Perhaps you’re in a situation where you’re looking for reputable cash home buyers in Los Angeles. Maybe you need to relocate for a job, or you’re looking to unload a 1920s fixer-upper or fire-damaged property and lack the money for needed repairs. A cash sale may provide the speed and efficiency you need.
In this article, we explain how to find and sell to a Los Angeles area cash home buyer. We also share expert insights and tips from top Los Angeles real estate professionals.
Inside the Los Angeles cash-for-homes market
If you’re looking for a cash home buyer in Los Angeles, you’re not alone:
“In 2021 nearly one-third of all Los Angeles properties were purchased with cash,” says Matthew Ornelas, a Los Angeles area real estate agent who sells homes 38% quicker than the average Chino agent. “Buyers were liquid with cash and there are a lot of sellers going that route rather than waiting on a traditional sale. 99% of the time, these homes need to be rehabbed. Everyone wants to be in LA because of the great weather and the value of the region.”
Other factors that play a role in the cash home buyer scene in Los Angeles include:
- Demand for affordable housing sparks investor activity
- Out-of-state buyers seek the Southern California lifestyle
- Foreign investors and iBuyers see opportunity in Los Angeles
- Sellers compete against a surge in new home construction
- Aging homes need expensive upgrades (A/C systems, roofs)
- Wildfires and weather events cause widespread structural damage
- Competition from house-flip companies
Common types of cash buyers in Los Angeles
In the Los Angeles area, there are many different types of cash buyers, including:
- Beach rental investors
- Urban condo flippers
- Mobile home buyers
- Investors seeking multifamily homes or homes zoned for additional dwelling units
- Small or family-owned house-flip companies targeting fixer-uppers
- Developers that buy fire-damaged or condemned homes for the land value
- Families buying homes to renovate and live in
However, any home might appeal to a cash buyer, flipper, or investor.
“There are some cash buyers that focus on multiple-family homes, and some that buy mobile homes,” explains Eric Nerhood, owner of Premier Property Buyers in Seal Beach. “You may see some that market – or send out mailers – to certain niches. But the reality is that most cash buyers are open to buying any type of property as long as it makes sense as an investment.”
How much will Los Angeles cash buyers pay?
As a homeowner in Los Angeles, you can expect to receive a discounted price from a cash buyer. How much a cash buyer will pay depends on the company’s price model, which is typically 70%-80% of the after-repair value (ARV) of the property, less the cost of repairs.
However, the final price will also depend on the condition and location of the property, any liens against the property, as well as current market conditions and demand for similar properties in the area. For example, “If there aren’t a lot of comparable properties in the area, a buyer might build a bit more of a buffer into their offer to cover themselves,” explains Cristina Ortega, owner of Mrs. Property Solutions in Redondo Beach, California.
An established, reputable cash home buyer will be upfront about how they came up with their offer price.
“We’re completely transparent in our offers, and we provide an itemized list of costs to the seller,” says Nerhood “So we start with what we expect to sell for, and subtract the cost to get the home to that point, the costs of ownership, and our expected profit. And that’s how we arrive at our offer price.”
Understanding the cost of ownership is important for a homeowner to anticipate the discounted offer they’ll receive from a cash buyer or house flipper. Cost of ownership refers to the expenses incurred in purchasing and holding onto a property before selling it for profit. This includes the time it takes to sell the property, taxes on the property during the holding period, any necessary services (such as routine pool service), and costs associated with selling the remodeled property, such as closing costs and real estate agent commissions.
Depending on these factors, cash buyers may offer a discounted price to purchase your home, which may be lower than the market value. However, the final price will also depend on the demand for similar properties in the area and the speed at which the buyer wants to close the transaction.
“You might get a better offer from a cash buyer who plans to live in the home,” says Nerhood.
Before committing to a cash home buyer company in Los Angeles, HomeLight suggests you.
consult with a top local real estate agent to get a better idea of what your home might be worth if sold on the open market. Then compare cash offers to what a top agent might be able to get for your home. HomeLight can connect you with a top-performing agent in your market.
You can also use HomeLight’s free Home Value Estimator right now to get an initial ballpark estimate in less than two minutes.
Benefits of selling to a cash buyer in Los Angeles
While the cash offer you receive may be lower than a traditional agent-assisted home sale on the open market, there are notable benefits of working with a cash home buyer in Los Angeles, especially if you need a fast, convenient sale.
- Speed: One of the biggest benefits is a fast sale, as cash buyers are able to close the transaction quickly without the delays often associated with traditional home sales, such as waiting for financing approval or appraisal. You can typically sell your house in as few as 10 days.
- More certainty: With a pre-offer walk-through, a cash home buyer can typically provide a firm cash offer that comes with few contingencies, or no contingencies at all.
- No repairs: If your home is in need of repairs you can’t afford or don’t want to handle, you can sell your home as-is and skip the repairs altogether.
- Less hassle: You won’t need to worry about cleaning or leaving your home for showings or open houses. You also don’t have to worry about fielding offers, negotiating, low appraisals, or the risk of the buyer’s financing falling through. When you work with a reputable cash home buyer in Los Angeles, you’re likely going to experience a smooth journey from offer to close.
- Flexibility: Cash buyers are often able to close the transaction on a timeline that works best for the seller, providing greater flexibility and control over the sale process. Additionally, if you need to stay in your home longer than anticipated, a cash buyer may be willing to reschedule the closing date or rent your home back to you after the sale.
- No commission: You won’t pay the typical 5%-6% real estate agent commission if you sell directly to a cash home buyer.
What’s the process of selling a house for cash in Los Angeles?
