I have come across many note sellers that ignore the advice of being prepared. Properly structuring a note for resale can be the difference between selling the note fast and with little friction as opposed to selling yourself short or worse, not selling the note at all. In order to properly structure a mortgage note for resale is as follows:

1) Get the biggest down payment possible. 25% is the Note Buyer’s ideal amount in a perfect world although, you can definitely get away with 15% – 20% if need be. Anything under 15% equity becomes very risky for a Note Investor. In the case of a down payment under 14% equity, you will have a very tough time getting a high bid on that note. Anything under 10% down, will unlikely sell at all.

2) Make sure you (the seller), pull credit on the potential borrower. 600 FICO score – 700 FICO score would be ideal. Remember; the worse the credit score is, the bigger the down payment you should require! Make sure you keep a copy of the credit report so you may present to the mortgage note investor underwriting the transaction. As far as credit scores, 650 or higher is considered great to excellent credit. 610-649 is good, 609-590 is fair 589-500 is poor and below 500 – don’t even bother. Also try to gather D.T.I. or Debt to Income information from the borrower as well. How much money she/he has coming in per month verses what dollar amount is going out per month. A standard credit report will show you what the borrowers monthly bills are. All you need to do after that is get an accurate dollar amount of what the borrower truly makes after taxes. This way there will be no surprises for you or the Note Investor and this will insure you the highest bids out there! 45% is the max D.T.I. ratio you should allow. This means, if the borrower’s income is $5,000.00 per month, 45% DTI ratio would be $2,250.00 (5,000 x 0.45 = 2,250.00) in debt per month. The borrower only owes 45% of what they make to monthly debt.

3) It helps tremendously if the seller orders and completes an appraisal before submitting the note to a Note Buyer. The reason being, presenting an exact legal appraisal to a Note Investor allows for a more accurate bid, thus a hassle free transaction. This way when the note is underwritten, there will be no surprises on the collateral property whatsoever. This step is not necessary although, by doing this your are drastically increasing your chances of a very smooth note sale.

4) Include a high interest rate with the shortest term possible. Meaning, be sure that your borrower can afford the payments at the shortest term she/he can legitimately agree to.

5) Try to keep the loan under a 10-15 year payback date. Anything over 12 years usually takes a much steeper discount then say a 10 balloon. The Note Investor generally likes to be out of an investment in 5-10 years. Ideally, if your borrower situation permits, 5-10 is the first choice.

6) Include a prepayment penalty based on your states regulations and laws.

Please keep in mind; the above information is just a guide. If you have any legal questions about mortgage origination laws in your state, please consult a licensed mortgage broker/banker (in your state) or an attorney. Always be prepared!

Knowing this info before hand is the difference between a smooth transaction and a complete nightmare! Good Luck!

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