Seller Financing Mortgages

A seller financing real estate works with a seller financing homes and a buyer. The seller lends money to the buyer to purchase a home on seller financing terms. 

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Buying a home is the dream of most of us. The process of buying a house is simple, you select a house and pay the amount. But what if you cannot proceed with this usual buying method? In that case, you can apply to the bank for financing to purchase a house. However, that is not the only option of the mortgage. That is where seller financing real estate or commonly known as owner financing jumps in.

What is Seller Financing Real Estate?

In Seller financing real estate, the owner is willing to lend money to the buyer instead of upfront payment. It is also referred to as owner financing and eliminates the need for other finance options such as banks etc. Thus, the owner lends money to the buyer on agreed-upon seller financing terms and conditions. The conditions include installments, interest rate, and other clauses such as duration. Thus, in this method buyer does not have to apply for a mortgage with a bank; instead, they can proceed with a seller or owner-provided mortgage.

In a credit crunch, seller financing real estate can be a valuable method. It enables sellers to sell their homes more quickly and earn a higher return on their investment. Buyers can also benefit from down payment conditions, less strict qualifications, and more flexible rates and loan terms on a home.

Just a small percentage of all sellers — usually less than 10% — are willing to take on the role of the financier. This is due to the deal’s legal, financial and logistical challenges. However, sellers can minimize the inherent risks by taking the necessary precautions and enlisting professional assistance.

How It Works

The seller assumes the role of a lender in seller financing real estate. Instead of giving the buyer cash, the seller provides the buyer with enough credit to cover the home’s purchase price minus any down payment. A promissory note needs to be signed by both the buyer and the seller. They file a mortgage with the local public records authority (or “deed of trust” in some states). The buyer then pays the loan back over time, usually with interest.

These are usually short-term loans and have a hefty payment that is due within five years. The idea is that the home will have increased in value enough, or the buyer’s financial status will have changed enough to be able to refinance with a conventional lender in a few years.

The short period is also realistic from the seller’s perspective: Sellers don’t have the same life expectancy as a mortgage lending company, nor do they have the stamina to wait 30 years for the loan to be paid off. Furthermore, sellers do not want to take on the risk of extending credit for longer than is required.

When a house is free and clear of a mortgage, a seller financing homes are in the best position to provide seller financing. If the seller already has a large mortgage on the house, the seller’s current lender must approve the sale. Risk-averse lenders are seldom able to take on the extra risk in a tight credit market.

Some terms and Conditions

It depends on both parties to decide seller financing terms and conditions for the payment. However, having an expert real estate attorney in the deal can help. Real attorneys decide terms with mutual agreement.

Some conditions that a seller financing homes focus on are:

Down Payment

Of course, both parties decide the amount that the purchaser must pay upfront. Purchaser pays this amount to show commitments towards the house. Moreover, it also seals the contract. In most cases, sellers ask for a 15% to 20% down payment. There are little to no cases in which buyers can proceed with zero down payment.

Duration of lending amount

The buyer and seller both decide the duration in which the buyer will return the loan. It can be anywhere between 5 to 30 years, or in some cases even more or less. One of the common causes of short-term loan durations is with balloon payments at the end.

Interest Rate

The interest rate can be accumulated in different ways, including fixed-rate loans, interest-only, and adjustable rates. In seller financing, often, interest rates are higher and are somewhere between 4 to 10% mostly.  In an interest-only type of loan, the buyers pay only interest amount with a large amount of payment at the end, known as a balloon payment.

How to Structure Seller Financing Real Estate

Before signing the contract or even constructing the contract, both individuals must hire a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney knows areas that the owner and purchaser might lack. Thus, they can not only find hidden conflicts but help in reaching a mutual settlement. Moreover, a real estate attorney or title attorney can find potential title defects as well. Hence, they can help in identifying disputes and remedying them.

After hiring a realtor attorney, both parties must proceed with the contract. At this point, an experienced realtor attorney will write and review the contract or promissory note. They will add terms and conditions with mutual agreement. Thus, the term including the interest rate and installments is finalized.

There are two ways to structure the deal. Depending on circumstances, a seller might decide to transfer the title to the purchaser, and in return, both parties sign a deed of trust or promissory note. Again, there are certain exceptions in this case. For example, after transferring the title, you can sell the house but must pay the agreed-upon installment. On the other hand, if you fail to do so, the owner has the right to close the deal depending on the mortgage or deed of trust.

Another less conventional way is holding the title to the property until the buyer pays the amount. Thus, a contract is signed between both parties,and the owner does not transfer the title to the buyer’s name instead waits for the completion of payment.

Seller Financing Options

Here’s a short rundown of some of the most popular seller financing options.

Junior Mortgage

A junior mortgage is a loan taken out by lenders hesitant to fund more than 80% of a home’s worth in today’s economy. The seller will take out a second mortgage for the difference between the down payment and the purchase price. The borrower collects the first mortgage proceeds from the buyer’s first mortgage loan right away. However, holding a second mortgage exposes the seller to the possibility of accepting a lower priority if the borrower defaults.

The mortgage is only owed after the first lender has been paid off in the event of repossession or foreclosure. Furthermore, a bank may refuse to make a loan to someone with too much debt.


Like a standard rental, the seller rents the property to the buyer for a fixed duration. Still, in exchange for an upfront fee, the seller then offers to sell the property to the buyer later and on agreed-upon terms (possibly including price). The rental payments can be added in part or in full to the purchase price. Lease options are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

All-Inclusive Mortgage Loan

The promissory note and mortgage on the entire balance of the home price, less any down payment, are carried by the seller.

Contract for the purchase of land

Land contracts do not grant the buyer rights to the property; instead, they give the buyer “equitable title,” or a temporary share of ownership. The buyer receives the deed after the final payment has been made.

Assumed Mortgage

This allows the buyer to take on the seller’s mortgage. Some FHA, VA loans, and traditional adjustable-rate mortgages may be assumed with the bank’s approval.

How can a lawyer help?

Before starting a seller financing real estate contract, you must hire a realtor attorney. Both of the parties must proceed with the deal only after hiring an expert attorney. A seller financing homes must have relevant knowledge about the process, but legal aspects can only be covered by a lawyer. Thus, here are some parts you need the legal expertise of a title attorney or a real estate attorney.


At the starting of the contract, both parties must bring their realtor attorneys. These attorneys will do the background check and will construct the contract moreover, if they will ensure that their clients are benefitting from the deal. Also, they will verify if the contract is complete or not.

Seller Financing Terms

Certain seller financing terms must be specified in the contract. However, not every seller financing real estate cases are the same. In some cases, duration might be around 10 to 15 years, while in others, they can go to 30 years as well. Thus, a real estate lawyer will bring the best deal for their client and decide terms with mutual interest.

Title Defects and Scams

A realtor attorney will ensure that the land you want to buy or sell is free of disputes. In case a dispute occurs, they will offer their client title insurance to save them from financial loss. Moreover, an expert real estate attorney will also save you from potential scams by running a background and history check, including a title search.

Seller Financing Mortgages Near Me

If you are proceeding with seller financing real estate, you need expert assistance. Thus, if you are looking for a “Real Estate Attorney near me,” simply visit us on Both the purchaser and the owner would need a real estate attorney with expertise in seller financing to draft the necessary paperwork. 

Hence, if you need legal assistance for an issue related to real estate, contact Attorneys Real Estate Group today. Please contact us online or by phone at 916-702-8443; we look forward to assisting you. We also provide a free consultation with an expert attorney!