May 20, 2024


Mad about real estate

Buying And Selling Real Estate Notes And Land Contracts

Buying and selling real estate notes and land contracts can be financially rewarding for all parties involved. Real estate notes are used to record transfer of property between sellers and buyers. Often referred to as ‘real estate receivables’, these contracts are commonly used when sellers provide seller carry back financing.

When seller carry back financing is utilized, real estate notes and land contracts should be executed by a real estate attorney. At minimum, a lawyer should be retained to review contracts to ensure they will be upheld in a court of law if either party defaults on the agreement.

Real estate investors who buy notes should be aware of various strategies to maximize their return on investment. Realty receivables are valuables assets which can be sold in whole or part to obtain additional investment funds.

When sellers provide private real estate financing they must adhere to state and federal laws. Buyers who enter into seller carry back mortgages should be prepared to provide a minimum down payment of 10-percent for residential real estate and up to 30-percent for commercial real estate.

Rarely do sellers carry back 100-percent of financing. In most cases, sellers carry between 10- and 50-percent of the purchase price and require buyers to obtain a conventional loan for the balance. When sellers offer full financing, real estate contracts typically extend for three to five years to allow buyers time to establish or improve their FICO score.

Sellers who engage in real estate financing must engage in due diligence by obtaining a current credit report and background check of potential buyers. Financial experts recommend working with buyers who possess a FICO score of at least 600. This is especially important if sellers plan to sell land contracts to a real estate investor at a later date.

The majority of buyers who seek out seller carry back mortgage arrangements are usually credit challenged. When sellers offer short term financing they provide buyers with the opportunity to clear derogatory credit by making mortgage payments on time. However, working with poor credit buyers can lead to eviction or foreclosure.

When investors purchase real estate notes and land contracts they must give careful consideration to risk factors of poor credit buyers. Investors generally offer less money to purchase real estate notes when buyers have low credit scores.

Another factor to consider when offering seller carry back financing is real estate contracts must comply with state usury laws. Usury laws regulate the amount of interest which can be charged against private loans. Private lenders are required to assess a lower rate of interest than mortgage lenders.

Charging a higher rate of interest is a criminal offense and can result in incarceration. When offering seller carry back financing be certain to understand usury laws and lending limits. State interest regulations can be located at