How to Get a Title in Your Name After Paying off a Contract for a Deed

After the seller-financed term of a contract for deed has been successfully completed and the balance due paid by the buyer, the deed, which was held by the seller and used as collateral, is transferred to the buyer. Transferring the deed is a simple process, but one that is usually handled by a third party, such as an escrow agent, title agent or attorney.

Notify the escrow or title agent that the terms of the land contract have been satisfied. You will need to provide proof that the balance has been paid in full. The seller should provide a general warranty deed that guarantees the property does not have any liens that cloud the title.

Instruct the escrow agent or attorney to prepare the deed transfer paperwork and secure the seller's signature. If you are not using a third party to handle the deed transfer, you will need to secure the seller's signature yourself.

Record the new deed in the county clerk's office.


  • The safest way for a buyer to ensure transfer is to sign the deed transfer paperwork at the closing. The signed deed transfer is then given to a third party to hold until the payments to the seller are completed by the buyer.

    If the seller refuses to transfer the title, the buyer may be forced to sue the seller. If the seller has encumbered the property with additional liens (tax or otherwise), then the title won't pass free-and-clear. For this reason, buyers should purchase a title search and policy.