At a time when many Nashvillians would find it difficult to scrape up even a 10% down payment for a home, a surprising new trend has emerged. Increasing numbers of home sales are now all-cash deals, happening all over Nashville.

buying a house with cashAccording to data supplier RealtyTrac, 38.1% of residential property sales in the U.S. in November 2015 were all-cash arrangements, up from 30.9 percent a year ago to the highest level since March 2013. RealtyTrac suspects the increase in all-cash sales is due to the new documentation and disclosure rules for mortgages that took effect in October of last year and global instability that drives foreign cash buyers to the relatively safe Nashville real estate market.

But that’s not all! Many people are opting to buy with cash to get better considerations on their offers in this hot seller’s market. Since cash buyers are guaranteed and can close faster, almost every seller would rather have a cash buyer for the same price. And this is why Nashville cash offers are so powerful, despite the historically low interest rates. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are hovering at 4%, and 15-year fixed loans can be had for 3.5% or less, the lowest in more than 50 years. Yet the National Association of Realtors ­estimates that roughly 30% of U.S. home buyers are now making their purchases 100% in cash, compared with 15% in 2008.

Cash Home Buyers Save Money

Cash buyers can also save on closing costs. You don’t have to fork over money to pay a bank attorney for the mortgage. This is an expense that can run $750 and up (although it can be wise to retain your own lawyer). You don’t have to put real estate taxes in escrow up front nor pay the estimated $300 to $600 for a mortgage application plus additional thousands in loan origination fees and assorted junk charges. And you aren’t required to cough up $400 to $600 for an appraisal, which mortgage lenders insist upon, or, in a growing number of cases, multiple appraisals. (The ­multiple appraisal requirement is popping up in foreclosure-riddled areas where nondistressed homes have few sales to be compared against.)

So, if you can buy a house with cash? Do it!