Request Your Legal Consult Here.

What is a Land Contract?

A land contract is a form of seller financing. It is similar to a mortgage, but rather than borrowing money from a lender or bank to buy real estate, the buyer makes payments to the real estate owner, or seller, until the purchase price is paid in full. This is called “seller financing” and when it comes to one of the most important assets in one’s life, there is no such thing as a simple land contract.

Signed land contracts are legally binding and can contain many different forms of agreements. When all payments have been made the buyer will be deeded the property.

Common problems with Land Contracts are:

1. The deed remains in the seller’s name until all payments of the agreement are made, between time of initial contract and payoff, which can take years.

2, The price is set and the payment schedule may not be amortized evenly, with a balloon or large payment at the end.

3. Several years may pass where the parties may forget the original intent of the terms.   

How Are You Affected?

Some people consider a land contract as a “lease with an option to buy”. Certain states have slightly different legal rights for buyers and sellers. As a result, the land contract can be difficult to understand. A land contract buyer and seller must be very careful to ensure that the terms of the contract are legally binding to prevent future disputes from occurring. A seller’s remedy to unresolved disputes is to collect on land contract by forfeiture. If provisions in a land contract allow, then a land contract can be foreclosed upon. A buyer’s remedy is to sue for breach of contract or a judge may award the time to redeem property.

How Can We Help

Land contracts are legally binding agreements. Whether you buying or selling a home on land contract, the performance of which requires substantial length of time. It is in the best interest of both the seller or buyer to involve a real estate attorney like David Soble to help you navigate through the federal and state laws governing land contracts, the process and the common terms of the contract. This can help prevent later disputes that may occur and give both parties peace of mind. Remember, the expense to clean up a mess is far greater than the expense of having it done right in the first place.

Do You Have a Land Contract Concern?

At 888.789.1715 or
Complete This Form.


A Word About Land Contracts


Frequently Asked Questions

Top Questions Concerning Land Contracts

Do you have other land contract questions? Call us today!

What is a Memorandum of Land Contract?

 A memorandum of land contract is an instrument executed for the purpose of reflecting the existence of a land contract and the seller’s and purchaser’s interests in the real property subject to the underlying land contract.  It contains only the names of the parties to the contract, the date of the execution, and the description of the real property involved.  It does not disclose the consideration, the terms of payment, the time of performance, or the covenants or terms.

Can a purchaser legally sell or rent a house on land contract if there is a mortgage?

Once a purchaser comes into legal title to a property, they can sell a property on land contract. They will need to have a real estate attorney review the underlying mortgage to see if the ‘due on sale” provision of the mortgage will pose a problem or not.

Is there a penalty under law for failure to tender the deed on a land contract purchase (contract fulfilled by buyer in full)?

The closest thing to a statute dealing with failure to provide a deed upon a land contract payoff is a Michigan statute as it relates to providing discharges after 60 days. However, the land contract provisions control. So if the deed is not provided and the buyer performed as required, then the buyer can maintain an action for breach of contract claim.

My father bought a home through Land Contract, now he wants to deed the Property to me so I can pay it off. Can we do this and, if so, what kind of deed should we use?

First, your father should give you an assignment of the land contract provided that the land contract terms allow for an assignment. Second, a deed is worthless as your father does not have title in his name. It is still with the seller. A deed (quitclaim preferably) would do very little at this time. Finally, a lender will most likely require that you should be on title for at least 12 months before you could finance the property in your name. You would want to get the seller to approve the assignment of the land contract in your name as buyer, and make verifiable payments under the land contract for 12 months. After this, you can get a valid deed upon the payoff of the land contract.

I am being evicted from my Home that I had purchased on land contract. Can I remove the improvements that I made, such as installing new cabinets and a new water heater?

Generally “no,” you cannot remove these items as stated. This is because these items have become ‘attached” to the home and cannot be removed.

I am able to pay my land contract off early but the land contract owner won't let me, what can I do?

The land contract provisions control. However, generally  Michigan law, as well as federal law, have certain restrictions concerning land contracts and prepayment. I suggest having a competent real estate attorney review your land contract before taking further action.

