Home Selling in Flint>Question Details

Laura, Home Seller in Davison, MI

I have a land contract with my buyer.

Asked by Laura, Davison, MI Sun Mar 22, 2009

The prices of houses have dropped to the point they are willing to walk away from the house. Can I legally lower the selling price to them to keep them in the house? They pay on time and only have 7 years left to pay on it. I don't want to be stuck with an empty house right now.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hey Laura,

In a nutshell, you own the property you originally set forth terms for them to purchase the property as a land contract. There should be no problem for you to adjust the amount if it works in the buyers favor. I do agree with Sonya, consulting with a real estate attorney is always good practice.

Keep in mind, before you go jumping through hoops to accommodate the buyer, you need to ask them some questions. You need to find out what exactly the buyer wants you to do, because if you re-negotiate a contract but two months from now they come to you again with the same problem, is it worth it?

Here are some questions, you may want to formulate some of your own too:

Do you still love this house? How long do you see your family living here? Is the money the only reason you WANT to leave? is the money the only reason you NEED to leave etc... As the seller what could I do to make this work better for you?

If things do not work out with this buyer and they walk, I wouldn't think the world has turned upside down either. There are plenty of good people looking to rent and/or needing land contracts right now.

Drop me an email or give me a ring if you need more help.

Best Wishes

Jeremy Sulak

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 22, 2009
Hi Laura,

First ... stop worrying. You owe nothing on the house. So aside from taxes and insurance, it would cost you nothing to hold it - especially if you drain the pipes so they can't freeze. Worse case, you can sell it or rent it out or do another owner-financing.

On the bright side if they walk you keep all the equity they put into it and they lose all of that. This could be many years of equity and payments since "they only have 7 left". Review all the numbers and then figure out what a good proposal might be to keep them or take alternatives. How much money would you get from them over 7 years vs. just putting in on the market, positioned for a fast sale?

In short, you can really be in the catbird seat here.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
I know it has been a while, but a great way to motivate the buyer to stay is to help them get the first time home buyer credit if they haven't owned a home in the last 3 years. You will switch from a land contract but you will be in virtually the same position as you are with the land contract as far as foreclosing if they don't pay. But, they will be able to get the credit in 5 weeks and they won't have to pay it back if they live in the home for 3 yrs which is where you get assurance that they will stay. You can also change the price through this process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 23, 2009
good afternoon laura..........i asume that you have a land contract memoradum recorded...hope so.anyway...i disagree with the below listed comments about selling the lc to an invstor....that won't happen.they discount the payoff way too much to accomdate your needs in this transaction....and that scenario wouldn't help either you or the buyers.....as the deed holder, you will be issuing a payoff to the title company just like anyother debt holder would do.......two things.....don't forget, you, the seller are responsible for the seller's title and transfer tax when deed transfers on a lc, unless otherwise stated in the lc.terms...also, this would be considered a refinance for your buyers, assuming the lc. was prepared properly and eveything else works in the file....they will have to cover the typical mortgage closing costs in the mortgage amt, which means you may be getting even less.....unless they have some cash to offset the costs....what i always suggest sellers such as you that are holding a contract do is to work backwards on your payoff.....what needs to fund are your closing costs, their closing costs and pre-paids......whatever remains is what you would receive.....do not issue a payoff letter until you know what that number is.i would be happy to not only pre-qual the buyers, but to help you as well thru the entire transaction......bob mcclure- success mortgage partners- plymouth, michigan....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Greetings Laura,
I am in the business of locating note/land contract holders who wish to sell their contracts.
If you wish to submit your contract info to me, I can in turn submit it to our network of investors
and hopefully get you an offer. Please contact me if interested at:
philip@eztechinternet.com or call 989-352-8358
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
If you want to sell your land contract,and want to invest in something else.
we would like to offer you a fast free quote !
We are from Port Huron Mi,contact me anytime from my website

Have a Great Day!

Tim McConnell,II
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
The reason they are asking is the market has declined so much that houses are going for less in the area then what they owe me. I owe nothing on the house and would hate to get it back fearing I would be stuck with an empty house in Flint. Your answer helped me. I would rather lower what they owe me and get what I can from this sale. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2009
Hi Laura! I would consult a real estate attorney. But, I believe that is you are agreeing to adjust the balance that they owe you it can be done. Are they asking you to adjust it based on the declining market?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 22, 2009
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