contract for deed

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Contract for deed is a contract for the sale of land which provides that the buyer will acquire possession of the land immediately and pay the purchase price in installments over a period of time, but the seller will retain legal title until all payments are made. Also termed an installment land contract, a land contract, or a land sales contract.

Contract for deed can be considered a special type of real estate contract in which the seller provides funds to the buyer to purchase the property at an agreed purchase price and the buyer repays the loan in installments. When the full purchase price, including any interest, has been paid, the seller is obligated to sign a deed (See: Deed) to convey legal title to the property to the buyer. Contract for deed also usually requires the buyer to make an initial down payment to the seller.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]