After you've found your Realtor to work with, and after you've found the home which matches all your wants and needs, you are ready to make an offer. The first page of an offer (an Arkansas Realtors Association approved form) covers three things: name, property address/legal description and price. Although name and property description can be discussed in detail, this discussion is about the third, price.
There are basically 4 types of offers: cash, conventional loan, government loan or owner financing. The second and third involve financial institutions which require approval of the buyer and approval of the home (appraisal). The third includes an approval of the buyer. The first requires nothing but cash in hand.
The offer goes on to discuss other areas the buyer will cover with due dilligence such as inspection, appraisal, termite, etc. It all comes down to price, though, both for buyer and seller. Does it make a difference whether the price comes as a loan or cash? Yes, because as I said above, all other offers require approval of the buyer and/or the home. A cash offer can be closed quicker, with less parties involved, and less requirements to meet.
A cash offer means you can go to the bank (or your mattress) and give the seller the money the day the offer is signed. Although title and inspections do not move so quickly anymore, the basic premise is still there. A cash offer does not mean your banker says you can get a loan. A cash offer is not using money from your 401k. A cash offer is not borrowing money from Aunt Debbie. All of those are contingent upon you actually receiving those funds.
Whether you are making a cash offer or not, please communicate with your Realtor where your funds are coming from. We are not trying to be nosey, but are trying to ensure you are protected. We also want to ensure all parties in the transaction are being properly informed about the process it will take to get to the closing table. We all want everyone to be at closing, be happy with the outcome, and no hiccups along the way.