According to Ornelas and Ortega, the process for selling a house for cash in Los Angeles is similar to a traditional sale, except that it tends to move much more quickly and is much less stringent. Here’s what a homeowner might expect:
- The seller finds a buyer (or if the buyer is good at marketing, the buyer finds the seller). For the seller, this may mean filling out an online form or reaching out on the phone.
- The seller explains their situation (why they’re selling) and provides the history and condition of the home to the prospective buyer.
- The buyer runs the numbers and makes an offer.
- Once both parties agree on the price, they sign a contract and submit it to a title company (at which point it goes into escrow).
- The buyer does due diligence during the option period in California, which is typically one to 10 days.
- The buyer and seller sign the closing documents.
- You receive a check or have money wired into your account.
Although there are no required disclosures because the property is being sold as-is, there is an inspection period. The process will go faster and the seller will get a better picture of the final sale price if they are straightforward about the necessary repairs. Nerhood explains:
“You’re still going to go through inspection because the buyer wants to know what they’re getting into. I get inspections on big-ticket items like the sewer and the foundation. If you’re selling as-is, you don’t have to worry about repairs. But say, for example, I’ve offered you $500,000 and find out the home needs $7,000 in sewer line repairs, then I have to adjust my purchase price to $493,000.”
What should a homeowner look for in a Los Angeles cash buyer?
The need to make a quick cash sale can make a homeowner feel vulnerable. Whether you’re working with a local or online cash-buying company, a seller should perform due diligence when working with a cash buyer. Look at their track records and reviews.
“We’re in an age of information, so use it to your advantage. Be sure you’re working with a company that deals with sellers honestly and fairly,” says Ortega.
In addition, a seller should carefully review the contract to determine if a buyer is legit.
There are a couple of red flags to look for:
- Earnest money: This should be at least 1%-3% of the purchase price and non-refundable after the inspection period. Some investors provide at least a $30,000 earnest deposit, although it varies from one company to another. A $100 earnest deposit shows that the buyer isn’t committed to the purchase.
- Inspection period: This should be a fraction of your closing time. For example, if your closing period is 30 days, a 10-day inspection period is fair. An inspection period that ends right before or on the closing date is a sign that a buyer may back out or negotiate a lower price at the last minute.
What is the timeline for a cash sale in Los Angeles?
Typically, your home can sell for cash in as little as seven to 14 days. Keep in mind that this isn’t always the case. If, for example, the county has tagged your home or there are liens against it, the timeline might be extended. Ortega shares a story:
“We recently worked with a seller who had moved out of state and hadn’t seen the home in more than five years. In the meantime, the county had put red tape all over the house. There was an abatement and the owner was instructed to tear it down. We were willing to work with the county on his behalf – take it off of his plate and make it as easy as possible. I bring this up because the escrow period can look very different for different people.”
Will a Los Angeles real estate agent oversee a cash sale?
It’s not unusual for cash buyers to work with real estate agents. Ornelas explains that homeowners may hire an agent for the added security of having a professional oversee the sale, vet the buyer, verify the funds, and get the best cash offer.
Sometimes, an agent will recommend a cash sale when a home has been sitting on the market too long. In some cases, Ortega says, if a home isn’t selling or if the homeowner isn’t happy with the agent, the real estate agent may let the homeowner out of the listing agreement without penalty.
“When you sell your home for cash, you’re sacrificing your equity for speed and convenience. If you want the best price on your home and you have time to wait, you need to go with a traditional sale. Keep in mind that if you’re listing your home as-is, you’re typically only going to get investors interested in a cash purchase. If a house needs a lot of work, it won’t qualify for financing. A real estate agent could potentially help you sell for a higher cash price to a fixer, but you’ll be paying up to 6% commission, so the net price might not be more for you,” explains Nerhood.
How do I find cash buyers in Los Angeles?
Finding a reliable cash buyer on your own can be overwhelming. To get started, HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform makes it easy and safe to get a convenient, no-obligation cash offer in Los Angeles.
Here’s how it works:
1. Enter the address of your Southern California home.
Answer a few quick questions about the property. Is it a condo in Silver Lake, or a historic house in Angelino Heights? Does it need a little work, a lot of work, or none at all? How soon are you looking to sell? It could be ASAP or in six months. Our easy questionnaire makes getting set up on the platform a breeze.
2. We’ll provide an all-cash offer within a week.
You won’t be obligated to accept any offer you receive. In addition, HomeLight can also introduce you to a top real estate agent in your neighborhood for an expert opinion on what your home is worth if sold on the open market. It’s good to know your options.
3. You sell your house in its current condition.
No additional repairs, prep costs, agent commissions, or hidden fees. This can save you time and money — a study conducted by HomeLight found that, on average, sellers spend over $31,000 to sell a house. This includes prep and repair costs. Fortunately, foundation issues and older ACs are often no issue; our platform will provide a full cash offer for homes in almost any condition.
4. You can sell your house fast for cash in as few as 10 days.
A 10-day closing translates as selling your home around five times faster than you would with a buyer who needs traditional financing. According to data from Ellie Mae, purchase loans take an average of 50 days to close. With a cash offer provided through HomeLight, you’ll also be able to pick a move date that works best for your schedule. That’s the ease of Simple Sale!
Selling your house for cash in Los Angeles
When you need to sell your home quickly in Los Angeles, it can feel overwhelming. This can be especially true if you’re in a financial bind or have a firm moving date. Fortunately, there are buyers and investors willing to pay cash for your Los Angeles home. And with a platform like Simple Sale, you’ll also see price estimates of what you might receive if you sell through a top local real estate agent.
Whether you’re selling a pristine Mid Century home in Westport or a cottage in Newport Beach that needs a major overhaul, request a cash offer from a trusted cash buyer in Los Angeles whenever you’re ready to move.
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