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Contract for Deed

A contract for deed is an agreement between a buyer and seller of land in which the seller finances the buyer’s purchase.

The process of transferring an ownership interest in land, buildings and other forms of real property is rarely straightforward. Securing necessary financing, scheduling inspections, sifting through mounds of consequential paperwork and a host of other complex tasks color the process of buying and selling real property. Thankfully, there are a host of legal, financial and real estate tools designed to make this process easier, even when the circumstances surrounding a particular transaction are unusually complex. For example, when a buyer is not using traditional forms of financing in order to secure the funds necessary in order to purchase real property and the seller is willing to act as the financier, a contract for deed may be used in order to outline the terms of the transaction.


  • Purchasing a piece of property from a seller willing to finance it
  • Selling a piece of property to someone and allowing them to take possession of the property before they have paid in full.


Purchasing real estate can be very difficult, especially for people who have little or no access to traditional financing options. A contract for deed is an agreement between a buyer and seller of a piece of land in which the seller finances the buyer’s purchase, allowing the buyer to take possession of the land even before he has fully paid for it.

Under a traditional mortgage arrangement, a buyer borrows money from a bank that holds title to the property until the buyer has paid back the loan. In this case, the buyer is allowed to take possession of the property before paying for it in full, but the seller is not at risk. Because the seller gets her money from the bank before turning over possession, she won’t be stuck holding the bag if the purchaser is unable to make monthly payments.

In a contract deed arrangement, the seller plays the role of the bank. The seller allows the buyer to move into the property and make payments until the purchase price has been paid off. This arrangement can be difficult to come by, as sellers are usually not willing to take on the risk of the buyer’s default. However, when they are available, a contract deed can be a great pathway to home ownership for individuals who do not wish to take out a traditional mortgage.

If you are selling a piece of real property and intend to act as the financier in regards to the transaction or you are a buyer seeking to both purchase and obtain financing from the seller, you may use a contract for deed in order to articulate the terms of your agreement. This contract for deed template can be customized to reflect your agreement’s unique terms and the nature of the transaction in question. This type of deed may be used for both residential and commercial property as well as sale of land parcels. When completing this document, you will want to specify important details such as sale and payment terms, financing breakdown, insurance requirements and personal information required of both the seller and buyer.


Alternative Names

Real Estate Purchase Agreement
Real Estate Contract
Land Sale Contract
Installment Land Contract
Real Property Sales Contract
Real Property Sales Agreement
Real Property Purchase Agreement