Seller financing is extremely powerful because the buyer and the seller have control over all the terms of the transaction. That means that there are virtually unlimited applications for seller financing. However, all of the options for seller financing fall into just a 2 major categories: financing after the closing and financing before the closing.
The following 4 types of financing occur after the closing:
1. Free and Clear Financing – When a seller owns a property “free and clear” there are no liens or encumbrances on the property. In this situation the seller and the buyer are free to make any terms they want to in order to make a deal successful.
2. Equity Only Financing – This type of financing means that the seller only finances their equity in a property. The buyer is responsible for getting new financing to pay-off all of the seller’s encumbrances and liens. The seller is then free to finance the equity in the property.
3.Wrap Financing – This is also known as “subject to” or “blanket” financing. In this situation the buyer takes the property “subject to” the existing mortgage. The buyer is responsible for making mortgage payments to the seller and the seller is responsible for making mortgage payments to the original lender.
4.Combo Seller Financing – This type of financing is a combination of the financing options #2 & #3. The buyer can “wrap” the underlying mortgage and finance the seller’s equity.
The next 4 types of seller financing occur before the closing:
5.Purchase Option – Any time the buyer gives money to the seller (option payment) for the right to purchase the property at a given price (option price) and within a given timeframe (option period) the buyer has a “purchase option”. This is a form of seller financing because the seller still is responsible for the property and any payments until the buyer purchases the property (exercises their option to purchase) or the option expires.
6.Extended Closing – An extended closing is similar to a purchase option except that the extended closing is done with a Real Estate Purchase Contract (REPC). In the extended close the closing deadline is extended or put into the future significantly further than a typical real estate purchase.
7.Open-ended Closing -The open-ended close is also done with the REPC except the closing deadline is tied to a future event (such as the completion of an addition or remodel). The closing only occurs after the future event has occurred or has been completed.
8.Seller Partnerships – In this situation the seller may sell the property or may retain ownership. In either case, the seller contributes the property (and possibly some capital) as their contribution. The buyer would contribute the work and knowledge (and possibly some capital) to create or enhance the property value. The property would then be refinanced by the buyer or sold to a third party. The seller would get his equity and capital contribution plus an agreed partnership split of the additional profits on the transaction.
The great thing about these 8 types of seller financing is that every option can be used to benefit both the buyer and the seller. Using these seller financing options a seller can actually get a buyer to come in and improve their property, do all the fix-up and repair work at the buyer’s expense, and the buyer is excited about doing the work! I’ll explain how this can be in my next article…
Khayyam Jones is a real estate investor and Realtor in the State of Utah. He specializes in distressed property investments including fixer-uppers, foreclosure/short sales, and small infill development.