Yes, you can be sure that a cash buyer is favored by a seller if the offer is within reason. The seller doesn't have to worry about an appraisal coming in low. And the seller can see proof that the buyer has the liquid funds to back up the offer. Also the transaction can close much quicker and for less cost to both seller and buyer. So, the seller doesn't have the issues that is common with a financed purchase.
However, frequently cash buyers believe that they can make an offer substantially below the list price and still get acceptance from the seller. This simply isn't the case, especially in this market. In fact, due to the low inventory or quality homes in quality neighborhoods, cash offers have become much more common. In fact, multiple cash offers for a home are not unusual.
Regarding your question about a sizable down payment, buyers making offers with sizable down payments certainly do have a shot. However, the seller wants to see a sizable earnest money deposit, as well. And keep the request for seller concessions like paying the buyer's closing costs, home owner's warranty, appraisal fees, etc. to a minimum. Again, due to the market conditions, a buyer using financing is frequently at a disadvantage. So, a buyer using financing typically has to be more aggressive in an offer to win.
Let me know if you want to discuss other ways you can be successful in purchasing your dream home in this very competitive market.
REALTOR and Associate Broker
West USA Realty