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With Higher Interest Rates a Land Contract Might be Right for Your Real Estate Sale


With Higher Interest Rates a Land Contract Might be Right for Your Real Estate Sale

by Nathan Russell, Managing Attorney and Owner

By now we are all feeling the pain of inflation.  Whether it is at the gas pump, grocery store, or purchasing home improvement supplies, it hits us everywhere.  The rapid growth of inflation has caused for the Federal Reserve to hike up interest rates.  Higher interest rates are bad for new home loans, credit cards, and business borrowing.  However, the higher rates are good for individuals with money or assets to invest.  A land contract is a beneficial tool for both buyers and sellers of real estate especially in a high interest rate environment.

Specifically, a land contract is a transfer of real estate that is considered seller financing.  It is similar to a mortgage, but instead of having a bank or credit union lend money to the purchaser, the buyer, referred to as a Vendee in the document, makes payments to the seller, referred to as a Vendor in the document,  until the contract is satisfied.  Often in these arrangements, the seller wins due to a steady stream of income at a higher rate than they could get at a financial institution and potentially limits capital gains due to taking payments over time.*  The buyer wins as well as they often get a lower interest rate than they would at a financial institution and they are able to purchase real estate in situations where they not able to get a traditional financing.

Keys for Seller

  • Must either have the property owned with no encumbrances or all lien holders have to approve in writing
  • Terms and conditions can be as flexible as the imagination
  • Solid down payment is encouraged in order to protect the Vendor in default
  • If the contract were to default, the Seller would be able to keep all payments made, including down payments, and get the property back through strict foreclosure.  Wis. Stat. § 846.30 calls for a minimal redemption period for strict foreclosure of seven days.  Many court increase that redemption period but it is much faster than a mortgage foreclosure.

Keys for the Buyer

  • Affords them access to real estate they may not otherwise be credit worthy for
  • Potentially (but not always) lower interest rate than mortgage
  • Generally less fees that a traditional mortgage

While not for everyone, a land contract presents an intriguing tool for real estate sellers to get solid investment returns, potentially save on taxes, and generally be in a very strong position in default.

Russell Law Offices, S.C. has experienced attorneys who can provide advice not only on land contracts but all types of real estate transactions.  Reach out to Attorney Nathan Russell and his associates for assistance with your real estate transaction throughout Wisconsin.

*Always consult with your tax professional before entering into a land contract.


Nathan Russell

Managing Attorney and Owner

All Locations

About Nathan Russell is the founder and owner of Russell Law Offices, SC.  Born and raised on his family’s fifth generation dairy and crop farm in Shullsburg, he returned to Southwest Wisconsin to practice law in 2009.    Nathan earned a degree in Agricultural Economics and his Juris Doctorate from UW-Madison.  Prior to opening Russell […]

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