Considering Seller Financing

by Jun 8, 2024

Many sellers are surprised to learn that seller financing is very common. In fact, sellers should realize that there is a good chance that in order to sell their business, they will have to consider offering seller financing. 

What is Seller Financing?

Seller financing essentially occurs when the seller provides a loan to cover some part of the purchase price. It is common for the rest of the purchase price to be covered by a combination of a down payment and additional financing sources. 

Benefits of This Approach

At the end of the day, seller financing means that the seller serves as sort of a bank for the buyer. While many sellers may not like this prospect, seller financing can offer many benefits. Two key benefits are that potential difficulties of working with a real bank are bypassed, and sellers often enjoy a higher final sale price.

Most business brokers strongly encourage sellers to consider seller financing. One reason brokerage professionals favor the seller financing option is that it helps stimulate buyer interest. A seller who believes in their business enough to offer seller financing can expect buyers to take notice and respond. Sellers with confidence in their business can expect buyers to be eager to learn more.

Due Diligence is Essential

Sellers who choose to offer seller financing will still have to perform all necessary due diligence. Working with a bank does have its benefits; for example, a bank will check a potential buyer’s financial statements as well as their credit reports and more. 

Without the involvement of a bank, the seller is responsible for performing due diligence and checking that the buyer has a low risk of default. While seller financing opens up many possibilities for sellers, it is important that sellers also realize that this route comes with additional responsibilities.

Safeguards to Utilize

There are a variety of safeguards that sellers can use to help protect themselves when offering seller financing, and once again, brokerage professionals can be invaluable guides in this regard. Contracts often allow for the seller to take back the business within a 30-to-60-day window if financing fails. Another helpful clause for businesses centered on inventory is that the new owners are required to maintain a predetermined level of inventory during the payment period.

Thanks to seller financing, both buyers and sellers can benefit in a range of ways. Sellers who opt for seller financing usually discover that they receive a good deal of attention from buyers. Buyers enjoy greater financing flexibility and have a very clear indicator that the seller has confidence in the business. While seller financing does come with a good deal of paperwork, it is an option that buyers and sellers alike should consider.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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