Financing: There are many benefits to an owner financing deal when purchasing a home. Both the buyer and seller can take advantage of the deal. But there is a specific process to owner financing, along with important factors to consider. You should begin by hiring people who can help you, such as an appraiser, Residential Mortgage Loan Originator, and lawyer.
1. Hire an appraiser.
Both the buyer and the seller should hire their own appraiser to determine the value of the house. The seller receives an appraisal in order to select a price for the home, and the buyer gets an appraisal to confirm that the selling price is fair. You can find an appraiser in the following ways:
- look in the Yellow Pages
- ask for a referral from a mortgage company, bank, or realtor
- contact your state’s licensing agency
2. Hire a real estate attorney.
Both parties should work closely with a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney can draft all of the necessary paperwork. The attorney can also protect your interests. For example, the buyer can include a protection clause just in case the property has to be sold in response to a life changing event, job relocation or loss, divorce or death.
- You can get a referral to a real estate attorney by contacting your local or state bar association. Bar associations are organizations made up of attorneys, and they often provide referrals to their members or can help you find an attorney.
3. Get advice from a Residential Mortgage Loan Originator (RMLO).
A Residential Mortgage Loan Originator can give you advice on how to manage owner financing in a way that is transparent and compliant with regulations. When you owner finance a home, you are essentially providing the buyer a loan until they complete their payments on the home. Since you want your agreement to be clear and binding, it’s good to work with a mortgage professional.
- Your RMLO can help ensure that your owner financing documents are compliant with the Safe Act and Dodd Frank Act.
- Make sure your RMLO is properly licensed by your state. Check with your state’s Department of Business Oversight or equivalent state office to check.
4. Get approval if you still have a mortgage.
Owner financed sales work best when the owner has title free and clear or the owner can pay off the mortgage with the buyer’s down payment. However, if the seller still has a large mortgage, they need to get their lender’s approval.
- Check whether you can pay off the mortgage with the buyer’s down payment. If not, then contact your mortgage company and discuss that you want to sell the house.
5. Consider performing background checks to control risk.
Both the seller and buyer should perform background checks on each other. Many owner financed sales are short-term, for five years or so. At the end of the term, the buyer is expected to refinance and then make a “balloon payment,” paying off the balance of the loan. As a seller, you will want assurance that a buyer can get a traditional loan at the end of the contract term, which means you definitely want to check their credit history and employment.
- In fact, sellers should consider having buyers complete a loan application. You can verify references, employment history, and other financial information.
- Buyers also benefit from background checks. For example, they might discover that the seller has been financially irresponsible. If the seller still holds a mortgage on the home, there is a risk of default.
6. Determine loan details.
One advantage of an owner financed sale is that the seller controls details about the financing. Because the seller is assuming a lot of risk, they should come up with terms that protect them. Talk with your attorney about what the terms of the loan should be. Consider the following:
- a substantial down payment (usually 10% or more)
- an interest rate that is higher than usual (though less than your state’s maximum allowable interest rate)
- a loan term you are comfortable with
7. Ask your lawyer draft a purchase and sale agreement.
You want to protect yourself legally by making sure that you have all of the necessary legal documents prepared. Your real estate attorney can draft a purchase and sale agreement, which both seller and buyer will sign. This document provides information about the following:
- closing date
- name of the title insurance company
- final sale price
- details about a down payment, if any
- contingencies which must be met for the sale to proceed, such as an acceptable inspection and a clear title report
8. Draft a promissory note.
The seller also needs the buyer to sign a promissory note or other financial instrument. Your lawyer can draft this document for you. It should contain the following information:
- borrower’s name
- property address
- amount of the loan
- interest rate
- repayment schedule
- terms for late or missed payments
- consequences of default
9. Have your lawyer draft a mortgage.
The mortgage provides security for the loan. Your lawyer should also draft this document for you. The mortgage is what allows you to repossess the house should the buyer default on the loan.
10. Agree on an interest rate and term with the buyer.
Your RMLO partner will calculate the agreed upon amount based on a specific period of time and if you have agreed on a balloon payment. Remember that not every state allows balloon payments.
- For example, you can base monthly payment amount on a hypothetical 30-year mortgage, but schedule payment of the remaining amount in 5 years (balloon). The RMLO will also create required disclosures for the seller/lender.
11. Close the sale.
Both the buyer and seller should have independent attorneys who can review all paperwork to make sure that it is complete. You should schedule a closing to sign everything and make copies.
12. Hire a loan servicer to manage payments.
The seller should talk to their lawyer about whether they want to hire a loan servicer. If they do, then their lawyer can recommend someone. A loan servicer provides many important services:
- collects the mortgage payments
- sets up an escrow
- handles tax statements and payments
- makes insurance payments
- processes payment changes
- performs collection services, if necessary
13. Record your mortgage or deed of trust.
You can record it in the county land records office. Doing so will allow the buyer and the seller to take advantage of tax deductions. Making the deal official in this manner also proves that the sale took place.
