Leasing a home can be an attractive alternative to buying in today’s weak real estate market.  Leasing with an option to buy is an increasingly popular way to acquire a home.

Whether the real estate market is strong or weak, the basic principles of lease negotiation remain the same.

  • Set your priorities.  Before you begin to negotiate, decide what is important to you.  It might be a new refrigerator, interior painting, or a lower rent.  Remember, everything is negotiable.
  • Show that you are a desirable tenant.  When a landlord feels that you will take good care of the property, you will be able to negotiate a better deal.  Explain what you want in return for the fact that you are a responsible tenant.
  • Do not sign a lease until all negotiations are over.  Landlords are far less likely to agree to changes after a lease is signed.
  • Do not eliminate the possibility of compromise.  When you tell a landlord that you will not lease a property unless you get what you want, you effectively end the negotiations.  Remember that half a loaf is better than nothing.