Field Guide to Seller Financing

(Updated June 2014)

Seller financing offers advantages to both sellers and buyers. Sellers have an opportunity to widen the pool of potential buyers, and buyers have an opportunity for homeownership even if they are unable to obtain a mortgage through conventional channels. But seller financing can be risky unless structured with some protections in place. (D. Winchester, Information Specialist)

Seller ​as Lender 

The SAFE Act: Seller Financing, (, 2014).

The Definitive Guide to Using Seller Financing to Buy Real Estate, (The Bigger Pockets Blog, Nov. 5, 2013).

Real Estate Tips: The Risks and Benefits of Seller Financing, (Equifax Finance Blog, Nov. 1, 2013).

Seller financing: an untapped resource for real estate agents, (Inman News, May 22, 2013).

Impact of Loan Originator Final Rule on Seller Financing, (National Association of REALTORS®, Feb. 8, 2013).

Background: Seller Financing, (, 2013).

Seller financing can help buyers and sellers close a good deal, (, n.d.).

Sellers Can Fill a Void, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2011).

When the Seller is the Lender, (The New York Times, June 2, 2011).


Is Rent-to-Own or Contract-for-Deed Right for You?, (U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 2014).

Rent-to-Own Agreement Can Benefit Buyer and Seller, (®, Jan. 6, 2014).

Rent to Own Homes: an Option to Consider?, (CNBC, Jan. 22, 2013).

Lease/purchase and Lease/option Agreements, (Arizona Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 27, 2012).

Rent to Own vs. Seller Financing, (, n.d.).

Lease options are back: proceed carefully, (Realty Times, Oct. 25, 2011).

Lease-to-own deals offer options in sluggish Tampa Bay housing market, (St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 23, 2011).

Can I get a lease option with bad credit?, (®, May 5, 2011).

How lease-options benefit sellers, buyers ... and their REALTORS®?, (CRE Online, n.d.).

Thought about lease-to-own transactions?, (REALTOR® Magazine - Speaking of Real Estate blog, Aug. 6, 2009).

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Mortgage (Adobe eReader)

Buying Real Estate Without Cash or Credit (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Complete Book of Real Estate Leases (PDF eBook)

Financing your condo, co-op or townhouse (Adobe eReader)

Insider Secrets to Financing Your Real Estate Investments (PDF eBook)

Investing in Real Estate With Lease Options and "Subject-To" Deals (Kindle, EPUB, PDF eBook)

Mortgage Myths (Adobe eReader)

Saving the deal: how to avoid financing fiascos and other real estate deal killers (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Secrets of Buying and Selling Real Estate Without Using Your Own Money (Adobe eReader)

Information Services Blog

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