Kennedy Real Estate Solutions
Kevin and Sharon Kennedy, Kennedy Real Estate SolutionsPhone: (860) 304-4433
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Negotiating a Land Contract Vs. a Mortgage

by Kevin and Sharon Kennedy 03/18/2020

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

With a mortgage, a buyer is applying for financing to purchase the property in its entirety. They're relying on their credit and assets for approval before assuming responsibility of the full property. In a land contract, you're cutting out the need for a formal lender and relying on the seller to approve or deny your application.

The seeming simplicity of the transaction may make some people discount the importance of negotiation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind so both the buyer and seller are comfortable with the terms of the agreement. 

Talk to the Seller 

With a land contract, you may be more beholden to the seller than you would be to a lender in a traditional mortgage. If the seller thinks of you as a tenant rather than an owner of the place, you'll need to discuss their exact involvement over the course of the contract.

Because the seller won't receive the full value of the property upon sale, their financial insecurity is entirely understandable. They may want to check up with you over the phone, in-person, or through a third-party. If you're uncomfortable with the level of oversight, you may need to speak up or find a different property. 

Make sure you understand your obligations during this time. Some buyers are treated as a renter of the property — until it comes time to make significant and costly repairs. If you're responsible for all upkeep, you may be able to negotiate more freedom in exchange for the additional expense. 

Think Through the Finances 

One of the starkest differences between a traditionally financed home and a land contract is the speed of repayments. Even if you do find a seller willing to extend the contract, it can still be a major strain on your finances. As you factor in your current assets and credit score, you should also consider the future.

If the final payment is large enough, it may still require a substantial loan. If your credit hasn't improved enough by the time the contract nears the end, it could be a significant blow to your savings. And if you can't meet the terms of the contract, the seller will get to keep the money you've already paid them (as well as the property). 

Negotiating a land contract means thinking through the repercussions of each clause. While the terms may seem looser than a standard mortgage, there may be strings attached that aren't as obvious at first glance. Ensure that you understand your financial and practical responsibilities before signing on the dotted line. 

About the Author
Author

Kevin and Sharon Kennedy

"A Personalized Approach to all your Real Estate Needs" Sharon and Kevin Kennedy have built Kennedy Real Estate Solutions with the premise of building relationships and finding creative solutions to unique real estate situations, both residential and commercial. The Kennedy’s work with their clients with the intent of getting a full understanding of the client’s current situation and desired real estate goals. With this understanding and the knowledge that has been acquired from over 50-years of real estate experience, Sharon and Kevin offer guidance and advice best suited for the individual client. Buying and selling a home can be an emotional and trying time for most folks. The Kennedy’s are sensitive to their client’s needs in this ever changing real estate environment. They are with them every step of the way and will help to address whatever challenges arise. About Kevin J Kennedy, Broker/Owner Kevin J. Kennedy is a dedicated and successful Realtor/ Broker. He helps his clients buy and sell homes throughout the beautiful Lower Connecticut River Valley and Connecticut Shoreline. Since buying or selling a home is a major life event for most people, both financially and emotionally, it is important to have an agent you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. An essential part in creating a great real estate experience is choosing an agent who is detail-oriented, has up-to-date market knowledge, and is a skilled negotiator. Kevin offers all of these qualities. Today, many buyers and sellers insist on the advantages of cutting edge technology. Via his web site and IDX property finder, Kevin delivers. Using these state-of-the-art tools, his buyers save time and energy during the house-hunting process, and his sellers are able to reach numerous prospective buyers. Kevin is highly regarded in the real estate community and is a consistent top producer. He lives in Old Saybrook, is an instructor of T'ai Chi and QiGong, and enjoys photography, music, and kayaking. Call Kevin at 860-304-4433 About Sharon S. Kennedy, Realtor Sharon grew up in Old Saybrook. Her family owned and operated one of the first local real estate companies. She first received her real estate license in 1988 and now has more than 35 years of real estate negotiation experience. Sharon enjoys gardening, spending time with her horses, chickens, cats and dog along with preparing wonderful vegetarian meals for her family. She is knowledgeable in homeopathy and natural remedies. Today many buyers and sellers insist on the advantages of cutting edge technologies, Via their web site and IDX property finder, Kevin and Sharon provide state-of-the-art tools. Contact them today to discuss your real estate needs.