Selling a House on Contract in Iowa

Selling a House on Contract in Iowa: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking to sell your house in Iowa but are struggling to find a buyer? Maybe you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with a real estate agent or are having difficulty finding someone who can secure a traditional mortgage.

If this sounds like you, selling your Iowa home on contract may be the perfect solution.

Selling a house on contract in Iowa, also known as a land contract or a contract for deed, is a unique way to sell your property without the involvement of a bank or mortgage lender. In this arrangement, the seller (you) acts as the lender and allows the buyer to make payments over time until the purchase price is paid in full.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of selling a house on contract in Iowa, including the benefits and drawbacks, important legal considerations, and tips for a successful sale.

Benefits of Selling on Contract

There are several benefits to selling a house on contract in Iowa. First and foremost, it allows you to broaden your pool of potential buyers. Buyers who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage can purchase your property with a smaller down payment and favorable payment terms. This can be especially beneficial in a slow market or in a location where housing demand is low.

Another advantage is that you can receive a steady stream of income through monthly payments. Additionally, you’ll have more control over the sale process, such as setting the interest rate and payment schedule.

Drawbacks of Selling on Contract

Selling a house on contract also comes with its share of risks. One of the biggest downsides is that you may have to foreclose on the property if the buyer defaults on payments. This can be a costly and time-consuming process that may not result in full repayment of the loan.

Another potential downside is that you will not receive the full purchase price upfront, which can be a problem if you need the cash for other investments or expenses.

Legal Considerations

Selling a house on contract in Iowa involves a lot of legal considerations, so it’s important to do your research and seek advice from a real estate attorney.

You’ll need to create a contract that details the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, payment schedule, interest rate, and any contingencies. You’ll also need to ensure that the buyer is aware of any liens or encumbrances on the property and that the contract complies with Iowa state law.

Tips for a Successful Sale

If you decide to sell your house on contract in Iowa, there are several tips to ensure a successful sale:

1. Price the property fairly: Make sure you’re setting a fair price that reflects the market value of the property.

2. Screen potential buyers: Conduct a thorough background check on potential buyers to ensure they have a good credit history and are financially stable enough to make payments.

3. Hire a real estate attorney: A real estate attorney can help you draft the contract and ensure that it adheres to Iowa state law.

4. Set clear payment terms: Clearly outline the payment schedule, interest rate, and any penalties for late payments.

5. Maintain the property: As the seller, you are responsible for maintaining the property until the sale is complete. Keep the property in good condition to attract potential buyers.


Selling a house on contract in Iowa can be an effective way to sell your property and receive a steady income stream. However, it’s important to weigh the risks and legal considerations before entering into this type of arrangement.

By following these tips and seeking advice from a real estate attorney, you can ensure a successful sale that benefits both you and the buyer.