14. Analyse your situation as a seller.
Owner financed sales are rare, and you shouldn’t jump into one until you have thoroughly considered your situation. Think about the following:
- You usually must own the house free and clear of any mortgage. Otherwise, you will need your lender to give you permission to sell.
- Taxes can be complicated and you’ll want to hire a tax professional to help you.
- You might have to go through the foreclosure process if the buyer stops making payments. This can be costly and time-consuming.
- However, you may make much more money on an owner financed sale than if you sell the traditional way.
15. Determine if an owner financed sale is ideal as a buyer.
Buyers usually like owner financed sales because a seller might be less choosy than a bank or mortgage lender. However, you should consider the following:
- You might have to come up with a larger down payment than you normally would. The owner-seller is taking a risk by financing your sale, and in return they might want a larger down payment or higher interest.
- Owner financed sales often close faster than other sales.
- You need to be sure you can make the balloon payment if one is written into the contract. If you break the contract, then you could lose the house and all of the payments you have made up to that point.
16. Talk with professionals if you have questions.
In addition to working with a real estate lawyer, you might want to meet with a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant. Ask about the tax benefits of an owner financed sale compared to selling outright.
- If you are a buyer, then you should talk about how to raise your credit score so that you qualify for a traditional mortgage when the balloon payment comes due.
17. Make sure your buyer can cover the balloon payment.
Owner financing is most often used when the buyer or property does not qualify for a conventional loan. This means the buyer may not have the resources to cover the balloon payment at the end of your term. Discuss your buyer’s options before entering into a contract with them.
- If you are a buyer, make sure that you have your options for paying the balloon payment lined up before you agree to the seller’s terms.
18. Consider a lease-to-own option.
This option is often more advantageous for the buyer and less complicated for the seller. You and the person interested in your home will lock in a potential sale price for the home, as well as a lease agreement ranging from 2 to 5 years. During that time, the person will pay you rent on the home, with a portion of that rent going toward a down payment on the house. After the lease ends, the person can choose to proceed with the sale as arranged, or they can opt to walk away.
- If they walk away, they don’t get a refund on the extra money they paid toward the down payment.
- If they do walk away, you’ll need to relist your home.
The best financing option for your business depends on various factors, including your business’s stage, financial health, creditworthiness, and specific needs. Here are some common financing options to consider:
19. Traditional Bank Loans:
Traditional bank loans typically offer competitive interest rates and terms. They are suitable for established businesses with a strong credit history and collateral to secure the loan.
20. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans:
SBA loans are backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, making them more accessible to small businesses. They offer favourable terms and lower down payments compared to conventional loans.
21. Business Lines of Credit:
A business line of credit provides flexible financing that allows you to borrow funds as needed, up to a predetermined credit limit. It’s suitable for managing cash flow fluctuations and short-term financing needs.
22. Equipment Financing:
If you need to purchase equipment or machinery for your business, equipment financing allows you to borrow funds specifically for that purpose. The equipment serves as collateral, making it easier to qualify for financing.
23. Invoice Financing:
Invoice financing, also known as accounts receivable financing, allows you to borrow against unpaid invoices to improve cash flow. It’s useful for businesses with outstanding invoices and long payment cycles.
24. Merchant Cash Advances:
Merchant cash advances provide upfront cash in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. They are quick to obtain but often come with high fees and interest rates, so they should be used cautiously.
Crowdfunding platforms allow you to raise funds from a large number of individuals who contribute small amounts of money. It’s suitable for startups and innovative projects that resonate with the crowd.
26. Venture Capital:
Venture capital involves raising funds from investors in exchange for equity ownership in your business. It’s suitable for high-growth startups with the potential for significant returns.
27. Angel Investors:
Angel investors are affluent individuals who provide capital to startups in exchange for equity or convertible debt. They often offer mentorship and industry connections in addition to funding.
28. Personal Savings and Friends/Family Loans:
Using personal savings or borrowing from friends and family can be a quick way to finance your business without going through formal lenders. However, it’s essential to establish clear repayment terms to avoid straining personal relationships.
Before choosing a financing option, carefully evaluate the terms, costs, and potential impact on your business’s financial health. Consider consulting with financial advisors or business mentors to explore the best financing options tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
29. More tips
The seller should establish a land contract. With a land contract, title doesn’t pass to the buyer until the final payment has been made. Discuss this option with your attorney and see if such a contract is feasible.
The seller should ask that the buyer purchase homeowner’s insurance and confirm the seller as mortgagee.