* A buyers agent is your best option to finding these lisitngs. Some listings will actually have it in the remarks section but, I also target listings that have been on the market for a long period (at least 6 months) and are vacant (usually means they are carrying two mortgage payments).
* The larger the downpayment the more trust you will buy.
* The interest that goes toward the purchase price is totally up to you and the seller as far as negotiations. There are no guidelines that govern that.
* Yes the down payment or option money is non-refundable. If you do not buy you do not get it back.
* The agents get paid the same as any purchase. We get paid when you buy the property. Now sometimes we negotiate to get a small amount upfront out of the downpayment funds. You do not pay us it is the percentage that is agreed upon in the listing agreement.
* 5 to 10% down should be enough
* I am unsure as to this question. Are you saying that you would pay cash for the house? If so you can negotiate the price down as much as if you were getting a mortgage. Now if you are doing a lease/purchase you are giving up some of your negotiating position because you are asking the seller to continue to carry the mortgage.
No problem and I hope this helps,