On the other hand, if the property's been on the market for months, especially if it's sitting there empty, the seller is likely to be a lot more receptive to a lease-option.
So, assuming the seller is financially able to do a lease-option and is reasonably motivated, here's what you say: "Mr. Seller: I'd really like to buy your house. It's just what we've been looking for. However, we're not in a position to buy it today. So what I'm proposing is that you lease the house to us for a year or so. We'll pay full-market rent, perhaps even a bit more than full market rent. That way, your empty house doesn't sit there empty. You'll be getting a rent check from us every month, and we'll take good care of your home. We'll agree to a purchase price now, so there won't be any surprises for either of us. And then, within two years--and we can set that date, too--we'll buy the house. You'll get exactly what you want--a sold house, plus rental income and someone taking care of your home in the meantime. And in the meantime, you'll have excellent tenants--us--who plan on buying. Does that sound like it would work for you?"
Make sure you're working with a Realtor who understands lease-options and lease-purchases. And have a lawyer help you with the option agreement. There are various provisions you should include to protect yourself.
Finally, here's a link to a blog I wrote on how to find lease-options: http://bit.ly/findaleaseoption
Hope that helps.
R & R Funding, Inc.
Once you know what you are asking for.......then, call the seller and ask (unless it is a listed property - then have an agent represent you)!
Why do you want a lease to own situation?
If it's because you may not qualify for a loan now.....make sure that won't be the case at the end of the lease, or you will be losing your option money.
Make sure you have an attorney write up any such agreement............Good luck!