When someone hears the term “land contract,” we usually assume it’s something only real estate speculators know about. But a land contract, also known as a contract for deed or even an “installment sale agreement,” is actually a very simply contract to understand. In fact, many of us have probably used the same type of principle involved in a land contract to finance the purchase of an appliance from a retail store, or a piece of jewelry from a jeweler. How does that work? Keep on reading and you’ll see why a land contract might be an option for you.
First, let’s take it from the buyer’s perspective. When you’re buying a piece of land or real estate in a “land contract,” you tend to assume that you’re going to have to take out a loan in order to finance the purchase. After all, it’s not as if you “buy” a piece of property by making payments on it every month. That sounds more like a renter’s agreement to me. Instead, you’re making payments on the loan that was used to finance the initial purchase of the property. That’s simple enough to understand.
So what’s different in a land contract? Instead of getting the loan from a bank, you’re actually getting the loan from the person who’s selling the land! This is an interesting proposition because it means that both you and the seller have a vested interest in making sure that you’re capable of making all the payments on time. The seller has to be certain that you’re capable of paying off the loan as per the agreement, and you have to make sure that you’re capable as well.
This skirts the typical method of acquiring real estate, which means going to the bank for a loan in order to finance a purchase. It also means there may be a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to a land agreement - for example, a seller will often be willing to take a lot of money upfront, or even modify payment terms, as long as they keep making money. A bank has a lot of loans out and is more focused on discipline and staying within the rules of the loan agreement.
Of course, a seller also has a right to be hard on you if you’re not making payments on the land contract terms, and this will be as enforceable by law as any agreement, including a loan agreement with a bank. So while a land contract can be a great and convenient way to finance a purchase, don’t think that it means there is an infinite amount of flexibility and leeway when it comes to making payments. And sellers have to be careful, too, as they have to be sure they’re working with a trustworthy buyer who won’t “skip town” when the payments become too cumbersome.
A contract for deed, also known as a land contract or an installment sale agreement, is a pretty simple concept to understand. It is essentially a purchase that is financed by the person making the sale. Okay, that was a pretty short sentence, but it’s easy to understand how it can be confusing. So think of it this way: a contract for deed is an arrangement that allows for a purchase to be financed because the person doing the selling is making the loan to the purchaser! In other words, it’s a way a buyer can make payments on a piece of property to the seller and will be obligated to keep those payments up by law. It’s an interesting way to transfer property and may even be a way for you to either buy or sell what you’ve wanted to buy or sell for a while now.
A contract for deed typically refers to real estate - in fact, any time you see the legal word “deed,” there is often a good chance that you’re referring to real estate. And since real estate purchases are typically large and require some form of upfront financing, a contract for deed is something that many people who are considering buying real estate will want to be aware of. Of course, a mortgage agreement typically means simply going to a bank and finding a loan for a certain amount of interest. But when it comes to contracts for deed, a different type of real estate is often involved. For example, buying a piece of undeveloped land can be something that comes with a contract for deed, even if banks will make those types of real estate loans as well. Other types of development property, including business property and rental property, can also be contracts for deed.
Why would a contract for deed work for some people? Well, in some cases, it’s a great way to ensure two sides have interest in making sure a transaction is completed. In other words, when a seller is helping with the financing of the purchase, they have an interest in making sure all of the payments come in on time, and that the buyer is able to make them. The buyer, for their part, have an interest in it as well because they might find a contract for deed that represents a better overall “deal” than they were able to find in other loan agreements.
Many people go their entire lives without having the need for a contract for deed. But there are many people who use them not only once in life, but many times. And if it the concept seems foreign to you, consider that many retail stores that offer financing on sales pretty much are offering a “contract for deed” by helping to finance the purchase you’re making. Since you make the payments to the seller directly, you might already be aware of just how this agreement takes place. In many cases, it’s a quick and painless way to leverage your money.
You've found your form, but will you need others? If there are other related forms you may need in the future, it may be beneficial to look at our combo packages. On average, customers who purchase a combo package save 40% on the related forms they need. Take a look at the combo packages below to see if one is right for you.
The form that we purchased was exactly what we needed. Excellent site. Thank you.
The document contained most of the information I was looking for and provided a good ammendable base from which to develop a finished product.
The download was simple and easy to use.
I actually purchased a legal form to help a friend. It was easy to use and very reasonably priced. She was able to get a long standing issue resolved quickly and Legally! We are both very happy with the product.
Thanks. Everything I expected and more!
The document was perfect for what I needed. The internet site was easy to navigate and the explanation of the document was easy to understand. Thank you for making this much easier to deal with!
Just exactly what I needed - had to do very little editing. Your website is very user friendly and the choice of downloads fantastic. I will not hesitate to use you again, as well as recommend you.
No Customer Comments
Purchased a real estate form for California. It was easy to use and covered the transaction I needed . I was very satisfied with the document.
We were very impressed with the contract that was purchased thru Find Legal Forms! The instructions were informative and precise. We will definitely be using your service again. Thank-you for a remarkable web site!!!!!
Best $7.95 I ever spent on a real estate document and I've been in the business for 40 years.
I was looking for specific language in a provision and (after searching many websites) found exactly what I needed at FindLegalForms. Easy to use, quick download, will use again as the need arises.
I needed a real comprehensive contract for deed form. FindLegalForms delivered a great form I could modify in Word to fit my needs at a very reasonable price. In addition it came in rtf and pdf formats.
I filled out the form, took it to escrow, and because the title company had been working on the paperwork ahead of time, we closed the next day. An attorney would have charged $500.00 to fill this out for us, and a real estate person would have charged us 6% of the sales price. Thank you so much.
A complete and professional package at a very reasonable price.