10 Advantages to Using the Seller Carry Back

The word is out and seller financing is on the rise as buyers and sellers look for creative ways to finance property in the struggling market.

So what’s all the hype?

Here are ten advantages to using the seller carry back to buy or sell real estate.

 1.Shorter Marketing Times – Properties marketed with “Owner Will Finance” will draw a greater response rate and generally sell at least 20% faster than properties requiring conventional financing.

 2. More Buyers – With many lenders’ tightening their approval process, the seller carry back enables a greater number of buyers to purchase and finance a home.

 3. Speedy Closings – Without the red tape of a conventional mortgage lender, a real estate transaction can close in as little as two to three weeks.

 4. Maximize Selling Price – The seller has an opportunity to realize full market value for a property when providing financing. This is viewed as a sales concession in many markets.

 5. Reduced Restrictions – Restrictive lending requirements don’t apply providing greater flexibility when it comes to the buyer’s credit history, down payment, debt to income ratios, and other underwriting criteria.

 6. Fewer Costs – There are no expensive loan costs to worry about. A buyer can put the money they save on origination fees, points, underwriting fees, mortgage insurance premiums, and junk fees towards the down payment and building equity.

7. Interest Income – The seller is able to collect long-term interest since they are essentially acting as the bank by extending terms to the buyer. On average a buyer will pay back 2 to 3 times the amount of the mortgage on a 30-year term as a result of interest.

 8. Installment Sale Tax Deferral – When property is sold at a gain and subject to tax there can be an opportunity to delay a portion due when reporting under the Installment Sale Method (Refer to IRS Publication 537, Form 6252 and speak to a qualified tax professional for further details).

 9. Secure Asset – The balance of the purchase price is collateralized by the property. If the buyer stops making payments the seller can take back ownership of the home.

10. Liquid Asset – The seller owns a liquid asset, which is just a fancy way of saying somebody will purchase the note, mortgage, trust deed, or contract on the open market. Many sellers elect to sell their future payments to a note investor or note buyer for cash today rather than payments over time.

Seller financing offers a creative solution to financing real estate but there are some risks. For the flip side of the coin be sure to read the Disadvantages to Owner Financing. It also pays to consult with qualified real estate, tax, and legal professionals to make sure today’s solution doesn’t turn into tomorrow’s problem.

 

 

 

What is Seller Financing?

When a seller allows a buyer to make payments over time for the purchase of property, it is known as owner financing or seller financing. This private financing by the seller can take the place of a bank loan or be in addition to a conventional mortgage.

The payment amount, interest rate, and other terms are agreed upon between the buyer and seller. The amount financed by the seller will depend upon the buyer’s down payment and whether there are any bank loans.

Here’s an example of how it works.

An owner advertises his or her house for sale, either on her own or through an agent.

A buyer makes an offer, and they agree upon a sales price of $175,000 with a 10 percent down payment of $17,500.

Rather than requiring the buyer to obtain a bank loan, the seller carries back the balance of $157,500 in the form of a note and mortgage. It could also be a note and deed of trust or a real estate contract, depending on the customary documents for that state. A title company or real estate attorney is often used for the closing.

The note spells out the terms of repayment. In this case they agree upon 8.5 percent interest at $1,211.04 per month based on a 360-month amortization. The seller doesn’t really want to wait a full 30 years for payments, so the note requires payment in full, known as a balloon payment, within seven years.

Because the buyer is making payments to the seller rather than an institutional lender, the legal arrangement is called a private mortgage, seller carry-back, installment sale, or owner financing.

The seller has the same mortgage rights as a bank, so if the buyer does not make payments, the seller can foreclose and take the property back.

When the seller prefers cash today rather than payments over time, the rights to future payments can be sold or assigned to a note investor on the secondary market.

Can I Sell Part of My Mortgage Note?

Owner Financing doesn’t have to mean waiting years or decades to receive money.

Sellers have the choice to sell all or just part of their future payments for cash today.

Option 1 – When note buyers purchase all the remaining payments on a land contract, mortgage note, or trust deed it is considered a full purchase.

Option 2 – When the note buyer purchases just a portion of the remaining payments it is considered a partial purchase.

more “Can I Sell Part of My Mortgage Note?”

Safekeeping the Original Mortgage Note

Can you easily locate the original mortgage note?

This important legal document should be kept in a safe place, and here is why!

The promissory note is a promise to pay or IOU from the property buyer. It spells out the amount due and terms of repayment. In legal jargon it is known as a negotiable instrument. Similar to a check, the original must be presented to collect or prove ownership.

If the seller desires to sell and assign the payments to a note buyer, the investor will ask for the original note to be provided at closing. The promissory note is then endorsed over to the investor. Similar to endorsing a check, the holder signs on the back of the note.

Sample Note Endorsement on Back of Original Mortgage Note

Pay to the order of, (Insert name of investor), without recourse.

 

Dated this ____ day of _______, 2011.

(Seller Signs and Dates)

Sometimes the note endorsement is executed on a separate piece of paper, also called an allonge. The allonge is then attached as a permanent rider to the original note. The endorsement enables the investor to prove they are a holder in due course, with the same rights of repayment as the original note holder.

An investor may also ask for the original recorded mortgage or deed of trust at closing. However, if this original is lost, an investor will usually accept a certified copy from the county recorder’s office.

A lost original note, on the other hand, can cause a problem. In most states the note is not recorded. If the original note becomes lost a note investor may ask for a duplicate or replacement note to be signed by the payer or maker. This means going back to the person that owes you money and asking them to resign. This relies on their cooperation and can cause delays.

The investor will also ask for a lost note affidavit from the seller or note holder, stating the note has been lost and it will be presented if found at a later date.

Some investors will consider accepting just the lost note affidavit with a copy of the original note.  However, this is increasingly rare as a lost original note can create problems foreclosing should the buyer stop making payments.

The best option is to avoid losing the note by keeping it in a safe deposit box or a fire and waterproof safe. Some sellers elect to have the original held by their attorney or a third party servicing agent for safekeeping.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to keep the original mortgage note in a safe place that is easily located!