How to Sell Your House Direct to Buyer Using Seller Financing

 I have built a great seller financing template that does include the tax calculations for basis and that will help you plan the finances around selling your house in this way. It has a few different options for loan terms (regular p+i, interest only with a balloon at the end, and a term loan (amortization with a balloon payment at some point earlier than the amortization term). All have different tax implications and cash flows.

First of all, you don't necessarily have to be direct to the buyer, you could use a real estate brokerage if desired, but then you are paying commissions and the contracts for seller financing are a bit different than with a typical mortgage from a bank. Also, it may be a bit more difficult if the brokerage doesn't typically do this kind of purchase agreement. You may actually have to see a real estate attorney.

Seller financing is a type of real estate transaction in which the seller acts as the lender, providing financing to the buyer. Here are the steps to take to sell your house directly to the buyer using seller financing:

  • Set the terms of the loan: Decide on the interest rate, loan length, and any other terms of the loan that you are comfortable with.
  • Prepare a promissory note: This is a legal document that outlines the terms of the loan and the responsibilities of both the lender and the borrower.
  • Have the buyer apply for a mortgage: Even if the buyer is obtaining financing from you, they will need to apply for a mortgage in order to show that they are able to make the payments.
  • Close the sale: Once the buyer has been approved for the mortgage, and the promissory note has been signed, the sale can be closed.

Considerations When Defining Seller Financing Loan Terms

  • Interest rate: The rate at which the buyer will pay interest on the loan. This rate can be fixed or adjustable.
  • Loan Length: The length of time over which the loan will be repaid. This is also known as the loan term.
  • Balloon payment: A large payment that is due at the end of the loan term, used to pay off the remaining balance of the loan.
  • Amortization schedule: The schedule for paying off the loan, including the amount of each payment and how much of each payment goes towards interest and principal.
  • Prepayment penalty: A fee that the buyer must pay if they pay off the loan early.
  • Late payment fee: A fee that the buyer must pay if they miss a payment.
  • Default: The conditions under which the loan will be considered in default, and the actions that will be taken in the event of default.
  • Collateral: The property that is being used as collateral for the loan.

It's important to note that these terms can be negotiated and customized to suit both the buyer and the seller. It's also essential to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that the terms are legally valid and to avoid any future issues.

Selling your house using seller financing can have some advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider:


  • Quicker sale: By offering seller financing, you may be able to attract buyers who may not qualify for traditional financing, which could lead to a quicker sale.
  • Higher price: You may be able to sell your house for a higher price than you would if you only accepted traditional financing because you can charge a higher interest rate.
  • More control: By acting as the lender, you have more control over the terms of the loan, including the interest rate and loan length.
  • Continuous income: Selling your house using seller financing can provide you with a steady stream of income in the form of interest payments.


  • Risk of default: If the buyer defaults on the loan, you may be left with a foreclosed property on your hands.
  • Long-term commitment: Seller financing can be a long-term commitment, as you will be responsible for collecting payments and enforcing the terms of the loan for the duration of the loan.
  • Legal and financial responsibilities: As the lender, you will be responsible for complying with all legal and financial regulations.
  • Lack of liquidity: The property and the mortgage are tied together, which makes it difficult to cash out on the property.
  • Tax implications: you may have to pay taxes on the interest income received from the buyer, and it is recommended to consult a tax advisor.
Borrowers Need a Mortgage Even When Using Seller Financing

It's important to note that the mortgage lender's involvement in the transaction is limited only to the borrower's mortgage application and providing the mortgage, the sale, and the terms of the loan are still negotiated and agreed upon between the buyer and the seller.

A borrower needs to get approved for a mortgage even if they are doing a seller financing purchase for several reasons:
  • Protection for the lender: By obtaining a mortgage, the lender (in this case, the seller) can ensure that the borrower is able to make the payments on the loan and that the property will be used as collateral for the loan.
  • Compliance with regulations: There are certain regulations and laws that must be followed when lending money, one of these laws is the "Truth in Lending Act" (TILA) and the "Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act" (RESPA), which require lenders to disclose the terms and costs of the loan to the borrower.
  • Protection for the buyer: Obtaining a mortgage will ensure that the buyer is not over-extending themselves financially.
  • Creditworthiness: The mortgage lender will check the creditworthiness of the borrower, and if they don't meet the minimum requirements, it's unlikely that the seller would want to take the risk of lending them money.
  • Legal requirements: In some states, there are legal requirements that need to be met when lending money, such as getting a mortgage license, and the lender needs to make sure that they are following those requirements.
  • Appraisal: The mortgage lender will also appraise the property, which gives the lender a good idea of the property's value, which can be beneficial for the seller.
  • Insurance: The mortgage lender will also require that the buyer carries insurance on the property, which protects both the lender and the buyer from potential losses.

Be sure to consult with a real estate attorney, and possibly a tax advisor, to ensure that all of the legal and tax implications of the transaction are handled correctly.

Article found in Real Estate.