Cryptocurrency and Real Estate

The real estate industry has embraced technology in recent years through the use of the internet to market homes, including virtual tours that allow potential buyers to see properties from anywhere and the extensive use of data. Now the real estate world is poised to take another step into the tech realm as cryptocurrency becomes more commonplace throughout today’s economy.

For instance, cryptocurrency can be used to buy homes for sale in Los Altos, the affluent community nestled in the foothills above Silicon Valley. When you think about it, what better place is there for a tech advancement like this than in Silicon Valley? Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are extremely popular with executives and well-paid tech employees who can afford the homes available in these comfortable, safe communities.

What is Cryptocurrency?

You’ve no doubt heard of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are mentioned on the news and financial reports. Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new form of decentralized digital currencies with no physical characteristics. An easy way to look at them is that they are an electronic peer-to-peer cash system. Bitcoin was created in 2009 following the economic recession that hammered many parts of the economy, especially real estate.

There are already several different kinds of cryptocurrency with more coming along all the time. You can buy a cryptocurrency and use it to pay for many kinds of purchases, including real estate. Cryptocurrency can be used for in-person transactions, but it’s more often used for online purchases. Many people also hold onto cryptocurrency as a long-term investment.

Bitcoin in Real Estate

Using Bitcoin for real estate purchases makes sense for all parties involved in the transaction: the seller, the buyer, and their agents. Sellers and their agents can create instant interest on their homes when they list them for sale in Bitcoin. Those listings catch the attention of buyers who prefer to make their transactions in Bitcoin, particularly high-end real estate that is priced in the seven figures. Many people who have played the Bitcoin market smartly have made huge profits during price fluctuations and choose to invest those profits in something tangible, and there are few things better than real estate. Sellers can either accept full payment in Bitcoin or a combination of Bitcoin and cash.

Pros and Cons

As with any traditional real estate purchase, there are pros and cons to using cryptocurrency for purchasing Los Altos luxury homes. Whether you’re buying or selling, you should meet with a real estate expert who is well-versed in the use of Bitcoin to find out if completing a transaction in cryptocurrency makes sense in your particular situation. If it is, proceed with this exciting new approach. You should also meet with a tax attorney to make sure you have all your bases covered.

What Sellers Should Know

One of the big advantages of accepting Bitcoin for real estate is the attention your listing will draw. Savvy home buyers who begin their search online will almost certainly be intrigued when they see a listing that indicates Bitcoin will be accepted. They likely will want to view the home in person, which could lead to a quick offer. Even if homebuyers attracted by the Bitcoin aspect don’t put in an offer, they might tell friends and acquaintances about your listing and that could lead to a sale.

Another positive to a cryptocurrency transaction is that it will close far faster than a traditional home transaction in which the buyer must secure a mortgage. A Bitcoin transaction can go through in a matter of minutes or hours. One other factor for sellers to consider is that even though the value of cryptocurrency can fluctuate, your position will be protected because you will be paid the contract price.

Among the cons of accepting cryptocurrency is that you can be duped if you are not careful and don’t know who you are dealing with. You also need to take precautions to avoid being hacked. As mentioned above, you need to be aware of any tax implications when accepting Bitcoin as payment for homes for sale in Los Altos Hills.

What Buyers Should Know

One of the positive aspects of using Bitcoin for a real estate purchase is that it allows you to broaden your investment portfolio to hedge against market upheavals. Real estate is still considered a safe investment and home prices have only been going up, leading to quick appreciation. Using Bitcoin can move you to the front of the line of potential buyers for hot Los Altos Hills real estate, much as an all-cash offer would. Just like an all-cash offer, a Bitcoin offer will cut out the need to get qualified for a mortgage and will save significant time in the closing process. Cryptocurrency is also favored by overseas investors as it helps expedite the sale process.

On the flip side, buyers who prefer to complete transactions in Bitcoin might be frustrated if they fall in love with a house and find out that the buyer won’t accept cryptocurrency. The trend hasn’t fully caught on yet so there might be a limited number of houses available for Bitcoin aficionados. Buyers should be aware that Bitcoin transactions are irreversible.

NFTs and Real Estate

There is a push in the tech world to see if it is possible to conduct real estate transactions with non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. NFTs are unique digital tokens used in transactions for digital objects such as art. People who favor cryptocurrency are eager to find out if it will be possible to trade NFTs for physical assets such as luxury Los Altos Hills real estate.

These are the basics of conducting real estate transactions using Bitcoin. Since each situation and transaction is unique, be certain you understand what you are getting into and have the backing of a licensed real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the local market as well as conducting transactions using Bitcoin. If you are looking to buy or sell in Los Altos,  either conventionally or with cryptocurrency, contact Gretchen Swall for the best client service in the area.



Work With Gretchen

A natural born problem solver, Gretchen is known for her resourcefulness in challenging situations. As an agent who is prepared for all situations and knowledgeable in her craft, she is a huge asset to her clients and is thorough in educating them every step of the way.