Local News

Selling home for cash comes with risks, local agent says

Posted January 18, 2019 10:10 a.m. EST
Updated February 25, 2019 9:16 a.m. EST

— Cash is king, especially when selling a home.

The Raleigh real estate market is attracting new players from across the country who will pay cash for your home to help you avoid the stress and bother of selling. Some agents, though, say sellers should be aware of the risks.

The Raleigh market is hot for sellers.

“It's been the market that we've targeted for our top 10,” said Josh Swift, who works with Zillow Offer in Seattle.

The idea is to save sellers some of the hassles of putting their home on the market, like “having your home cleaned and ready on a moment's notice for a showing,” Swift said.

It begins with questions you can answer through a phone app.

If your home qualifies, Zillow makes an instant cash offer.

“We like to offer what we think is the fair market value for the house, less a small service fee,” Swift said.

Kevin Lingard, a local real estate agent, said those fees can range from 6 to13 percent of the appraised value, much more than he would charge as a local agent.

“You will lose, or you will give up a generous amount of money,” Linguard said.

Lingard said it’s fine if you can afford it and if convenience means more than money.

Swift says 61 percent of sellers become buyers, and with a shortage of available homes, cash in hand helps you move out and move in quicker and “be part of that competitive environment of bidding on those homes.”

Lingard warns that all cash offers come at a cost.

“It’s not a charity,” he said.

Zillow has long served as an advertising platform for real estate companies across the country.

Regarding fees Zillow charges home sellers, company communications manager Jordyn Lee said, “The fee varies depending on the home, but so far they have been falling right in line with what you’d pay to sell your home the traditional way.”

For the past nine months the company been in the cash-offer business. It started in Raleigh on Jan. 14.