If you wish to buy or sell property in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area and want to do so under a Land Contract, read this outline of the steps required to complete the transaction.
For the most part, setting up a Cleveland Ohio Land Contract is similar to the requirements for any other part of the state. State law is in force for the bulk of the legal and financial requirements, but certain documents and fees put forth by the Cuyahoga County Recorder are also in play.
After a Buyer and Seller agree to basic terms and decide to proceed with their Land Contract, the first decision to make is whether the transaction operations will be handled “do-it-yourself” with self-help documents, or whether the transaction will be managed from start-to-finish using an Ohio Land Contract Service for the legal documents. This decision should be weighed seriously: the do-it-yourself option is very inexpensive, but it has no third-party oversight like a service does to ensure the contract terms are fair and that all of the financial requirements are met by both parties.
(A Land Contract could also be created from scratch by a local real estate attorney, but that option likely would be a more expensive.)
Once the Buyer and Seller agree on how to handle the transaction operations, the next step is to create the Land Contract documents related to the Real Estate Purchase Agreement and its financing terms. The State of Ohio has a series of general legal requirements for a Contract for Deed, all of which should be understood prior to creating the documents. The financial components must also be agreed upon by both parties so those payment and interest terms can be added to the paperwork.
After both parties do their part to create these legal and financial documents, these pages are signed and notarized to begin the contract.
Soon after that signature, the Land Contract documents should be filed with the County Recorder where the property is located. In Cleveland proper, this would be Cuyahoga County. But in the suburbs of Greater Cleveland, that could be the Recorder’s office in Lorain County, Summit County, Geauga County, Lake County and Medina County.
Only after all payments are made by the Buyer to the Seller is a revised Deed created naming the Buyer as the new owner of the property. The parties should consider having this Deed transfer done through a Title Agent or title agency to ensure proper timing and the conveyance of a clear deed.
Greater Clevelanders who need more details on the Ohio Land Contract process should read through all of the posts on this website, as knowledge is critical to properly executing a seller-financed real estate transaction!