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BUYING? OR SELLING? See Lease Option info below...

Whether you are looking to buy or to sell a home.  One of the most important things that you can do is to be certain that you are working with professionals.  Professionals, who not only know the ins and outs of current real estate standard practice and regulation but pros who understand that there are ways other than buying via FHA and Conventional Loans.   They are hard to find, but they are out there. 


If you are in the market for a home and not looking for the super “Nothing or Low Down Deal” it is likely that you can use most any licensed agent in the US.  As a requisite for licensing they are required to know the basic, FHA, Conventional, FNMA, etc, methods of purchasing.  If on the other hand you are looking for a special deal, in a situation with little down, questionable credit, etc… you will probably need an agent who is well versed in the principles detailed in the “No Down and Creative Real Estate Investment Techniques”  portion of this site.   The principles in the Creative Investment site can also, be used to help you structure the sale of a foreclosure or difficult to sell property.

If you are unable to find any sales professionals in your area who are conversant with the type of creative principles we’ve alluded to Click at bottom of this page.  We will refer you to an agent in you’re area who is able to help with your specific investment needs. 


The reality is that in today’s markets, some houses simply will not sell as easily as others.  Are you finding that is the case with your property?  There are many reasons this happens.  Sometimes it’s price.  Sometimes it’s the agent.  Sometimes it is terms.  The key is to find the problem and then find a way to either make up for that problem, or develop a way to not necessarily make your home more desirable, but rather to enhance the ease of purchasing.   Most of the issues that make a property hard to sell can be solved by a competent Real Estate professional.  But what to do if your house is worth less than is owed?


What if you owe $120,000 and the house is worth $100,000?  A buyer, who would qualify for this size loan, would, of course, not pay more than it was worth.  Even if an agent could sell it for what you owed, there is no equity at all so how does the agent get paid?  He doesn’t.  So, you will not get an agent’s help.  What if the agent suggests a “short sale” (where the lender agrees to take less than was owed so as to allow the property to be sold).  It’s complicated, lenders won’t usually do it, most agents avoid dealing with short sales, and even if it goes through, due to what I consider creative accounting by the IRS, you will probably find yourself being assessed additional income amounting to the difference between the sale price and the amount that you owed.   i.e. you owed $120,000 you sell it for $100,000 the IRS will add about $20,000 to your taxable income.   This doesn’t make much sense, but, nevertheless, it happens everyday.  Have a tax problem? Click here.

What if instead of the above, you find a way to expand your customer base, by offering terms that those who usually can't buy, but want to, can, in fact, buy your home?  Many people, who have great income, have had credit problems in the past that preclude them from immediately getting conventional financing.  They may have great income and job stability, but maybe they just had a Bankruptcy or maybe just went through an ugly divorce.  If they keep their credit clean for about two years from the date of the credit problem, they should then be considered credit worthy.


Why not sell to them on a Lease Option.  You owe $120,000 It’s now worth about $105,000.  Let’s say fair market rental is in the neighborhood of $900.  Your payment is $1,150.  Ask for a $2,000 option fee (down payment).  They pay rent in an amount equal to your monthly payment.  You give them the right, for having paid the option fee, to exercise the option anytime within the next three years.

 Why would a buyer want to pay more than it’s worth?  If they have to wait until their credit is repaired, there’s no telling how expensive the same house could be.  Until the option is exercised they know what their payment is and will be.  Provided they keep up their payments, they can’t be told to move.  If structured correctly, they can even take advantage of the interest write off.  Anytime during this period they can exercise the option and take advantage of the lowest rates during the time frame.  If at the end of the three years, it is worth $150,000 they can still buy it for $120,000.  For the right buyer, a lease option is the perfect way to go.  Need to buy a home and a lease option seems to be the best bet? Click at bottom of page for a service provider in your area or Click here for the forms to do it yourself.

Why would you want to sell it this way?  You get money up front.  You have someone paying more than they would if it were a rental.  They will treat it as their own.  You don’t have to deal with the repercussions of a short sale, and you saved your credit and got out from under what had appeared to be a bad investment. 

What if they do not exercise the option?  You can extend it if you desire, for another fee.  You can treat them as a tenant and increase the rent to reflect changes in the market.  You can bring in a new tenant, or optionee.  At the end of the 3 years, it is now probably worth more than owed, so you can now sell at an actual profit.  The best, is a win win situation where they exercise the option.  However, if they fail to live up to their part of the bargain, you the seller will not be hurt.  For the right buyer and seller, a lease option is the perfect way to go.  .  Does a lease option seem to be the best solution to your real estate need? Click at bottom of page for a service provider in your area or Click here for the forms to do it yourself. 

Want more free creative ideas for buying or selling? Click Here.   

Have a question?  Need advice?  Write to the  Forum