Ask the expert: We've just sold our large home and want to buy a condo for about $160,000. Is paying cash a good idea? It's a complicated question. If your home sale brought enough, or more than enough, to pay cash for your new place, it can be a good idea. That's especially true if you own a small business or are retired and might have difficulty getting a mortgage. More retirees are paying for their homes with cash, mainly because obtaining financing can be so time consuming. In the first quarter of this year, 43 percent of existing homes sold in the United States were purchased entirely by cash, according to CNNMoney. Some buyers would rather forgo the headaches of getting a mortgage under strict qualification standards that have prevailed since the housing slump. And fewer banks are willing to lend to Canadians and other foreign nationals seeking to buy a second home. Due diligence * Though you're paying cash, you still have a lot to do before the condo is yours. Some cash buyers still use a mortgage company to handle their deals. They will have the home inspected and have a title search conducted once you've signed a purchase and sales agreement. Their real estate attorney will oversee the process of the sales transaction. * Sign a purchase and sales agreement, remit the deposit requirement and schedule a closing date. Sellers also may have restrictions on how quickly they can vacate and turn over the title. * Review the anticipated closing costs. Among the costs you may have to pay regardless of financing are the broker's commission and the lawyer's fee. Pro rate utilities and taxes, recording fees and miscellaneous courier fees if any. * Convert your cash to a cashier's check or checks on the day of the closing. Be sure the seller can produce the title. * Register the deed with the Registry of Deeds in your county.