Buying a house with cash in Philadelphia can have a number of substantial benefits. For example, it speeds up the transaction process, gives you more bargaining and buying power, and provides immediately available equity. But if not done right, purchasing with cash can turn into a minor nightmare.
There is a definite process involved that both protects you as the buyer and makes the transaction easy and smooth. This process involves crucial preliminary steps and the steps in the actual transaction. Let’s take a look then.
Preliminary Process for Buying a House in Philadelphia with Cash
1. Prepare a Purchase and Sale Agreement
This is a document that lays out the terms of the purchase/sale – for example, date of the agreement and expiration date, purchase price, property description, and who will pay closing costs, kind and manner of conveyance of title, and other pertinent information. Agents generally use a long and complicated agreement, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can use a concise one-page document template that will do the trick. Just make sure you have this agreement in hand early on in the process.
2. Conduct a Title Search
Now, this is a truly important step that you can hire a title company to take care of or do yourself – if you know what you are doing and have some experience in this area. In either case, though, the aim is to make sure the title is clear. You simply have to make sure beforehand that there are no liens against the property, that it is not encumbered in any other way, and that the seller is the only one who has a legal claim to the property. Don’t neglect this step.
3. Determine the Kind of Deed You’ll Get
A deed is an official document that transfers ownership and legally states who the owner of the property is. There are a few different kinds of deeds – quit claim, warranty, and special warranty – but most people are fine with a warranty deed. A quit claim deed can be the fastest route to take, but it offers no guarantees about whether the title is clear. The owner is simply giving up ownership (quitting his or her claim to the property). With a warranty deed, though, the seller is promising that the title is free and clear. It all just depends on whether you want speed or a title guarantee.
Steps in Making the Transaction when Buying a House with Cash
1. Make an Offer
Of course, there comes a point when you make an offer. Just be aware that with cash in hand you’re considered a serious buyer, and you’ll have a lot more bargaining power. The deal doesn’t depend on a third-party loan, and your offer will be perceived as a sure thing. So don’t hesitate to flex your cash muscles a little when making an offer.
2. Conduct an Inspection/Appraisal
After an offer has been made and accepted, it’s fairly standard practice to have an appraisal (which many cash buyers make a condition of the sale) and an inspection done. With a cash deal, an appraisal will provide some peace of mind because you’ll know that you’re not paying more than the property’s worth. And an inspection will let you know the condition of the house, whether it needs any repairs. If it does, you’ll probably want to renegotiate the deal at that point.
3. Close the Deal
Here’ where the rubber really hits the road. After the appraisal and inspection and when all parties are in agreement, it’s time to sign the paperwork. Because you are a cash buyer, you’ll have a lot more flexibility than you would if a lender was involved. You can set the closing date for a time when it best suits you, generally much sooner than with an agent and lender in the process. Then all you have to do is show up in front of a notary with pen and cashier’s check in hand.
Are you interested in buying a house in Philadelphia for cash? If you are, we can help you out. We would be glad to discuss this viable house purchasing option with you.