How do we set up a rent-to-own plan to sell our home to potential buyers?

Asked on August 2, 2015 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The correct answer is that you go to a real estate attorney and let him/her draft the appropriate documents. Your home is a very valuable--likely your most valuable--asset; you do not want to take any chances with its care or sale. When you're talking about a few hundred dollars or a thousand dollars to help safeguard your investment and make sure you maximize rental income in the meantime, while having the ability to evict buyers who violate their obligations, it's well worth it to spend the money on a lawyer.

If you are determined to do this yourself. you will need to have a lease with the buyers, which lease should indicate that a certain amount of the rent will be credited towards to the purchase price of the home IF the buyers go ahead and buy it (if they don't, they won't get the money back), as well as a contract obligating you to sell and them to buy the home after a certain period of time, so long as the lease has been fully complied with in the meantime. The money set aside for the eventual purchase should best be kept in a separate bank account...but again, the documents need to make clear that if the sale doesn't happen, you keep the money.


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