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

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2015

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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