If I am a buyer and my Contract For Deed/Rent to Own agreement says I can sell can I really?

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If I am a buyer and my Contract For Deed/Rent to Own agreement says I can sell can I really?

My property agreement with the owner says I can sell the property as
long as the sale covers the remainder of the principle, then I can
pocket the profits. Can I actually do this if I don’t hold the title
or tax bill? I reside in IL

Asked on March 18, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no. You can enter into an agreement to sell the property, BUT you can't actually transfer good title unless you own title yourself. That means you can't close without the current owner being involved in a complicated three way transaction involving two simultaneous closings and money going from your buyer to you and from you to the current owner. It would be very difficult to coordinate, has many ways it could go wrong, and your buyer would most likely have to be paying cash, since he is almost certainly not going to be able to get a mortgage to buy property where the "seller" (you) doesn't even have title. A much more practical way to do this would be to contract to sell the property in, say, 4 - 6 months; then in the meantime finish buying it from the current owner, so that when time comes to close with your buyer, you can transfer good title.


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