Owner Financing vs. Seller Financing – What’s In a Name?

As cash flow note brokers we know that owner financing happens when the seller of property accepts payments over time from the buyer.

This creative financing helps buyers purchase homes without traditional bank loans.

We also know that many sellers get tired of receiving installments and would rather have a lump sum of cash now. They seek out our services when they decide to sell their owner-financed mortgage, cash flow note, or land contract.

But what is seller financing?

If you are thinking it’s a trick question – you’re right. Seller financing and owner financing are just different names for the same thing. We often use the terms interchangeably.

Is one phrase used more often?

To answer this question we turned to Google, the powerhouse of Internet search engines. And, the results just might surprise you.

The clear people’s choice winner, by an overwhelming 5 to 1 lead, was… Owner Financing!

Here is an overview of the results based on monthly search volume for the following terms:

  • Owner Financing         135,000
  • Owner Finance            110,000
  • Owner Financed            74,000
  • Seller Financing            27,100
  • Seller Financed               8,100
  • Seller Finance                 4,400

Source: Research obtained from https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

The choice between owner versus seller is often based on where people live, but on average people across the US use some form of  “owner financing” over “seller financing”.

What do you say more often? Leave us a comment below to let us know your favored term along with the state you live in!

About the Author:  Tracy Z. Rewey has spent 20 years making money with owner financing.  All those hard earned lessons are shared in Personal Profit Series: Notes The Complete Moneymaking System to Buying Referring, Creating, and Holding Real Estate Notes!

About Tracy Z

Tracy combines her knowledge of cash flow notes with the power of marketing online to help grow your business! She can be reached at Tracy@NoteInvestor.com 1-888-999-7905 or at Exposure One Marketing.


  1. I use the term “Special Seller Financing ” on my bandit signs. It seems to work well and drives traffic to my website.I contract with sellers to buy there note at closing with end buyers I approve, it seems to work well.

  2. Jeffrey D. Smith says

    I always use “Seller Financing” instead of the other. Mostly because the other term is somewhat confusing. After the property is sold, the owner is not the owner anymore. So the paper is not really “owner” paper (the new owner is the note payor not the payee). Also, I may flip a property between a motivated seller and an end buyer through an option contract or a purchase contract assignment and take my profit as a note at the closing. I am not the property owner, but I essentially sold the property and received a “seller financing” note at closing.

    • I’m with Jerry! I use the term seller financing more often than owner financing. When we started optimizing the Note Investor site for search terms a couple of years back it surprised me to see how many more people searched for the term owner financing.

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