Is Real Estate a Liquid Investment?

Properties are stable investments that can increase in value over time and serve as a source of passive income. So, is real estate a liquid investment? Real estate is not always liquid, so it may not be the best choice for those who need to access their money soon or have a limited amount to invest.

For context, real estate is a real asset that’s often purchased after much consideration. Plus, more often than not, buyers make a purchase with the intention of holding for the long term. 

While some properties may bring in a steady income, which may cause them to be considered liquid investments, others take a bit more time to mature and offer financial returns. Fortunately, there are ways to manage risk and still get the growth of the threshold returns while maintaining control over your money. Read on for some common pitfalls and tips to help you out.

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Is Real Estate a Liquid Investment?

What Is Liquidity in the World of Investments?

Liquidity is how easily you can access your money when you need it. You can sell an asset quickly and easily for cash if an asset is liquid. Conversely, illiquid investments are difficult to sell quickly.

A house you want to dwell in for a long time illustrates an illiquid asset. It’s not easy to sell a house quickly, even if it’s worth a lot of money. Real estate is a relatively illiquid asset. It can take several months to sell a residential real estate project and even longer to sell other real estate property types like commercial buildings or undeveloped land.

Liquid assets are also referred to as “money-like” and can consist of cash equivalents that bear the minimal risk of damage regardless of how long you hold them; some examples are Treasury bills and money market accounts. 

Real estate, in reality, is one of the less liquid investments since it requires a long time to sell; this makes it hard for an investor to get his invested funds.

Real Estate Investing Options

There are many different ways to invest in real estate, but each has advantages and disadvantages. You should carefully weigh the risks and potential rewards before deciding which type of real estate to invest in. And, as always, you’ll want to ensure you’re investing with your long-term goals in mind. 

Real estate can be a very profitable investment, but buying the right type is important. For example, investing in real estate for the short term can be very risky. 

The goal is to buy low, hold for a long time, and then sell high. To make sure you’re buying low, you may need to research and be patient.

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Real Estate as a Liquid Asset

Real estate is not a liquid asset, as you cannot easily convert it to cash. While you can sell some forms of real estate quickly, they often sell at a lower value due to the time it takes to complete a sale and the potential for errors in valuation.

When you invest a portion of your portfolio in real estate, you should be prepared to hold those assets long-term. Real estate is often considered a liquid asset when the equity in the property is used as collateral for a loan.

For example, if a borrower takes out a mortgage against their home, the equity in the property serves as collateral to back the loan. Investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT) is also one way to make real estate a liquid asset.

A REIT is a company that owns real estate and issues shares that represent portions of the company’s assets.

The Market: What Is It?

It is the proportion of available real estate assets at any particular time. Demand and supply govern the real estate market. These economic factors influence market pricing and the value of real estate investments.

Investors intending to purchase a property will begin by searching online or on multiple listing services. When the investor locates a seller whose property has potential for expansion, they complete a deal to transfer real estate to the investor. After that, both parties leave the market.

  • Mutual Funds

Mutual funds comprise portfolios of pooled assets that may contain REIT shares, property investment equities, and other assets. You can buy or sell mutual funds, like REITs, in most big markets and easily convert them to cash. Real estate mutual funds and REITs are other methods of investing in properties with little money.

Real Estate Investments That Are Not Liquid

Unlike stocks and bonds, which you can sell quickly and easily, you cannot quickly turn many types of real estate investments into cash. In fact, some real estate investments are illiquid, and you cannot sell them at all.

If you have an urgent need for funds, illiquid assets do not have a ready pool of purchasers; thus, the seller could be forced to sell the asset at a rebate.

  • Residential Rental Properties

Residential rental properties can be difficult to sell, especially if they’re in a less desirable part of town. Depending on the lease length, you may have some difficulty finding new tenants quickly after a property is put up for sale.

  • Commercial Undeveloped Land

Commercial undeveloped land may not be a liquid investment if it requires a lot of money to build on it. It might not be a good investment if the land is far from populated areas.

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A Tip to Invest in Real Estate if You Need Liquidity

Suppose you want to make real estate a liquid asset by investing in residential or commercial properties. In that case, you’ll want to ensure you have enough money to cover all expenses, including repairs and the mortgage. 

Real estate loans require a 20% down payment, which can take time to come up if you need money quickly. That’s why it’s essential to consider all the risks before investing in real estate. Investing in stocks and bonds can also be risky, but they’re easier to access if you need cash. If you analyze these risks properly, your investment property will gain more value.

Is Real Estate a Liquid Investment? – Final Verdict

When deciding whether or not to invest in real estate, you must consider several factors, including your long-term financial goals, possible financial crisis, income-producing real estate, and the liquidity of the investment. 

Lenders and investors are generally more comfortable with investments that are easy to access and liquidate, and most real estate properties fit that description. While real estate can be a smart investment, it’s important to remember that it’s not a liquid asset. In other words, selling can take a long time, which can often result in a lower price.

While making real estate transactions, always seek companies that will help facilitate your transaction faster.

An Explanation of Real Estate Liquidity

Paul Martinez

Paul Martinez is the founder of He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, and eCommerce.  Join him on to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this blog, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.