Selling Your House Using a Realtor or a Cash Home Buyer

When it comes to selling your home in Idaho, there are several ways you can go about it. Some people take the traditional approach and hire a listing agent to handle the home selling process. Others take a more modern approach and sell their homes to a cash home buyer instead. 

But it does raise the question, is one better than the other? While trying to figure out how you’re going to handle cleaning, staging, repairs, and renovations, it would be helpful to have your selling strategy determined before moving forward. 

Below we’ll figure out the differences between a cash home buyer and a realtor and the benefits of each option so that way you can decide which selling strategy is right for you!

Difference Between a Cash Home Buyer and a Realtor

What is the Difference Between a Cash Home Buyer and a Realtor?

An excellent place to start is to figure out the differences between a cash home buyer and a realtor. First, let’s take a look at what roles each real estate professional plays and explain their differences. 

Cash Home Buyer

In Idaho, a cash home buyer is usually a single real estate investor, house flipper, or owner of one of the companies that buy houses in Boise. Some actually have real estate licenses; some do not. But what they actually do is buy houses from homeowners that are dealing with unique selling situations (i.e., pre-foreclosure, bankruptcy, tax liens, probate, etc.), or home’s that aren’t in the best condition (i.e., major repairs needed, unfinished construction, flood damage, foundation damage). In these selling situations, sometimes the seller needs to sell quickly to avoid foreclosure, or they just don’t have the extra money to make repairs, so by selling to a cash home buyer, they’ll be able to sell fast and sell as-is too. 

Yes, home buyers purchase properties in as-is condition, so that means no repairs or renovations are required to make before closing. For some sellers, that is a huge relief both financially and time-wise. Depending on what type of repairs a house may need, those can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. And the work may take a few days to several months to complete. 

Sometimes a seller just doesn’t have the time or money to wait that long, or they do but just don’t want to deal with the hassle and stress of managing home repairs. Either way, selling to a cash home buyer provides a simple home sale without dealing with the standard selling process.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a professional that either works solo or works for a real estate agency. Their role is to list your home for sale, provide selling advice, and market your listing. A realtor will usually advise you on a listing price for your home and ways to stage your property to show well. 

Furthermore, an agent will work on your behalf to find a buyer by listing your house on the MLS and notifying other agents about your home sale. 

Hiring a real estate agent usually requires a listing agreement to be signed, giving the agent a certain amount of time to try to sell your home, usually 4-6 months. Also noted in this agreement is how much their commission will be upon the sale of the property.

An agent’s commissions usually cost between 5-6% of the home’s final sale price. The commission is typically split between the buyer and seller’s agents. To give you an idea of how much this would cost, using the median home sale price in Boise ($500,000), commissions could range from $25,000 to $30,000. 

To give credit where credit is due, a full-service agent does handle a majority of the selling process – leaving you to worry about repairs, decluttering, staging, keeping the house clean for showings and open houses, and wondering when your home will officially sell.

What are the Benefits of Selling Your House to a Cash Home Buyer

There are several benefits of selling your house to a cash home buyer you’ll want to consider before deciding your next steps. Below we take a look at some of the perks of selling to a cash home buyer that you’ll want to know about. 

They Buy Houses with Cash

The saying goes cash is king, which holds true when buying and selling real estate. By paying with cash, a home buyer isn’t obligated to bank financing, loan approval, inspections, basically all the stuff that a standard transaction entails. 

Because they have the means to purchase your home, the process is a lot smoother and quicker. Having the cash on hand means they can make you an offer for your home within 24-hours and close in as little as 7-days. Unlike a traditional home selling transaction in Boise that takes roughly 35-days for a house to receive an offer, and then there is a 30-60 day escrow/closing period. And if the buyer has issues getting a loan approval or the inspection comes back with problems, that may put you back at square one again; looking for another buyer. 

They Buy Houses As-Is

No matter what condition your house is in, a cash home buyer is interested in purchasing it.

This can be especially helpful if your home is damaged, has unpermitted work, is on the verge of being condemned, or is just considered an ugly house. On the other hand, maybe the condition of your home isn’t to that extreme; perhaps it’s just outdated or has a suspicious foundation issue or some fire damage- whatever the case may be, repairs like these may deter prospective buyers. 

So you’re kind of left with the question, should you fix your house or sell it as is? Unfortunately, repairs take time and money and don’t guarantee offers or a buyer. 

However, selling to a cash home buyer means no repairs and an offer within 24-hours.

They Don’t Charge Realtor Commissions

Selling a house isn’t cheap; the average cost to sell a house is nearly 15% of its sale price, including agent commissions, home improvements, closing costs, and moving fees. If you were to use the median home sale price in Boise, $500,000, as an example, that would come out to $75,000 in-home selling fees. 

If you were to sell to cash home buyers in Star, Caldwell, or Eagle, they don’t charge realtor commissions, home improvements aren’t necessary, and closing costs are negotiable- which potentially leaves you worrying about moving costs. 

What are the Benefits of Selling Your House Using a Realtor

There are several benefits of selling your house using a realtor you’ll want to consider before deciding your next steps. Below we take a look at some of the perks of selling with a local real estate agent that you’ll want to know about. 

They Can Help Price Your Home

One of the hardest things to do when selling a house is to figure out the perfect listing price. A realtor will help find comparable homes in your area and give you a better idea of what you should list your house for. They can also provide you with helpful information on what buyers are looking for, or decor style so that your home can appeal to more people. 

Figuring out how much your home is worth and how to make your house appealing can be tricky, but working with a realtor can help. 

They’ll List Your Home on the MLS

The multiple listing service (MLS) is a tool used to list homes and find others on the market. Having your home on the MLS increases its exposure, increasing the chances that someone will see it and want to buy it. By working with an agent, you are able to get access to this helpful tool. 

They’ll Help Negotiate 

The nice thing about hiring a listing agent is that they’ll negotiate on your behalf. If you were to do things independently, it could put you in an awkward situation trying to negotiate with a buyer or a buyer’s agent. By working with a realtor, they’ll handle fighting for your best interests. In addition, this may provide fewer seller concessions or low-ball offers. 

house for sale in Idaho to a Cash Home Buyer

Should You Sell Your House in Idaho to a Cash Home Buyer?

Both selling with a realtor or to a cash home buyer should produce the same results. However, one can take longer than the other and require repairs to attract buyers as well as realtor commissions. The other option, selling to a “buy my house Idaho “company, doesn’t involve costly repairs, agent commissions, or months of sitting on the market. But the decision depends entirely on your goals and expectations. 

Final Takeaways 

Selling a house shouldn’t be stressful, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the entire process and would like to find the best companies that buy houses in Idaho, contact Gem State Cash Offer. They are one of the top home buying companies in Idaho, BBB accredited and family-owned. They also buy houses in as-is condition and can make you a no-obligation, free cash offer for your home today. 


Kevin is a real estate investor dedicated to helping homeowners sell their properties quickly and without the stress and hassle of a traditional listing.

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