A Rent to Own Guide

How To Get Started With RTO?

Getting started on an unfamiliar task can seem daunting without the proper guidance–especially a major purchase like a home. For anyone looking to get started with Rent-to-Own home purchasing, having a roadmap can save a lot of confusion and trouble in the long term. With this in mind, here is our guide to get you on the path to your new Rent-to-Own home.

Step 1: Choose a property.

Finding a home is one of the most exciting parts of hunting for a property, second only to moving in. There are a variety of ways to find a Rent-to-Own home either on your own or with the help of online resources. One method involves locating homes in your area and simply asking the seller if they are interested in participating in a Rent-to-Own agreement. If you take this approach, be sure to have a solid pitch arranged and ready to go.

For people who are looking to take some of that legwork out of the equation, we have listings available on our main website for RTO interested sellers. Photos and basic information for each property are available for each home for free, and access to all information and images is unlocked by signing up. Once you find a property that is right for you, we put you in contact with the seller and you can take it from there. If you have any questions, you are also welcome to call our expert customer service center at (888) 250-7811.

Step 2: Chat with your seller.

Reach out to the seller and have a conversation with them about the home. This is a great opportunity to get a good idea of your potential seller’s personality, and make sure you are comfortable entering a contract agreement with them. You can also ask questions about the property to get more details. Be sure to be clear with your expectations and needs, so there is no miscommunication.

Step 3: Check out the house.

If everything checks out, arrange a tour of the home. When you do so, be sure to do a cursory inspection of potential problems with the property. While it is recommended you hire an inspector before making any purchases, a thorough once-over can find more glaring problems with the home before you invest any money. When you check out the property, be sure to look around the neighborhood as well. Find local cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, and be sure to come back at night as well.

Step 4: Consult with a loan officer.

Many people who are unable to exercise the purchase option at the end of the lease were never on the path to securing a mortgage to start. Meeting with a loan officer and getting a realistic understanding of your financial picture is crucial for success. This will help give you a fair timeframe in which you can repair your credit or grow a down payment. Your loan officer will also give you a realistic idea of how much you can spend on your home.

Step 5: Background verification.

Vetting your potential buyer thoroughly is one of the keys to success in Rent-to-Own. While crafting an airtight lease-option contract is key to avoiding scams, you should also do a thorough background check on your seller as well. Check public records for any history of bankruptcies, liens, or anything else that may be a red flag. Also, check the property history and current standing to ensure it’s not in active foreclosure and has a clear title.

Step 6: Develop lease purchase agreement.

The most important part to a successful Rent-to-Own purchasing experience is to build a contract that meets the needs of both the buyer and seller. We highly recommend you have a real estate lawyer look over the agreement before signing to make sure that the agreement protects you from scams and potential pitfalls.

Step 7: Sign, move in. Get excited.

Congratulations! It’s time to sign on the dotted line and get ready to move into your new home. While this is cause for celebration, it’s important to remember that this is where you get down to work. Over the course of your lease term, you are tasked with improving your financial portrait so you can secure a mortgage. Don’t slack, get started early.

While it may seem complex at a glance, Rent-to-Own is a simple and time-tested process that can get you into the home of your dreams now. Knowing where to start is only the beginning, however. It’s important to do your research before signing on the dotted line. Talking to experts at every level, from our customer service to a loan officer and real estate lawyer will help ensure you are ready before you jump on board.