Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lots of Cash

Many more real estate sales lately are for cash.  While it's true everywhere in the country, it's particularly true in Connecticut.  Can you guess the percentage of people who close with cash?  If you guessed 39%,  you're right!

While that seems like a lot, and it is, it makes some sense when it's so cumbersome to fill out the paperwork for a mortgage, and when the restrictions are so much tighter.  I suspect that some number of those buyers later apply for, and receive, mortgages, especially with rates so low (although they're certainly not losing much in the way of interest on cash, and they don't have a great deal of stability in the stock market).

When there is no mortgage, the closings often happen much sooner.  We see people closing in a couple of weeks, once all the inspections are finished.  Getting a mortgage later really speeds the process up.

One tricky question, however, is how to know whether the buyer is serious and qualified, without the help of the mortgage qualification letter.   It seems strange, but it's sometimes easier to believe that someone is really going to buy if they are borrowing the money, than when they say that they have it in the bank.  Not a bad issue to have, I guess, but it has been arising more frequently.  The danger of real damage is less, however, when the closing is quick. Nothing's perfect, but cash is king!