How Much Upfront Is Fair On A Rent To Own Home?

Just yesterday, I received a call from a lady who was about to send $20,000 Western Union to a “homeowner” for a rent to own home. The seller lived in another country.

Thankfully, after speaking to her, she realized the email she received was a scam and she didn’t mail away her life savings.

This is a true story, unfortunately.

So How Much Is Fair Upfront?

There really is no finite number that you could call “fair.” Our company likes to set the option fee at 3.5% of the purchase price. This is the minimum down payment amount required for an FHA loan when you purchase the home.

Everyday we see ads from sellers asking for 15-20% for an option fee. PLEASE don’t get involved with these rent to own homes!


A rent to own agreement only gives you the OPTION to purchase a home at a specified price and length of time. You still have to qualify for a home mortgage or raise the money to pay for the home before the end of the option period.

Seller Financing

If the seller is offering “seller financing” then the agreement is totally different. View seller financed listings here.

Make sure to have ALL of your paperwork reviewed by an attorney before you move forward on ANY type of agreement.


  1. Thank you for this warning! It’s really scary if you just believe in everything that a seller of a rent to own home has to say without consulting advices from real estate experts. I’m very glad that you are able to help us with information through your blogs! Very well appreciated!

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