When it comes to helping your client make an offer, bigger isn’t always better. “The listing agent and seller aren’t just looking for the highest offer,” explains Blake Outlaw, one of our Partner Leads. “They’re looking for the offer that is most likely to close and to close without hassles or hiccups." In other words, listing agents want a contingency-free offer.
Many clients think of a contingency as an escape hatch in the contract. And while contingencies do make transactions “safer” for the buyer, they make it riskier for the seller. That means your client’s contingent offer is a less competitive offer.
The Homeward Cash Offer empowers you to turn your contingent shoppers into cash buyers by removing or reducing the top three contingencies: home sale, finance, and appraisal. That makes your client more likely to win in a competitive market and positions them to command better terms in less competitive situations. Let’s take a closer look at each of these contingencies.
1. Home sale contingency
Until now, buyers who already own a home usually had to include a home sale contingency in their offer. It's a cautious choice. But like many agents, you’ve probably seen clients get stuck moving into temporary housing, moving twice or paying two mortgages. And those who can't afford to do that end up missing out on a home they love.
Tim Heyl, Homeward’s Founder and CEO, started this company because of the home sale contingency. “I kept running into the same problem,” explains Heyl, who led a real estate team that became a four-time Inc 5000 company. “Buyers couldn’t make an offer on a new home until they sold their old home.” So one day Heyl tried something radical: he bought the home his client wanted with his own cash. Then, once the client sold his old home, he bought the new home back from Heyl. That experiment became Homeward’s first solution: Buy before you sell.
Buy before you sell enables your clients to purchase their new home with cash before they sell their old home, eliminating the home sale contingency.
For homebuyer Casey Shea, Buy before you sell was less risky than a contingent offer. “It saved me from having to move twice and overpaying for my [new] home,” he explains.
Russell Yurack, another Buy before you sell customer, appreciated that eliminating the home sale contingency allowed him to list his old home and then move when the time was right for him. “Being able to buy first and then sell our old home was much nicer than having a time limit to sell and move,” says Yurack.
2. Financing Contingency
In the past, buyers have used mortgage preauthorization and preapproval letters to make financing contingencies seem less risky. But in many markets, these letters aren't enough to make your offer stand out.
Our approval turnaround time — the time it takes us to underwrite your client and make them a cash buyer — is usually two days. And cash offers are more than four times more likely to win a bidding war.. “Sellers prefer cash offers because they are much more certain to close,” explains Heyl. So two years after introducing Buy before you sell, we introduced Buy with cash, a second cash offer, designed for clients who don't have the home equity to leverage.
And what makes the Homeward Cash Offer different from other cash offers? You — the agent. “Most cash offer programs minimize or replace the agent,” explains Heyl. “But Homeward was created by agents, and we built this for agents.” We want every agent to be able to make every buyer a cash buyer. So working with us doesn’t change your agent-client relationship or affect your commission.
Homebuyer Mike Galloway believes making a Homeward Cash Offer made all the difference with his recent home purchase. “We were able to make an all-cash offer on a home in an extremely competitive area,” he explains. “If this had been a typical financed and contingent offer, [the seller wouldn't have considered it]."
Ana Syler, another homebuyer, had a similar experience. “We had been putting in offers and knew we were at the bottom of the pile with our conventional loan and first-time homebuyer’s down payment," she says. "Being able to put in a cash offer with Homeward totally changed the game for us.”
3. Appraisal Contingency
The appraisal contingency is designed to prevent your client from overpaying for a loan and to protect the lender who is financing the purchase. But there are several issues with using an appraisal contingency. First, it slows down the homebuying process. Scheduling an appraiser and getting them out to the house takes time. Second, appraisals are based on historic data, meaning they don’t always reflect current market conditions. And appealing an inaccurate appraisal takes even more time.
We work with an appraisal management company to conduct a desktop appraisal within days of your offer being accepted. And we get that appraised value back during the option period/due diligence. “This is the lowest risk and most flexible way to waive the appraisal contingency,” explains Brian Gubernick, our Chief Real Estate Officer. And remember, just because you do a desktop appraisal doesn't mean the sale depends on the appraisal. In many cases, we can work with you even if the appraisal comes in low.
The Homeward Cash Offer wins because it's the most competitive offer — not just because it's cash. That’s certainly what real estate broker Danielle Dolan of HomeSmart Greenwood Village in Colorado, recently discovered. “Before working with Homeward, we were losing out to cash offers even when we bid more,” she explains. “The ability to waive the appraisal contingency on a Homeward Cash Offer in the competitive Denver market made all the difference for my clients.”
If you're a homebuyer interested in learning more about becoming a cash buyer, schedule an appointment with a Homeward Advisor here.
If you're an agent interested in turning contingent clients into cash buyers, schedule an appointment with a Homeward Advisor here.