FAQ

I am pre-qualified for a mortgage. Do I have to do the Lease Option program?

Oh? Pre-qualified you say? Hang on just a minute. Let me get the red carpet out for you. Would you like a soda? Bag of chips? Flowers? Foot rest? When can you close? How much are you approved to buy? Are you working with an agent? Have you signed a Buyer's Representation agreement with them? Do you like any of my houses? When can you close? In other words, YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I love working with ready, able and willing BUYERS! Let's get you into this property ASAP! You have been moved to the front of the line. VIP status. 

Rent to own a house?! Heck yeah! I have $500 CASH, right now, what will that get me?

Nothing. Well, it won't get you anything from me.

How much does it take to move in?

The smallest Option Fee I have ever received was $5,000. The largest I have received was $40,000. I'm willing to take more but not will to take less.

Does the Option Fee count towards the Purchase Price?

The first $5,000 of most Option Fees will not count towards your Purchase Price. This is simply the fee to get into one of these amazing situations I provide to the community. It covers the paperwork from the attorneys, marketing, my assistant and believe it or not, I like to make money too. #sorrynotsorry

After the first $5,000, I like to work in $5,000 increments. The more you put down, the less I need per month. So, if you put $20,000 down and I'm asking $1,500 per month, I could probably negotiate a smaller monthly payment. It will depend on the house. Sometimes, my payment is $1,500 and I can't take less. Usually, the more you put down in the beginning, the easier it is for me work out some sort of deal with you and the property.

And yes, after the first $5,000, I start to give you credit off the purchase price for the other $5,000 chunks.

*** Fancy houses may require $10,000+ down in the Option Fee. I'm sorry but lake houses, vacation properties and million dollar horse farms will require more than $5,000 to move in. I reserve the right to establish an Option Fee on every, individual property. This is merely a guideline.

I don't know anyone with $1,000, much less $5,000 or more. Why do you charge so much?!

This is real estate. It takes money to buy houses especially if you have bad credit, a bankruptcy, a bad divorce or student loans. If you don't know anyone with that much money, you are not my ideal client. I am serious about my business and I only want Tenant Buyers who are able to commit to purchasing a property.  I do have apartments available if you are looking for a nice place to live but aren't ready to buy quite yet.

What if I have bad credit? No credit? Bankruptcy? Bad divorce? Student loans?

That's cool with me. I have worked with other Tenant Buyers who did not qualify for a mortgage at the time they moved into the house but 12- 24 months later, they had improved their credit, established a job history, waited out the bankruptcy or "fixed" whatever issue held them back from going to a regular mortgage broker and purchasing the property.

What if I don't have a job? Or I'm paid in cash?

People in America file taxes once a year. In order to purchase a house, you must present the previous two years tax returns to a mortgage broker to verify employment. Since my ultimate goal is for you to BUY the house, you must be able to show proof of income that will qualify you to purchase the home.

What if I can't get a loan in two years?

Why couldn't you? Did you do everything to improve your credit? Did you make all of your payments on time? Did you takeout new loans against our guidance? Did you hold a steady job to show on your tax filings the appropriate income to qualify for a loan? I'll do everything I can to move you towards home ownership but I can't balance your checkbook or make impulse decisions for you. If you fail to do your part, you could forfeit your Option Fee, Down payment, rent payments and opportunity to complete a Lease Option with me. Or we could extend the contract but it will cost money. This is a big decision.

This is an amazing opportunity that most real estate agents and investors do not offer. There are other people calling me, emailing me, and hunting me down to find out if any of my tenants are not performing. They are begging me for the opportunity I gave you. Don't let yourself down. Don't mess up this solid opportunity. Don't let someone else beat you to the finish line.

Is there an application? Application fee?

Yes. Anyone who is planning on being on the lease or mortgage needs to fill out an application. The fee is $75 per person if you complete it in person. It is $50 per person if you complete it online HERE.

By submitting an application, you agree to a credit check, criminal history, employment verification and past landlord experience.

  • I understand you may have a low credit score. You can improve it.
  • I understand you are moving to the area and don't have a job yet. You can find one.  
  • I understand you have a criminal history. I'm sure it wasn't your fault and you learned your lesson.
  • I do NOT understand why you have a courthouse eviction on your record. Don't apply. I don't take on people with eviction records. I have and will refuse people with a record in Landlord court anywhere in the 50 states.
  • Be open and honest with me when you apply. If I have three applications on one house and two look promising, there may not be a need for you to submit an application. However, I have had situations where the 4th person to apply was able to move in and buy the property.

Side note: Children under 18 who will live in the residence but not contribute to the mortgage do not need to fill out the application. Adults who will work towards a mortgage need to fill out and submit an application. This may be you, you and a partner, you and a spouse, you and a parent or your partner/spouse/parent without you.

Should I fill out the application before I see the house?

Nope. There's no reason to spend money if you don't like the house.

Are my pets allowed?

Absolutely! This is your home! Bring on the critters! You are the one trying to buy the house, so if they destroy it, it's your problem! Remember, most banks will have the house inspected and appraised before they hand over a mortgage.

I have an insurance claim/ inheritance/ lottery ticket cashing out in three- six months. What will you have then?

I have no idea. Sorry but I can't foresee the future. I know what I have now. I know what I had last week. But I have no way of knowing what I will get in the future. You're more than welcome to sign up for my Buyer's Email list HERE.

Does WBH pay a cooperating compensation to a buyer's agent?

No. I usually work directly with sellers and buyers. If you signed a buyer's representation with an agent, you are responsible for making sure they are compensated. If you are an agent and have a buyer who needs Owner Financing or a Lease Option, you must collect a commission from the buyer you represent if they are approved for one of my houses. As long as you can work out your side of the money, bring it on!

What is Whitney Buys Houses? Who is Whitney Nicely?

Whitney Buys Houses, LLC (WBH) is a real estate firm in Tennessee and Georgia. We specialize in Owner Financing and Lease Options on Residential, Commercial and Industrial property.

Whitney Nicely is the Principal Broker for WBH. She married a gorgeous Georgia redhead on October 15, 2015 and legally changed her name to Whitney Nicely East. However, professionally, she is still Whitney Nicely. Whitney is also the Principal Auctioneer for Nicely Done Auctions, LLC. NDA specializes in online real estate auctions in Tennessee.

I found a house that I LOVE. Will you buy it and let me buy it from you?

This has never worked out for me or the buyer. I have quit trying to force it to happen.

I love your radio show! My husband and I are thinking about listing our house. Would you come over and give us some tips before we list it? Would you be interested in listing it for us?

Thanks! All Real Estate. All the Time airs four different times on Saturday's in east Tennessee. If you missed an episode or aren't in the listening area, you can hear all of the shows on the All Real Estate. All the Time podcast HERE.

I'll be glad to book a Real Estate Consultation and give my opinion of what you should or shouldn't do before listing the property. Sign up for a Seller Phone call HERE to go over the property, my rates and availability.

At this time, I am not interested in Listing properties the regular Realtor way. I really enjoy buying houses and working directly with Buyers and Sellers.

There's a chance my lovely assistant will get her real estate license soon and then we might take on regular Listings. Send her an email HERE to let her know you'll list with us!


If you need more information or feel like you qualify for one of our houses, we would LOVE to talk with you and become friends.

Please call the office 865-309-4500 to set up an appointment or get more information on a specific property.

Follow my real estate adventures on Instagram @WhitneyBuysHouses or Facebook page Whitney Buys Houses.

Thanks for stopping in!