Rose, First of all the seller must be willing to offer a home for Rent/Option to Buy or Rent/Purchase. These are 2 different scenarios. Rent with Option to Buy is when the rental payments are significantly higher than what the rent would normally be. The difference is then applied to the down payment for a future purchase by the Renter. Usually all parties agree on the sales price of the property upfront. If the Renter decides not to buy the property, they may lose what they have paid. The Rent/Purchase agreement is usually a Rental Agreement which is tied together with a Purchase Agreement. The time frame is usually 1 year. There are two deposits: One for the Rental and one for the Purchase. In either case, most sellers would want to pre-qualify a prospective buyer much like a bank would do. These transactions are usually conducted because the purchaser needs to save up money for their down payment or they have a situation where the banks are not counting their income for various reasons - Spouse has new job; On the job for less than 6 months; Changed job descriptions recently. Most sellers who wish to sell would entertain offers with those types of scenarios.