Contract for Deed in Missouri Explained

Standardized Legal Documents Contract for Deed in Missouri Explained

Buy or Sell Property Without a Mortgage Using a Contract for Deed in Missouri

Buying and selling property in Missouri doesn’t need to be a complicated process. There is a method that enables both buyers and sellers to agree on a seller-financed property deal known as a contract for deed.

DoNotPay understands that you may not be comfortable with writing a contract or dealing with legal documents and that you want to avoid the expense of lawyers whenever you can. We are here to help you draft an ironclad contract for deed in Missouri!

What Is a Contract for Deed?

A contract for deed is a legal agreement between a real property owner and a buyer for the buyer to purchase the seller’s property by installment. In other states, this type of agreement may be known as a land sale contract or an installment sales contract.

The buyer and the seller agree on a final purchase price, an interest rate, and the number of installments to be paid. They then sign a contract to that effect, and the buyer takes equitable ownership of the property, with all its requirements for upkeep, insurance, and property tax payments.

The seller retains the deed and legal ownership until the final installment has been paid.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Contract for Deed?

There are several advantages to this form of property deal for both the buyer and the seller. They are:



  • You can buy a property with no need to secure a mortgage
  • You can take advantage of the tax breaks and incentives associated with property ownership
  • A bad credit record does not necessarily stop you from buying property
  • The pool of potential buyers is wider
  • Capital gains can be offset until the final installment has been paid
  • You can keep yourself below a certain income tax threshold by staggering your property income over several years

A contract for deed is not without risks to both parties, though. You can find the most important ones in the table below:



  • If you miss an installment, the seller can foreclose, and you lose the property and everything paid up to that point
  • The seller can sell the property before the final payment and leave you with nothing
  • Death, divorce, or tax delinquency may mean that the seller cannot hand the deed over after you have paid the final amount
  • You may have to resort to a costly and drawn-out lawsuit in Missouri to evict a defaulting buyer
  • The buyer may cause damage to the property and then default, leaving you with the repair bill
  • If the property is damaged by fire, wind, or other causes, you may end up in a dispute with the buyer over who receives the insurance compensation

With all this to consider, why not let DoNotPay and save you the worry?

What Does a Contract for Deed Have To Include?

Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you need to include the following elements in a contract for deed in Missouri:

  1. Names and details of the buyer and seller
  2. Description of the property
  3. Property inspection
  4. Full sale price, installment amounts, and number of installments
  5. Interest rate
  6. Closing costs
  7. Terms of possession
  8. Governing law

Names and Details of the Buyer and Seller

You should include the full names, addresses, and contact details of both the buyer and the seller.

Property Details

The contract for deed should describe the property in full, including its:

  • Street address
  • Plot details as they appear on the deed
  • Exact location
  • Outward appearance

Inspection of the Property

The buyer should confirm that they have inspected the property fully, have noted any faults or repairs needed, and accept them as seen. For added security, both parties can agree to have the property appraised by a qualified building inspector.

Full Sale Price, Installment Amounts, and Number of Installments

The full sale price, amount to be paid in each installment, and the number of monthly installments need to be written into the contract.

The contract can also include:

  • Any down payment to be made by the buyer
  • Any balloon or residual payment at the end of the contract to cover fees or costs to transfer the deed into the buyer’s name

Interest Rate

You should include the agreed interest rate charged on the sale.

Closing Costs

If there are foreseeable costs at the end of the contract—such as deed transfer costs or the cost of recording the transaction with the county clerk—you should agree on who is responsible for paying them.

Terms of Possession

The contract should clarify when the buyer is allowed to take equitable possession of the property. This will normally coincide with the signing of the contract and the payment of the first installment or upfront amount.

Governing Law

You should clarify the state under whose law the contract will be governed. This will usually be the state in which the property is located.

Can DoNotPay Help Me Draw Up a Contract for Deed?

Using the above guidelines, you can draw up a contract for deed, making sure that both parties sign it in the presence of a notary to give it as much legal weight as possible.

DoNotPay has a range of legal documents and contract templates you can customize to suit your requirements.

All you need to do to get your tailored legal document is:

  1. Navigate to DoNotPay in your web browser and
  2. Use the search function to find the document you need
  3. Fill in the details you want included
  4. Wait while we create your custom document

What Kind of Legal Documents Can DoNotPay Help You Draft?

We are expanding our portfolio every week, and here are a few examples of the documents we can offer at the moment:

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