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Q&A: Should I sell to an investor?

What are the pros and cons of seeking an investor to buy my home versus going through a real estate broker?

“The biggest advantage is that the sale can be closed relatively quickly since a cash investor transaction is not subject to the condition of a mortgage approval,” says attorney Chandra Ortiz, associate dean of the Nassau Academy of Law at the Nassau County Bar Association.

And an investor will usually accept the property in “as is” condition, not requiring a seller to invest any time or money in repairs or replacements such as cleaning or painting, she adds. “Depending on the intentions of the cash investor, in these situations, a seller may also be able to negotiate the removal of more personal items, such as appliances as opposed to selling to someone who intends to live in the house,” says Ortiz.

"In seeking out a cash investor, a seller must know what the property is worth,” advises Ortiz. “Only then can a seller make an informed decision on an acceptable final sales price." Aside from giving your house more exposure to more buyers, one of the benefits of going with the services of a Realtor is that he or she can analyze comparable home values more easily.

And there are drawbacks. “The offer may be low to very low, but if the seller is paying high carrying charges it may save him money in the long run," says William Horan, of Horan and Wagner in Commack. "Be wary of an investor who may be looking to flip the property before actually taking title because they may drag out the transaction. And watch out for sharpies looking to play games with desperate sellers without taking any real risk."

Need some real estate advice? E-mail your questions to realestate@newsday.com.

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