A contract for deed is a transaction where the seller retains title to a property until a buyer completes all repayment obligations. The buyer is allowed to occupy and treat the property as their own but doesn't have the rights of ownership. A contract for deed is a type of owner financing. Contracts for deed are legitimate instruments but have been associated with unscrupulous sellers who take advantage of buyers unable to obtain financing through traditional channels. Sellers might use a late payment or loan-term violation as a pretext to cancel the contract and leave the buyer with no interest in the property and little or no recourse. Contracts for deed are also called land contracts or installment land contracts.