Tips on How to Compete with Cash Buyers

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As cash buyers continue to inundate recovering markets, it’s easy to feel like the underdog if your offer includes a pre-approval letter for a mortgage.

In some places — especially in the Midwest and Florida — more than half of sales in the first quarter of 2014 were closed with cash, according to a recent Zillow analysis.

“Cash is always the deal-sealer and the best way to get deals,” said Joe Spake, a longtime real estate agent in Memphis, where nearly half of first-quarter sales were all-cash. “Just, not a whole lot of people have it, especially in the regular-people realm. The average working person is going to have to get a mortgage.”

Across the country, cash buyers are on the decline, but in some markets you’re still very likely to be pitted against one. We asked agents in the country’s most cash-rich markets for advice for buyers who want to stay competitive without cash.

Cash buyers come in looking for a deep discount, said Tony Baroni, an agent in Tampa, which trails only Miami in the percentage of homes purchased with cash.

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