How does Seller Financing Work in Real Estate

How Does Seller Financing Work in Real Estate?

Seller Financing is a loan provided by the seller of a property or business to the purchaser. When used in residential real estate it is known as seller financing or 'bond-for-title'. 
In the seller, financing the seller handles the mortgage process rather than a financial institution. 
In general terms, it is a loan from the seller to the buyer. Like other financing agreements, seller financing also involves the buyer paying the seller monthly or in instalments at an agreed interest rate. The payment from the buyer will be periodical until the full loan has been paid off. 

How Does Seller Financing Works

If you are finding it hard to get a conventional mortgage from the bank because your property was in distress condition or your credit score is no good then seller financing will be a good option. 
Unlike a conventional mortgage, there will be no closing costs in the deal or you may not require an appraisal. Usually, in seller financing you need to pay some down payment; it can range from fixed $5000 or 20% like a conventional mortgage. The seller can be flexible to down payments. If you are a strong negotiator then you can get the deal with no money down. 

Here are a few key points that you should note, the bank isn't involved in the process, unlike a sale there is no transfer of principal from buyer to seller but only a contract is held to repay the sum amount over time. 

Ideal Scenario

What is an ideal Scenario?

This is when the buyer will sign a contract with the seller to buy the property for $150,000 on $800/month with 0 money down. Then signs a contract with his tenant for 'rent to own' which means tenants have in their mind that one day they will be buying the asset. For a down payment, the buyer can ask to put $5,000 and then ask for $1,100/month. In this case, you will make $5,000 upfront and make $300 cash flow and at the end, you will make $30,000 on the deal. However, if the tenant fails to pay then at any time you can switch with new tenants. 
Using this method you make $5000 in 30 days. The best thing about seller financing is that it is a much faster process, often settling in a few days. 

Advantages of Seller Financing 

There are many benefits when it comes to seller financing. Firstly, sellers and buyers can keep their costs down without needing to pay layers, taxes or closing costs. Secondly, in seller financing, the buyer and the seller can negotiate repayment schedules according to their terms and conditions. 

Moreover, the property can be sold without any repairs or additional fixes. Lastly, the seller can spread the gain on multiple periods, thus can reduce tax as a transaction converted to an instalment of sales. 

Although seller financing has many pros it is crucial to keep cons in mind so you don't get trapped in any problems if you are considering seller financing. 

Disadvantages of Seller Financing

The main drawback in seller financing is larger interest rates than in conventional mortgages. Banks or other financial institutions have more flexibility when it comes to interest rates as they can offer buyers non-conventional mortgages. 

Moreover, another drawback of seller financing to buyers is that they cannot afford appraisal fees. Also, the seller may not have all the relevant information about the buyer's financial status or full credit history. It can be risky and can lead to foreclosure. Foreclosure can take nearly 12 months to complete, depending on the type of securities instrument used.

Lastly, another con is the buyer committing to the down payment and this can put the seller back in the beginning in connecting to new and true buyers.

How Does Seller Financing Suit Buyers?

However there are a lot of pros in seller financing, there is risk involved from both parties. 

Here are a few factors that buyers should consider to do seller financing. 

  1. Don't have Better Expectations than Conventional Mortgage.

As the terms of seller financing transactions are finalized, flexibility often matches reality. Sellers absorb their financial needs and risks, including the potential for buyers to default on loans and the prospect of a potentially costly and complicated eviction process. 

 The result invites the buyer to reflect. For example, you may get a more favourable interest rate than what the bank offers, but you are more likely to pay more, which may be a few percentage points higher than the current interest rate.

  1. You Need to Sell Yourself to Seller

Be honest and straightforward in telling why you didn't qualify for the conventional mortgage. These questions will arise when the seller checks your credit score and background data. Moreover, make sure that you outline clearly any restrictions on your ability to borrow that may surface during the seller's inspection. 

Seller Financing for Sellers

If you want to sell your property using seller financing it is crucial to keep these points in mind. 

1. Seek out tax advice and consider loan-servicing help

Since seller-funded transactions can cause tax issues, hire a financial planner or tax expert as part of your sales team. In addition, unless you are experienced and comfortable as a lender, consider hiring a loan service company to collect monthly payments, publish reports, and perform other tasks related to loan services.

2. Make seller financing part of your pitch to sell the property

Seller Financing is occasional so you should be wise in promoting the fact that you are offering it. It is important to add ‘’seller financing available’’ to your listings so that buyers know that you are offering it. 

So when a buyer sees your listing you should have outlined the financing schedule and agreements. Make a plan or write an information sheet on your financing so that you can show that to your potential buyers. 

If you don't want to buy a house and are looking to make money as an active real estate investor then I recommend you do Wholesale Real Estate. 

You Will Find this Useful: Wholesale Real Estate For Beginners: What Is It & How Do I Start?

Structuring Seller Financing Deal

In seller financing, both parties should hire a real estate agent to write and review sales contracts, provisionary notes and other related tasks. If you want to be a seller or a buyer in seller financing try bringing professionals of seller financing to deals. Professionals can help you decide what you should do and how to carry out seller financing in a profitable manner. 


In conclusion, you should keep in mind some points before doing seller financing. Seller financing is a good option, unusual or unfamiliar to most people, and seller financing may be a useful option to challenge the real estate market. However, if you encounter any risky steps, it is best to hire professionals in the transaction.

If you don't want to sell financing real estate expert Don Tepper has said that there are many ways you can buy properties with little to no money down. He recommends if you are finding seller financing hard you can try lease option, land-contract, contract-for-deed, equity sharing and wrap mortgages.‘’Most buyers and most real estate agents don’t know any of these work,’’ Don Tepper. 


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