Seller Financing and Why it Matters

Seller FinancingSeller financing is simply a particular portion of the sale of a business that is financed by the seller. This can sometimes include 100% of the sale price, but very often it’s a much smaller fraction of that, and is a frequent component of SBA loans.

In this article we’ll discuss the benefits of seller financing to both buyers and sellers.

It’s a Bridge

Not all buyers can qualify for the entire amount necessary to close a sale, and not all sellers need the entire amount for them to do what they have planned next in their lives. Seller financing can help to be one part of financing that can include ROBS funding, an SBA loan, or personal/family savings. Very often it can be that small bit of financing that helps to close a sale instead of having it fall through.

It’s a Hedge

A seller who lacks confidence in the ability of the business to carry on after the sale may have difficulty committing to seller financing, as that money would then be at risk of being completely lost. Buyers know this, and it’s a solid psychological help to know that the seller is willing to defer some portion of the proceeds of the sale into the future, when the company will be much more reflective of the management skills of the buyer than of the systems put in place by the seller.

It’s a Deal Point

Remember that in a transaction there are many horses that can be traded. Perhaps the buyer wants a different percentage of the sale to be classified as intellectual property, which can lead to higher taxes for the seller. In response, perhaps the seller asks for a lower amount of seller financing or different terms. Seller financing is just one of many options to help move a transaction forward to a successful conclusion.

It’s about Money

We’ve discussed alternative financing for small businesses before. Unlike these algorithmic driven companies, seller financing remains “alternative financing” that almost always will cost less than those options, somewhere between Prime + 1-3%, though sometimes for less. Terms are usually more favorable as well, as the outgoing seller knows exactly what cash flow is available and what is reasonable to siphon off to service a note.

What we do best (and have done for many years) is bring together eligible buyers and worthy sellers to complete transactions with many kinds of financing.  Give us a call to see if we can help you!

1 reply
  1. Kent Westervelt
    Kent Westervelt says:

    Good thoughts! One note I learned—seller terms cannot be better than the SBA loan, at least per my SBA bank. Not shocking, the bank and SBA want there money first!

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