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Even Sellers of Ultra High-End Properties are Offering Terms – Owner Financing

When I ask high-end Realtors if they ever see owner financing used in putting their transactions together, often I’ll get some sort of offended scoff, because no… of course not… their clientele has all cash and can easily get financing if they need it.

Well, Inman News recently reported:

“Trump ended up taking $95 million for his Palm Beach home in 2008, but the Wall Street Journal reported that half of the price was seller financed.”

Even if the buyer could have come up with all cash, it’s likely that they preferred to leverage to keep cash available for other investments.  And I’m sure it helped get Trump his reduced price of $95 mil. (I think he started at $125 mil).

I recently spoke with an agent who had a listing in the $4 mil range, and the seller, who owned free and clear, was offering to carry at 3% to a buyer who came in with a 50% down payment.


That’s not even keeping up with inflation.  If you were a savvy buyer, and you could make better than 3% on your money in other investments, it would be foolish to pay all cash for that property.

Owner financing helps sellers get a price that’s stuck in their heads… that makes them feel like they did OK in the market… got their price, made a good deal and “didn’t just give the property away”.

Buyers who understand this can often pay top dollar for a piece of property, but get it with such powerful below-market terms that it becomes an even a better deal than getting the property at a reduced price.

This won’t often leave the seller with a note they can sell without a steep discount, but getting a certain dollar amount on the sale is, many times, the most important thing for sellers in this market, and they’ll never sell the note… unless they get desperate for cash for some reason.

owner financing club

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