You’ve decided that you want to buy a home creatively and you are looking for a flexible seller that would allow you to buy on a lease-option. Maybe you don’t quite have the 20% down that many lenders are asking for these days. Maybe you had a recent financial challenge that bruised or destroyed your credit and you need time to improve it. Or, perhaps your financial challenge led to a bankruptcy, foreclosure or having to sell your last home on a short sale. Regardless of the reason, you realize that getting back to being a home owner is an important next step and that buying a home on a lease-option is a way for you to do it right away.
Now that you have decided to do it, how do you find a seller that is willing to do a lease with an option to buy? There are some ways to find lease-option properties.
1. Contact Landlords With Properties For Rent
Some landlords that are advertising their properties for rent would actually consider or would even prefer to sell the property. Some landlords are only renting because they couldn’t sell their property in a timely fashion and could not afford to make payments on the property while it sat vacant. You can contact landlords and ask them if they’d consider to selling the property too.
2. Have a Real Estate Agent Do The Work For You
Calling sellers and landlords is time consuming even if it is worth it. There are a few great real estate agents that are knowledgeable and willing to do this work for you while representing you as a buyer in the transaction. Some will charge you an up front fee for this type of work that you will often get back many times over by the negotiating and deal structuring experience they bring to your corner by representing you. Some will do it without an upfront fee and will be paid a commission on the sale in the same manner that most real estate agents are paid on more traditional transactions. From my experience, there are probably only about 1 or 2 real estate agents out of 100 that really have the knowledge to work on creative transactions with you, but finding one is an immensely valuable resource that you should rely heavily on.
3. Marketing To Have Sellers Contact You
Many real estate investors understand the amount of work that is involved with finding sellers that would sell creatively. Many of these investors are willing to put out marketing to have sellers that are more likely to do a transaction like a lease-option contact them directly instead of doing the manual labor of contacting many sellers and landlords. They are often willing to spend $1,000 on marketing to have the sellers come to them instead of expending $1,000 of their valuable time sifting and sorting through sellers and landlords that may or may not be interested. By putting out marketing they end up talking to a very small number of sellers that are already willing and eager to work with them on something more creative in a win-win transaction.
Finally, whether you decide to focus on the easy-to-find already advertised properties or you decide to do the extra work to get what will often be better deals by calling sellers or landlords yourself, i think you will find that a little bit of extra work up front is definitely worth the effort as you go down the road of home ownership. Of course, hiring a real estate agent to do the work for you is an easy decision and a smart decision. They do the work often for a nominal up front fee or sometimes a fee that comes from the transaction itself. Or, if you’re willing to invest a little money to save yourself time and you want to do it yourself, you can always put out some marketing to get sellers to come to you. So, no matter which method that you use, i recommend that you must taking the step to own your own home. Go for it.