Selling a house or other Austin, TX real estate with owner financing may be unfamiliar territory for many, but anyone who plans to sell property against the current background of tough lending conditions may want to brush up on the basics.
Understanding the concept of owner financing is easy: the seller assumes the role of a bank and finances the buyer’s purchase.
The decision to provide owner financing, however, can be much more difficult; although providing owner financing could mean the difference in being able to sell a house, it could also mean a great amount of risk for the seller if the buyer eventually defaults on the loan.
As the U.S. struggles with a sluggish real estate market, owner financing presents a way for buyers and sellers to close deals that might not be possible with conventional financing.
There are some deals that just simply cannot get done (with conventional lending) because the credit markets are too tough for a particular buyer to qualify or because the type of transaction is perceived to be too risky.
There could also be a situation in which a buyer may not have sufficient capital for a down payment. Partial owner financing, in that case, can help fill in the gaps in closing a deal.
In addition, the benefits of owner financing can appeal to sellers who are trying to unload property. Closing a deal on a house, for example, may take considerably less time with owner financing than with conventional financing. While a conventional lender will scrutinize the collateral property to determine the level of risk, a seller who is already familiar with their property can form his or her own risk assessment relatively quickly.
Owner financing may also be an attractive choice for investment, potentially offering high rates of return. A seller can negotiate an interest rate that the buyer will pay them that is more favorable than would be available for other sorts of investments.
Furthermore, seller financing can provide some tax benefits by spreading out a large gain over time (check with your accountant or CPA).
If the seller structures the loan as an installment sale, there can be certain tax advantages to the seller as well in terms of the timing of recognition on the capital gain. The seller would need to discuss the details with a tax advisor.
Seller financing can be used to pay for a property either in full or in part. The terms of a full loan look similar to those of a conventional loan; however, a seller has a great deal of freedom in setting the terms, such as the interest rate and the duration of the payment period.
For instance, a seller might wish to provide owner financing as a short-term arrangement of five years, after which the borrower is expected to refinance the loan, presumably with conventional financing.
While sellers can be more flexible than banks in considering prospective buyers, they should nevertheless think like a bank when reviewing potential buyers. …