What is seller financing, and how does it work?

Property Management Blog

Many people want to invest in real estate, but usually, everyone has enough money to buy a house. They try to mortgage the house, but insufficient credit scores become a limitation for them. In this situation, seller financing might be the solution for you. Seller financing can remove many obstacles which don't allow you to close the deal. Here we discuss seller financing, its types, and how it can help you overcome financial problems. 

What is seller financing?

Owner financing is the other name for seller financing. It is a deal where the seller finances the purchase for the buyer without using any traditional mortgage method. One part of the deal is similar to a mortgage where the buyer lends the money to buy a property and return it with interest, but the unique aspect is instead of any lending agency, the seller is the lender. Seller financing is beneficial for both buyer and seller. 

Buyers with bad credit scores cannot get finance to mortgage the house, but seller financing helps them buy the property despite their bad credit score. On the other hand, the seller is taking a risk, so he usually sells his property at a high price or asks for a higher interest rate. 

How does seller financing work?

Seller financing is very simple to understand and execute. If you deal with the bank, the closing cost can be unexpected for many. Moreover, it may take a long time to complete the details like checking credit scores and details of property appraisal. 

Seller financing is easy and simple. When buyer and seller agree to this kind of financing, they can discuss other details. The specifications may include the amount of down payment, duration of the agreement, and the due date for the installment submission. Both parties can agree on any terms and conditions with mutual consent. However, some terms are common for seller financing agreements mentioned here. 

Usually, these financing agreements are for a shorter duration than typical mortgage agreements. Secondly, a down payment is involved in seller financing, which is very flexible. Moreover, a balloon payment is also part of the agreement, which will be due after a certain period of time. 

Buyers use the duration of this agreement to improve their credit history. It will help them get a standard mortgage for the next property venture. 

Types of seller financing

Seller financing can be of different types, which we are mentioning here. 

Seller financed mortgage

The type of mortgage we have discussed above is the seller finance mortgage. However, it can be further categorized into different types. 

Free and clear properties: When the seller completely owns properties and has no mortgage installments left, the properties are called free and clear. The property is clear, and the buyer and seller can set their terms and conditions to buy and sell this property. 

All-inclusive trust deed: If the house's mortgage is not paid yet, the situation will be different. This trust deed allows the seller to use the buyer's money to pay these installments. However, the seller can't sell the property until all the mortgage is paid. This type of financing is hard to secure, and experts don’t recommend this financing. 

Rent to own agreements

In this type of seller financing buyer and seller sign a lease agreement, and the buyer is allowed to live in the house. The money he pays as rent will be counted as rent credit, leading to the down payment of the traditional mortgage. When the lease agreement ends, the buyer decides whether he wants to buy the house or not. If he wants to buy the house, he must pay the rest of the amount. 

The lease-purchase agreement is another form of this agreement, but the buyer has to commit to buying the house at the end of the lease agreement. So, the deal is very risky for the buyer. 

Why should you choose seller financing?

Seller financing has various advantages and disadvantages for buyers and sellers. Here we are discussing the pros and cons of both. 

Advantages and disadvantages for buyers

Here are some pros of seller financing for buyers, which can help you make the right decision.


  • It is a great financing option for those who don’t qualify for standard mortgage schemes. 

  • The seller financing procedure is cheaper and quicker. 

  • The buyer can negotiate the down payment. 

  • It’s an opportunity for buyers to improve their credit scores. 


  • Buyers have to pay a higher interest rate as the seller takes a high risk. 

  • A balloon payment is the biggest disadvantage of seller financing.  

  • The seller can check the credit score of the buyer. 

  • The seller can evict the buyer if he cannot pay the installment, and unfortunately, there are no laws for his protection. 

Advantages and disadvantages for sellers

Like buyers, sellers also have to face the pros and cons of seller financing agreements.


  • Seller financing is fast, so there are no delays because of approvals and other appraisals. 

  • The seller has control over the property's price, and he can ask for a higher value than the market value. 

  • Buyer money can become a passive income for the seller. 

  • Sellers can ask for a higher interest rate. 


  • This can be a risky deal for the seller, as they deal with buyers who have a bad credit score. 

  • If the house's mortgage is not paid yet, the process will be very complicated. 

  • If buyers fail to pay the installment, the seller must complete the procedure like eviction and foreclosure, which can be a headache. 

  • The seller will not get the complete payment at once; rather, he must wait for years to get his money back in installments. 

Seller-financed property has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some listings mention that the property is seller-financed. However, if it is not mentioned in the listing, you can ask the seller if he is interested in this kind of financing agreement. 

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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