How to Make a Cash Offer With a Mortgage

Cash-offer financing programs give buyers who need mortgages the ability to make cash offers on homes.
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Written by Barbara Marquand
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Edited by Alice Holbrook
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Investors and well-heeled buyers used to be the only ones equipped to make cash offers on homes. But now some real estate companies and lenders are giving buyers who need mortgages a chance to compete as if they have cash.

Here's how cash-offer programs work and what to consider before signing up.

What is cash-offer financing?

Cash-offer financing programs debuted in the past several years as the housing market heated up and a growing portion of buyers made cash offers to win bidding wars. Sellers like cash because they don't have to worry about a buyer having financing troubles that could delay — or prevent — the sale.

In March 2024, 28% of buyers paid with cash, according to a survey of real estate agents by the National Association of Realtors. That's down from 33% of recent buyers surveyed by NAR in February 2024 and similar to the 27% of buyers surveyed in March 2023.

Traditionally, a buyer gets preapproved for a mortgage and makes an offer on a home. The lender then orders an appraisal and title search and finishes underwriting the mortgage. If all goes as planned, the loan is finalized on the scheduled closing date, and the buyer gets the keys to the house.

With cash-offer programs, you still finance the purchase with a regular mortgage. But the cash-offer company agrees to purchase the home on your behalf before the home loan has closed. You then buy the home back from the company once your mortgage is final. Some programs agree to purchase the home on your behalf only if the loan isn't a done deal by a certain date. Either way, with a cash guarantee, the seller is assured of getting their money on time.

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How cash-offer programs work

Each program works a little differently, but generally these are the steps involved:

  1. Apply and get preapproved for a mortgage with a cash offer or cash-backed offer.

  2. Work with a real estate agent to shop for a home and make a cash or cash-backed offer on a property. If your offer is accepted, some companies will purchase the home on your behalf and then sell it to you once you've gone through the full underwriting process and your mortgage is finalized. Others will purchase the home on your behalf if your mortgage is not finalized by the contracted closing date.

  3. After the sale closes, move into the home. If the company has purchased it on your behalf, you'll rent the home from the company until your mortgage comes through.

Generally, programs require buyers to pay earnest money, which is applied toward the down payment when the mortgage closes. If you change your mind after a company purchases a property on your behalf, you'll forfeit the earnest money, as you typically would if you broke a contract with a seller. Other rules and fees vary, so it's important to read the fine print.

Some companies say the programs can enable buyers to waive financing and appraisal contingencies when making offers. Those are walk-away clauses that let the buyer back out of the deal without losing earnest money if their financing falls through or the home appraisal comes in lower than the offer amount.

Waiving contingencies can make an offer more attractive to sellers, but make sure you understand the risks before doing so. A lender won't loan more money than a home is worth. So if the appraised value comes in lower than the offer amount and the offer doesn't include an appraisal contingency, you would have to renegotiate a lower price with the seller or make up for the difference out of your own pocket.

Work closely with your real estate agent to craft the offer.

Pros and cons of cash-offer programs


  • With a cash-backed offer, sellers may feel more confident that the sale will go through, which could give you an edge over other buyers.

  • Some programs can help with buying and selling a home at the same time. You can make a cash offer on a home while waiting for your current property to sell.

  • You may be able to get into the home more quickly than when buying the traditional way.


  • You pay fees to use some programs. And because the programs have varying terms and conditions, it will take time to sort through the options — on top of comparison shopping mortgage rates. 

  • With some programs, you have to use their affiliated real estate agents or lenders or pay higher fees if you use your own agent or lender.

  • A cash offer or cash-backed offer isn't a guarantee that you'll win a bidding war, especially now that cash offers are more common than a few years ago.

Ask these questions before choosing a cash-offer program

  • How much is the fee? Comparison shop mortgage rates and fees among cash-offer programs and traditional lender mortgage programs.

  • Which mortgages are eligible, and what are the down payment requirements?

  • Can you work with any lender and real estate agent? If so, is there a higher fee for doing so?

  • How much earnest money is required? This is money you'll pay upfront and will be credited toward your down payment when the mortgage closes.

  • In what situations would you forfeit the earnest money? Read the program's terms and conditions carefully to find out.

Companies that offer cash-offer financing

Flyhomes offers Flyhomes Cash Offer and a buy-before-you-sell program.

Details: Flyhomes provides a short-term loan that pays cash to the seller in as few as 10 business days. You then refinance that loan into a long-term mortgage. You must use Flyhomes Mortgage for the short-term loan but can use another lender to refinance for the mortgage. If you use Flyhomes for the long-term mortgage, you won't have to get approved again, and the company guarantees a 30-day closing.

Fees: The company said there are no fees to use the program.

Where available: Major markets in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Learn more: Flyhomes

Guild Mortgage offers the CashPass program for conventional mortgages.

Details: If your mortgage isn't finalized by the sale closing date, then Guild or an affiliated company will pay cash for the home.

Fees: $1,350 to be paid with earnest money, waived on new loans before 6/28/24.

Where available: In all states where Guild is licensed to do business.

Learn more: Guild Mortgage

Homeward Inc., a real estate company affiliated with Homeward Mortgage, has cash-offer and buy-before-you-sell programs.

Details: After getting approved for a mortgage with Homeward, you use your own real estate agent to shop for a home. Your agent will then work with Homeward to write an offer with a cash guarantee. You can close on the home directly with a mortgage or let Homeward purchase the home on your behalf and sell it back to you when your mortgage is finalized.

Fees: Homeward charges a fee of 1% of the purchase price if you close the sale traditionally with a mortgage or 1.9% of the purchase price if Homeward buys the home on your behalf. Either way, you'll get credited 1% of the purchase price at closing if you use Homeward Mortgage.

Where available: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Learn more: Homeward

New American Funding works with NAF Cash (previously known as Buyer Accepted), an affiliated company, to offer the NAF Cash program.

Details: NAF Cash will buy your new home upfront with cash and sell it back to you for the original price, plus a service fee. You move in and pay rent until your mortgage from New American Funding is finalized, for up to 90 days. You can work with your own real estate agent, but the agent must get certified with the NAF Cash program. Conventional and VA loans are eligible.

Fees: The fee starts at 1.5% of the cash used to purchase the house and varies by state.

Where available: Nationwide.

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