick before the sale can be finalized and the mortgage process cannot be rushed.

Without the worry of a buyer needing to acquire a mortgage, however, a cash sale can be completed in as little as 2 weeks if everything goes through smoothly and no issues are found with the title during the underwriting process.

Let’s break down the steps it takes to complete a cash sale so you can get a realistic idea of how long it will take to close on a house with cash.

7 Steps to Close on a House with Cash

1. Negotiate

Before the sale can move forward, the buyer and seller need to negotiate. This negotiation goes beyond just the sale price; it also includes things like the closing date (though this can be changed by other factors later in the sale), when closing costs need to be paid, any terms of grace given (for example, some sellers rent the property after completion for a few weeks to give them more time to move, are willing to buy the home with the contents, or need to leave animals such as horses or cattle on the property for a few weeks before they can move them to their new home).

In most cases, negotiations will only take a day, but they can span multiple days if either party needs to think something over or do a little extra research before committing to the sale.

2. Proof of Funds

Next, the seller needs to see proof of funds from the buyer. In most cases, this will be a bank statement (or similar) that shows a balance of an amount that can pay for the agreed amount in full. This step won’t usually slow down the sale process.

3. Sign the Contract

The buyer and seller sign an initial contract committing to the sale. This contract outlines the terms agreed in the negotiation and gets the more costly parts of the sale underway. In most cases, this step will only take a day or two.

4. Earnest Money

Earnest money is essentially a deposit paid to show the seller that the buyer is serious. In Massachusetts, this will usually be 5% of the total sale price agreed upon but can differ and other states have other standard percentages. This money is usually paid to an attorney involved in the sale to hold until closing.

This money makes up a part of the total sale price agreed. This money is held to protect the seller and will be given to the seller as compensation if the buyer unreasonably backs out of the sale after the initial contract is signed.

This step should not add any time to the time it takes to close.

5. Inspections

If any inspections need to be made, or any certificates or documentation need to be sought, this happens now. In Massachusetts, buyers may need documentation for:

  • A buried oil tank
  • Well testing
  • Flood search
  • Well testing
  • Certificate of occupancy

If the buyer is in the position to do so, they can renegotiate with the seller based on what is found in these inspections. Cash buyers will often forgo any inessential inspections or give an offer where any inspections are for “informational purposes only”, and won’t result in renegotiations. It’s worth noting, however, that cash buyers who do make an offer for a property in “as-is” condition retain their rights to back out of the sale if something comes up that couldn’t have been reasonably anticipated.

This step will usually only take a few days with a cash buyer but can take a couple of weeks if multiple professionals need to come to do inspections.

6. Opening of Title

A third-party company is necessary to act as the middleman to ensure that the property being purchased can be legally sold. They’ll check for outstanding debt connected to the property (besides any the current owner has, if applicable) and any other legal matters that may cause difficulty.

How long this stage takes depends on how much information there is for the title company to go through (a 5-year-old house will often have far less owner history than a 50-year-old home) and how quickly the company in question works. This could take a week in best-case scenarios but could take a full month or even longer if they discover any issues with the title.

7. Closing

Finally, we get to closing. This is where both parties sign the final documentation and funds are transferred. This step usually only takes a day. With that, the sale is complete!

In most cases, a straightforward cash sale will take 2-4 weeks to complete, which is significantly faster than traditional and auction sales, which usually take a minimum of 12 weeks to complete.

Where to Find a Cash Buyer for Your Massachusetts Home

There’s no denying that working with a cash buyer is by far the fastest way to sell a property, but there aren’t a lot of cash buyers out there looking for properties traditionally through a realtor. If you want the speed of a cash sale, you will either need to know someone locally with the desire and means to cash-buy the property or work with a cash home-buying company like us.

We buy houses for cash in Massachusetts in as-is condition, which means we won’t ask you to make any repairs or renovations before we buy. All you need to do is send us some basic details about the property and we’ll get back to you with our best cash offer, which means you don’t need to do any stressful negotiating.

If you accept our no-obligation cash offer, we’ll start the sale process and we can complete the sale in just weeks, not months! To find out more or to get your cash offer, click here.

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