Finding Lease-With-Option Buyers


Do you own the home free and clear that you are trying to Lease-With-Option?

Yes. I don’t do “sandwich lease/options.” So, I just find tenant/buyers, collect the option fees, and walk. However, “walk” means facilitating payments, connecting the TB with a mortgage broker, and monitoring credit repair. I don’t abandon the transaction. It’s not like the AMP scam, where we find a buyer, collect the money, and bail on everyone involved.

Ron Legrand, Barney Zick and Todd Toback are my resources on this subject. I highly recommend all of them. Barney’s gone now, but I know Todd personally, and the stuff he does that he doesn’t advertise is truly amazing. And Ron Legrand is my facebook friend!


javipa my friend you are up very late giving out sound advice to the new investors.

is there something wrong with sandwich L/Os in your opinion?

Sandwich Leases are fine. However, I use a performance lease, that stipulates that I only pay rent, after I get the rent from the tenant/buyer. Well, at that point, it makes no sense to remain in the loop, since whatever the seller receives from me is only what I receive from the tenant/buyer. So, I rather just put the seller and the buyer together and call it a day.

The BIG difference here, is that I’m taking all/most of the cash the tenant/buyer is putting up to seal the deal. I get paid to find buyers for sellers. Meantime, the seller gets his asking price; the proceeds he would net in a conventional sale using an agent; relief from negative cash flow; and fewer marketing/carrying costs.

So, unless this was a high equity situation that I was personally capturing, there’s no point in sandwiching myself into the transaction on paper

I’m in the same time zone as you! What were you doing up! :shocked LOL

javipa my friend staying up late to make sure I don’t miss anything. :biggrin

I always say that if you are just starting off, you should just do assignments for a year or so to really learn not only your area, but the flow of the lease option etc BEFORE doing SLO’s.
I just think it helps you really get the feel without potentially being stuck or in the middle of a deal.
Obviously though, this is just my opinion for those trying to stick the toes in the water.

well, a little off subject since it was intended for discussion of finding buyers, not exit strategy. That being said, it seems that everyone (gurus) says that buyers will flood your email/vm when you get a good deal (i.e. terms). The usual Bandit sign (javipa gave some alternatives to verbage) and online ads where only producing renters and absolutely no buyers after 60 days.

So back on subject, Javipa says I should try and find small family with kids 9-12 years old. Granted, this is an area where these kids will be in private school. besides the bandit signs and online ads(craigslist,, zillow), where the verbage is changed (RENT-TO-OWN and listing down payment requirement) and no listing of Sales $$, does anyone know of way to reach these people?

Javipa- I think considering the neighbors and the relative size of the house that empty nesters would be perfect for this house. They will usually have grandkids (need rooms for them to stay) close to town, not worried about schools and no big tax burden. considering that 60% of the people in this neighbor hood are that, 20% are small families with younger kids, and 20% are the fresh out of college (1-15 years out of college), am I wrong???

i.e. they aren;t interested in Rent-to-OWN?

Your best bet is list it with a realtor.

wow, a realtor huh? Thanks, guess I’ll pack it up and hand it to an agent… LOL, it was on the market for 2.5 years with an agent. That was a great strategy for the home owner… :banghead2

If it was on the market with a realtor for 2.5 years then there was a good chance it was over price or you not telling us the whole story.

you obviously haven’t read the entire post. ASSUME I have told you everything about the property you need to know (b/c I have) Other than Bandit signs or online ads (assuming I have made all the changes to ads that we have discussed) is there any other creative ways to drive traffic to this house? It would be nice to have additional campaigns/metrics going forward.

Forgive me if I repeat myself or forgot something you already said…

You mentioned that your ads had your company logo. Get rid of that logo. Buyers looking for “help” don’t want it from a professional “helpers.”