 Free EBook Offer

Obtain Your Free Copy of Soble’s

Real Estate Resource:

“What’s Keeping You Up At Night?

An Attorney’s Practical Approach to Resolving
Real Estate Nightmares”

Now you can reference Soble’s straight forward approach to “real estate  nightmares.”  Get the no nonsense information you need to put those nagging issues concerning real estate to rest!

“I wish I had this book months ago, before I had to sell my home after a divorce.  Thanks for the great info.”  Kelly B., Utica 

Why Clients Choose Us

Know the Difference.


Former Big Bank "Insider"


HigHest Peer and Client Ratings


24 Hour Response


30 +Years of Legal & Business Experience


Affordable & Approachable

Innovative & Creative solutions


Legal Issues We Handle

We Reduce Legal Exposure & Financial Risks

Real Estate Law

Real estate and finance law are their own legal specialties. So how do you determine which attorney you should work with...

Contract Law

Contracts regulate expectations between parties. Working without a contract is comparable to walking a high wire without a net. 

Business Law

Attorneys having years of both practical business experience as well as legal expertise are rare. David Soble is one of these...

Financial Disputes

David Soble has decades of experience being a 'big bank insider." He and his team are uniquely situated when it comes to handling our clients stressful financial...


We regularly and successfully litigate real estate and contract issues.  While we prefer to first resolve our client's issues amicably, we can and will escalate....

Estate Planning & Probate

To most people, their home or other types of real estate is usually the most valuable asset that they own.  We help our clients protect these assets and ensure that they are properly... 

What Happy Clients Say...

Dpn't take our word for it!  We;re one of the best reviewed law firms in the community. 
See hundreds of our reviews on Google, Avvo, Social Survey and Linked In.

David, I anguished for months over my problem. Had I not called you, I don't think I would have gotten it resolved. In less than 2 weeks you negotiated a fair settlement for my business. I'm so happy and my employees are happy. Thank you!

Rhoda St. Luce

Southfield, MI

"Attorney David Soble lives up to his firm's namesake, "Proven Resource." I appreciate knowing that when my clients need a diligent and responsive real estate or contracts attorney, I can easily make the referral to David, David is well worth having on your side."

Dino Lembesis

Financial Adviser, Brighton, MI

"David is a highly reliable resource for real estate and lending cases. As a real estate lawyer and successful investor, he not only "talks the talk," but also "walks the walk," providing his clients unparalleled insight on how the law directly affects their daily business success. When "the situation is critical" call David."

David Waxman

Environmental Attorney, OH

"David Soble is an unmatched resource for all things related to real estate finance and law. He's dealt with nearly every type of transaction, loan, property, lender, seller, and buyer. He's seen it all and knows the intricacies of creating a successful resolution for his clients. If you need creative and determined counsel, I highly recommend David."

David Brockmyer

Business Mgt. Consultant

"As a busy small business operator, I can tell you that David's legal efficiency and his sensitivity to our financial resources is very much appreciated. His real estate advice is spot on and I know that when working with him that I am getting a great return on my investment. When in doubt, call David. He's worth every penny!"

Andy Perlin

HVAC Owner / Operator

"If you have a legal problem with your bank loan or mortgage, you can't go wrong by calling David Soble. His legal experience in the real estate and lending community is exceptional. I have had only positive experiences. His approach to client service is an added bonus."

Brian Goodman

Mortgage Banker


Our Latest Blog Posts

David Soble Earns 2020 Expertise Award in Real Estate Law

David Soble Earns 2020 Expertise Award in Real Estate Law

               Soble PLC Shares Good News!   David Soble earned his widely respected track record for providing clients with top-quality legal services in real estate and finance law.  With over three decades of hands on real estate and lending experience,...

We’ve Got This….

We’ve Got This….

                            We've Got This!!! Whether you call it COVID-19, the Wuhan Flu, or the Corona Virus, these past few weeks have been troubling to say the least. But in the words of the ancient and wise poet, Rumi, "this too shall pass."  Until it does, be...

Call Now ButtonCall Now