What are the risks of making a cash offer on a house?

You've noticed that it's a seller's market out there in real estate -- but you've finally found the home of your dreams. You've heard that all-cash offers make up roughly 29% of single-family home sales, and you're wondering if putting cold, hard cash on the table will convince the seller to pick your offer above all others.

Are there any risks to you? Maybe. Just like any other home purchase, you need to proceed carefully so that you don't end up in trouble. Here are some suggestions to consider if you're going to offer a seller cash for their home:

  1. Make sure you have all the money together. If the money is in a number of bank and investment accounts and sitting in a safe deposit box, get it all in one place. You want to be ready when it comes time to transfer the funds to the seller. This will also make it easier to give the seller proof that your offer is valid.

  2. Don't skip the home inspection or title search. It can be tempting to forgo these kinds of steps in an effort to make the buyer take your offer. However, you could put yourself at a serious disadvantage later if there are hidden defects in the home or on the title.

  3. Don't totally tap yourself out. You'll need some money set aside for property taxes, insurance, homeowners association fees and moving expenses. Make sure that you can comfortably manage those bills after you buy the house.

Remember, even a cash deal doesn't mean that your residential real estate deal will go off without a hitch. An attorney can help you avoid problems.