What Does CFD Stand for in Real Estate?

What Does CFD Stand for in Real Estate?

What does CFD stand for in the world of real estate? What is a CFD? What are they used for? What can you do with them, and what are some of the things to keep an eye out for when trading CFDs? You’ll find all this information below.

What does CFD mean?

CFD in real estate is an acronym for contract for deed. A contract for deed is a legal agreement related to a property’s sale. In this type of agreement, a buyer makes payments to the seller directly. However, the latter takes hold of the title until the entire payment is made.

For example, a seller can work through an attorney, a real estate agent, or even on their own in their quest to find a potential buyer. Once they find a buyer interested in a contract for deed, the transaction terms are set.

Typically, a buyer is required to make payments for a property to a seller, but the seller holds the title of the house or the land until all the payments are made. This is why CFD is sometimes also called “bond for deed,” “installment land contract,” or “land contract.”

What does the cfd document include?

The contract can be anywhere between one to five pages long. It typically includes the following information.

  • The purchase amount
  • The interest rate
  • The monthly payment
  • Details regarding cancellation

However, the document does not include an arrangement for processes like beginning or the cancellation, etc. It is generally assumed these contracts lack clarity which may create issues for those who advise buyers, especially those facing forfeiture.

Why do buyers and sellers enter a contract for deed?

Typically, a buyer opts to go through a traditional mortgage lender when purchasing a home. Traditional lenders can be anything from a bank to a credit union but there are many reasons why buyers and sellers go for a contract for deed. Here are some of them.

The buyer may have an insufficient credit score

If a buyer does not have the required credit score to qualify for a traditional mortgage, they can choose to have a CFD settlement. However, it’s also likely that the buyer does have adequate income and credit score, but the amount of down payment required is not met. In such cases, the buyer may be required to pay a higher than usual interest rate, definitely more than what they would pay to a traditional lender.

It is also likely for a seller to finance the deal for a certain amount of years and write a balloon payment. For instance, if a seller decides to carry the note for ten years, they may make it mandatory for the buyer to either sell the house or refinance it at the end of the term.

There may be high-interest rates

There is also a chance that a seller may try to take advantage of the high interest rates. This is because they can use the opportunity to offer lower rates to attract potential buyers. Therefore, high-interest rates are also a reason why sellers come into a CFD settlement.

There are no closing costs involved

It’s possible for the closing to take place earlier if no lender is involved. It’s also possible for the closing costs to be lower especially if no services from a realtor were used in the transaction.

What are the pros and cons of a contract for deed?


Regardless of who you are, getting into a contract for deed settlement can have both pros and cons. Here are some of them.


No need to qualify for a mortgage

Many people are not able to qualify for a mortgage due to inadequate income, issues with employment history, or instances of a past bankruptcy. This is when getting into a contract for a deed is a good idea because as a buyer, all you need to do is find a seller who’s willing to do business.

There’s also more freedom when negotiating a down payment. You may also be free from paying any costs related to the origination and closing and other typical expenses of taking a mortgage out.

There’s also another advantage in case you default on your mortgage. A traditional lender may demand you to pay the entire loan off even if you made up the payments, but a seller with a contract of deed is not eligible to do that.

More buyers

Since there are more chances of you coming across buyers who don’t qualify for a mortgage than those who do, you can always use it to your benefit. By opting for a CFD settlement, you can have a pool of buyers ready to purchase your property.

Moreover, the process is also faster than a typical mortgage sale. Even if you suspect that the buyer is going into default, you have the option of terminating the contract without going through the hassle of legal proceedings as required in a mortgage settlement.


You can’t claim the property

For a buyer, the biggest downside to getting into a CFD deal is that they cannot claim the property unless they’ve paid the entire purchase amount. If you fail to make the payments or default, you can lose the entire property and also all the money you put into it.

You will have to wait for the proceeds

If you’re on the selling side of the deal, it may turn out to be against your favor because selling properties this way means that they won’t be entirely off your hands for years to come.

This is the one thing that doesn’t suit most people’s investment strategy. It also means that you will have to wait till the contract is over to get all the money, which is different from how it happens in a mortgage sale. In a mortgage sale, you can get immediate payment.

Another common issue most people face is flexibility. However, flexibility can be both a pro and a con depending on what both buyers and sellers agree on.

The arrangements regarding the amount and time of all the payments are up to those involved in buying and selling. If flexibility turns out to be a pro for one party, it may also turn out to be a con for another.

What is a community facilities district?


It is a method of financing public services and improvements if there is no other source of funding available. A community facilities district or a CFD is usually established by a city, county, special district, or even joint powers authority.

How is the tax used to fund public services?

Since the idea behind a community facilities district is to facilitate a certain district in the form of public services, there is a tax levied on taxable properties to achieve the goal.

Once the revenue from the special tax starts coming in, it is used to fund services or facilities authorized for that particular district. It should also be taken into account that the revenue coming out of this type of tax cannot be used for any other purpose.

Bonded CFD

A bonded CFD is funded by selling land secured municipal bonds. This is how the initial payments for planning and installation of public improvements are made. Owners of property inside the district’s boundaries pay this special tax annually until both principal and interest on the bonds are fully paid.

Maintenance CFD

Maintenance CFD provides funding for services such as street lighting or landscape improvement. The funds collected through this type of CFD are restricted to the provision of services outlined in the formation documents.

What are the contract for deed risks for buyers?

Apart from the termination of contract due to non-payment and sellers holding the title until the complete payment is made, there are also other risks associated with a CFD. One such risk is unexpected home repair costs.


In conclusion, most people opt for a contract for deed because of their weak credit score. This means that these people will not be able to finance any unexpected repairs or damage to the property. This may also lead to them defaulting on payments or not being able to pay on time. As a result, they could lose the property. Therefore, the decision to go for a CFD depends on several factors. We recommend weighing the costs and benefits of both a CFD and a traditional mortgage settlement to decide what suits your needs best.