Real Estate Glossary

What is Contract For Deed?

A contract for deed, also known as a land contract or an installment sale agreement, is a type of real estate contract in which the buyer makes payments to the seller over time, rather than obtaining a mortgage from a lender. The buyer takes possession of the property, but the seller retains the legal title until the contract is paid in full. A contract for deed may be used as an alternative to traditional financing, but it can be more risky for the buyer because they do not have the same legal protections as with a mortgage.