That’s why I suggest that your bandit signs need to be as ugly as sin. So should your online ads look just as ugly. You do that by not including pretty logos, and all sorts of professional ‘tells’. Just focus on the information and pictures, if possible. Frankly, I get more calls from just listing the benefits/amenities without putting lipstick all over the descriptions, such as, “this adorable, mid-century home boasts of walnut paneling, handsome dual-paned entry doors, and just a touch of whimsy with the back yard ornaments.” Blech, says the buyer with bad credit. It just screams “you don’t qualify.”

Instead I might say,

Rent-to-Own, No Credit Check.
3/2 1400 sqft
Huge bonus room
impressive corner lot
great neighborhood for kids
[name] unified school district (Only if it’s a plus)
Built in 40,600 BC
2-Dinosaur Garage
Huge Kitchen with built ins
New, Opossum compactor
Granite Counters (what else?)
Newly compacted dirt floors
Wood-fed Fireplace/Oven/Furnace combo package
Genuine Tortoise shell roof tiles with bamboo downspouts

Only 1 Mammoth down, will finance until wheel is invented.

See, nothing fancy.

Liberty, I used to do the corporate-image approach with seller financing. However, I learned that my ugly ads/signage would bring in more responses from the credit-challenged niche of prospects, regardless of price point.

Creative? Of course! You could drop flyers all over the parking lot at the mall. You could drive through the neighborhood in an ice cream truck announcing over the loud speaker that you’re offering free ice cream to anyone who takes a look at your house.

How about giving away bottomless glasses of lemonade to any adult with children who comes inside to take a tour of your house. Cold day, and lemonade won’t work? Give way free cookies and ice cold milk in return for taking a look at your house. Advertise this a few days in advance, to gather some interest and momentum.

Lemonade, cookies and milk, sound dull…? Rent a jump house and put it on the front lawn. Advertise free tickets to the Jump Castle available after tour of house (by parents).

Lemonade, cookies, milk and jump castles are non starters? Then give away a sports car with purchase…! What appeals to any self-respecting victim of a mid-life crisis, or father of two, than driving a sporty, little Vette, or Porshe? Could you find some old Porsche, or Corvette and plop either in the driveway and post a sign that says, “Free car with purchase of house.”

Okay free food and cars seems impractical? Then just offer the house as a "free brothel’ for the weekend, and see what happens. j/k

Meantime, plain old yards signs are a MUST. The most likely buyer(s) are already trolling this neighborhood. After that, it’s every online outlet, throw away papers, (maybe the newspaper, which I don’t actually use anymore), flyers to all the neighbors about what you have for sale in their neighborhood — they know someone who wants to live near to them, or vice-verse; more signs on the corners near the house from Friday after 5:00 until Sunday evening. It’s everything, not just one thing.

The most important thing is knowing your market. Is what you’re offering sound like a bargain in either price, or terms? It has to be one, or the other, to get a fast turnover. Just saying.

It works, been there done that…get creative!


"Lemonade, cookies, milk and jump castles are non starters? Then give away a sports car with purchase…! What appeals to any self-respecting victim of a mid-life crisis, or father of two, than driving a sporty, little Vette, or Porshe? Could you find some old Porsche, or Corvette and plop either in the driveway and post a sign that says, “Free car with purchase of house.”

John $Cash$ Locke

OK, some incentives. that is pretty good… i also like fliers to neighbors.

Will try losing the logo too. I wondered about that and thought logo would mean professional, i.e. not fly-by-night, take the money run, but I see you point. will have to try and see which works best.

Thanks javipa… I was about to cry uncle

There is no holy Grail it either is your marketing is not good or its not a good deal. If your Craigslist ads don’t work you need to tweak your headline and body and call to action because it works try a headline like "Why Rent When You Can Buy? No Bank qualifying, Bad credit Ok! Remember to sound desperate.

Have you tried flyer-ing the neighborhood with an ad for the house and a $500 referral fee if someone refers a buyer? Or maybe you can rework your numbers so you can pay an agent commission if they bring a buyer?

A real estate agent is the best way to go.