Real estate contracts in Washington provide good security to sellers who furnish seller financing on the sale of land. They can be readily enforced and are easily customized to any particular transaction.
They are real estate installment sales contracts with title being conveyed by deed when the purchaser fulfills the terms of the contract. Unfortunately people sometimes treat them as if they were nothing more than a retail sales contract and fail to record them.
Failing to record a contract puts the purchaser at risk. The purchaser is left without any interest of record which invites fraud on the seller’s side. The seller may be able to sell or encumber the property to the purchaser’s detriment. Without a recorded interest the purchaser could lose the property if the seller goes into bankruptcy.
If a purchaser finds himself or herself with an unrecorded contract, the contract should be recorded. If for some reason that is not possible, then recorded notice of the contract can be filed by the purchaser. With a sufficient recorded notice, the purchaser should be protected.