Commercial Notes

What Is A Commercial Note Buyer?

In the note business, we consider a commercial note to be one in which a commercial property like any from the list below was sold using owner financing.  If you sold a business without the real estate (business assets only), we would call that a business note and ask you to go here. While Seascape Capital has always purchased notes on houses, mobile homes, land, and similar properties, we have also been quite active as a commercial note buyer.  An increasing share of our calls over the past several years have been for commercial notes like the following:

  • Office building notes
  • Notes on apartment buildings with more than 4 units
  • Church notes
  • Auto repair shop notes
  • Gas station notes
  • Retail notes
  • Mixed-use property notes (for example, where a retail shop is downstairs and an apartment upstairs)
  • Motel notes
  • Industrial notes

Regardless of the structure, commercial note buyers treat these notes differently from other types like residential in that:

  1.  We want to know about the business that resides there
  2. The appraiser often values the property using a different methodology than with other property types
  3. The payer on the note is more frequently an LLC or a corporation
  4. Usage of the property may vary, zoning plays a bigger part, and potential environmental concerns may need to be addressed

As with other properties, commercial note buyers like Seascape will price a note based on risk factors such as:

  • Amount of down payment and equity in the property
  • Payment history
  • Terms of the note
  • Payer credit
  • Property condition and location
  • Miscellaneous factors like whether the building is fully occupied, whether the buyer occupies all or part of the building, and the types of businesses that are there

Why Sell To A Commercial Note Buyer?

You were smart to sell your property using owner financing but may need money now for items like:

  • Buying other properties
  • Investment opportunities
  • Reducing debts
  • Settling an estate

You may choose to sell the full note or just part of the note – called a partial. With a partial, you only sell some of the payments instead of all of them. For example, assume that you have a 15-year note with a balance of $325,000. If you only need $100,000, you can choose to sell the next five years of payments and keep the rest of the note.  Selling a commercial note with a partial can often be the best of both worlds – less of a discount hit, possibly deferred capital gains, and the opportunity to sell more of the note at a later date.

Steps In Selling A Commercial Note

  1. Contact a commercial note buyer like Seascape Capital that is experienced, competent, and honest.  You can dig into this by checking them out on the Better Business Bureau site, looking for other online reviews on search engine sites, and asking lots of questions of them.
  2. Submit an on-line worksheet or call.  Plan to spend about 10-15 minutes on the phone, as the commercial note buyer will have questions about the financials and the property.
  3. Once you and they have agreed on a price for the note, the due diligence phase begins.  This starts with the commercial note buyer checking the payer’s credit and reviewing the document copies that you have sent.
  4. Next up is that we will order a drive-by appraisal.  Usually, this takes 7-10 days.  On rare occasions, we may request a full commercial appraisal, which can take considerably longer.
  5. Once the appraisal is complete and approved, we will order a title commitment, which takes another 7-10 days.  Whenever possible, we try to use the same title company that you used when you sold the property.
  6. To wrap it all up, we send you closing documents to take assignment of the note.  You sign those and return them back with the original note and deed.
  7. Once received, we record the assignment with the county and wire the funds to you.

From Step #3 to Step #7, this usually takes 3-5 weeks.

As an experienced commercial note buyer that has been buying notes for over 20 years, Seascape will give you the highest price for your note and provide you with outstanding customer service.  To get started, please either call us or complete our online form here.

Getting the Best Price for Your Note


Written by Alan Noblitt

Alan Noblitt is the President of Seascape Capital, LLC, and works as both a real estate note buyer and a business note broker. Alan has an MBA from Arizona State University, a B.S. from the University of Wyoming, and is licensed as a California Real Estate Note Buyer.

Seascape Capital has been buying commercial notes since 2002. We are always happy to provide you with various pricing options, and answer any and all of your questions. Feel free to call Alan directly or click “Contact Us” in the upper right corner of the page.


A hassle-free request to

To ask questions or for a pressure-free discussion
Scroll to Top
Skip to content