How to Close a Land Contract in Michigan

Closing a land contract in Michigan is a complex process that involves several steps and legal considerations. A land contract is a type of seller financing where the seller acts as the lender and the buyer makes payments directly to the seller. It is a popular option for those who have trouble qualifying for traditional mortgage loans or cannot afford to pay for a property outright. In this article, we will take a closer look at how to close a land contract in Michigan.

1. Review and Sign the Land Contract

The first step in closing a land contract is to review and sign the land contract. This contract outlines the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, payment terms, interest rates, and other important details. Both the buyer and seller should review the contract carefully and make sure they understand all the terms before signing it. It is also a good idea to have an attorney review the contract to ensure that everything is legally binding and in compliance with Michigan state laws.

2. Conduct a Title Search

Once the land contract is signed, the buyer should conduct a thorough title search to ensure that there are no outstanding liens or issues with the property that could affect the sale. This involves researching public records to find out if there are any outstanding mortgages, tax liens, or other types of encumbrances on the property. The buyer may also want to purchase title insurance to protect themselves against any future claims against the property.

3. Make the Down Payment

The buyer will need to make a down payment as part of the land contract closing process. This is typically 10-20% of the purchase price and is paid directly to the seller. The down payment demonstrates the buyer’s commitment to the property and helps to reduce the seller’s risk in the event that the buyer defaults on the payments later on.

4. Transfer the Deed

Once the down payment has been made, the seller will transfer the deed to the buyer. This involves signing over the title of the property to the buyer and recording the deed with the county recorder’s office. This is an important step in the land contract closing process, as it provides the legal proof of ownership of the property.

5. Make Regular Payments

The buyer will make regular payments to the seller according to the terms of the land contract. These payments may be made monthly, bi-weekly, or on some other schedule agreed upon by both parties. It is important for the buyer to make these payments on time, as failure to do so could result in default and potentially lead to foreclosure.

In conclusion, closing a land contract in Michigan requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements. By following these steps, both buyers and sellers can ensure a smooth and successful transaction. If you are considering entering into a land contract in Michigan, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate attorney to guide you through the process.