Learn How to Determine if a Rent-To-Own is Legitimate

When considering a rent-to-own home make sure the home you are considering is a legitimate rent-to-own opportunity. It's never fun to be taken advantage of, and it’s an unfortunate fact that many rental opportunities online are scams. Be wary of any advertisement claiming “no credit, no problem”. Remember the old adage "If it's too good to be true, it probably is", the same logic applies here. Below are a few of the pitfalls to look out for when considering a rent-to-own home.

Rent-To-Own Home Offers Too Good to Be True

  1. Rent-to-own homes posted on websites as rental listings may not actually exist. Photos usually taken from realtor listings may appear to be legitimate. Instead, the website owner entices you to their sites with the intention of getting you to sign up for more information. They then sell your information to other companies without your permission.
  2. An Option Fee (similar to a security deposit) is typically up to 3 percent of the purchase price yet an owner may charge a higher amount. Once the lease has been signed, some owners may actively seek ways to cancel the agreement so that you forfeit the option fee and any rental premiums paid.
  3. The seller provides a short rental term, aware that you may not have enough time to improve your credit and qualify for a mortgage before the period expires.

Finding Legitimate Rent-To-Own-Homes

When you plan to sign a rent-to-own agreement there should be trust between you and the owner. A good way to establish that trust is find an unbiased real estate attorney to review the contract and ensure both parties have a fair and reasonable deal. Below are the main elements in an agreement that should be confirmed to ensure the legitimacy of the opportunity.

  • Ownership of the Property - Make sure the seller of the property is the owner. Confirmation can easily be checked by reviewing the owner’s tax records online.
  • A Real Estate Attorney - A seller may not be familiar with the rent-to-own process and as such you'll want to work with someone that knows the various laws, including state and federal regulations. By working with a real estate lawyer, you will ensure the contract is fair for all parties involved.
  • Conduct a Home Inspection - Make arrangements for an inspection before signing an agreement. You should never rent or purchase a property sight unseen. An inspection will reveal any issues with the property prior to signing. If you will be responsible for the upkeep of the home during the lease period its a good idea to know what you're getting into.
  • An Appraisal of the Home - The home should be appraised before signing the agreement. Even if the market conditions improve and the price of the home increases, you will be locked in at the original price.

If you plan to pursue rent-to-own listings online, make sure the website is legitimate. A Better Business Bureaus (BBB) logo found on the site indicates it as a trustworthy business, accredited for its ethical business behavior. We are proud to exhibit the BBB logo on our website. We offer an extensive, nationwide selection of affordable rent-to-own properties. We also provide reputable credit consultants to help navigate you along the path towards home ownership.

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