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For Frustrated Homebuyers, All-Cash Bid Programs Emerge As New Workaround

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Shrikant Murali spent a frustrating year trying to buy a home in Austin, Texas, a city with an intensely competitive real estate market. The software engineer made one bid after another that proved close but not quite good enough.

“There are a lot of investor buyers, and they are paying all cash,” Murali says. “It’s a very hot market.”

Murali finally landed a place by making an all-cash offer of his own. But the first-time buyer didn’t manage to save $360,000 for an Austin townhouse. Instead, he relied on a new cash-offer program from Better.com, a lender and real estate brokerage based in New York.

Better.com bought the townhouse for Murali, then resold it to him. It’s the sort of innovative offering that’s becoming more common in a U.S. housing market that’s increasingly stretching Americans’ finances.

Startups Accept.inc, Homeward and Ribbon have begun offering all-cash offers in recent years. Better.com unveiled its program in…

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