There is one simple reason that people sell real estate notes, and that is to raise cash quickly. To achieve the desired result, however, you must make sure you’ve done your research: that you are selling to a reputable buyer or group of real estate note buyers, and that the buyer of the property you are financing has a reputable credit history.
A real estate note is the document created when financing the sale of a home or other (likely investment) property. Different categories of real estate notes include mortgage notes, land real estate contracts, and contracts-for-sale. Holding a real estate note means that payments are coming into you, but often, depending on the financing, those payments are small and trickle in, rather than providing a quick influx of cash. This is the reasoning behind selling to note buyers.
There are a couple of options when selling real estate notes. When choosing between these options, take into account your goal in selling the note. If you only need a smaller, quick influx of cash, it might be in your best interest to only sell a portion of the note. If you need something more substantial, you will likely want to sell the entire note. Whichever happens, the payments made by the buyer are the same-they will just make the payments to the new note holder instead of to you.
Selling only a portion of the note means selling “x-amount” of payments to the real estate note buyer. Many buyers will do this, but others will not, so be up front with how much of the note you would like to sell at the beginning.
While you will likely not get the true face value of your real estate note if choosing to sell it, there are other things to keep in mind when selling that will make sure you get as much value as you can out of the note. First, and most important, is that when selling, you should pay no up front fees to buyers. Most reputable buyers will check your buyer’s credit and give you a quote on the note without charging you any sort of “processing” fee.
Make sure that the note buyer checks the property buyer’s credit up front before quoting you on a price for the real estate note. A sign of an unethical buyer is quoting one price initially, then quoting a lower one later using the property buyer’s credit score as an excuse. This is a simple bait and switch and a strong sign that you should not deal with these real estate note buyers.
Get several quotes before selling. This can help to ensure you get the best value for your note. If possible, it is best to wait until at least six payments have been made on your note before attempting to sell; this is because buyers will be more likely to pay a higher price for a note that is considered “seasoned,” knowing that the property buyer is reliable in making payments.
Chances are, you will get somewhere between 20 and 30 percent less than the remaining value of payments due on the note. This is fairly standard, and though the discount seems steep, it is probably the best value you will get on the note. If you have not received an offer that is satisfactory, you can hold out until your note is more “seasoned.”
Selling notes that you hold can be a good way to get a quick influx of cash. Just make sure that you’re careful and don’t rush into it, and it can be beneficial for you and for the note buyer.