Many people present wholesaling as a great way to gain capital for investing in real estate. One of the toughest things about getting started investing in real estate is saving enough money to invest. There are ways to invest with little money down, but you still need some money to buy properties. Wholesaling may be a way to get started investing in real estate without much money. Wholesaling may not make you rich, but it will teach you a lot about real estate investing. For more information on my real estate investing strategies and rental proprieties, check out my Complete Guide to Long-term Rental Properties.
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What is wholesaling real estate?
Wholesaling real estate involves an investor buying a property or getting a property under contract and then selling the house or assigning the contract as quickly as possible. The investor may wholesale the property to another investor who will then fix up the property and rent it or flip it. The key to a successful wholesale deal is finding properties cheap enough that there is room for the end buyer to make a profit.
You have to be very careful when you assign contracts on houses. Some states consider finding a buyer and seller to be performing the duties of a real estate agent. Even if you have the house under contract, it may be considered acting as a real estate agent if you assign that contract. If you are placing signs in the yard, advertising on Craigslist, or marketing with flyers without owning the house, it could be considered practicing real estate without a license. Check with your state laws before performing any of these activities!
How can you find properties to wholesale?
There are many ways to find cheap properties, but you must find very cheap properties to wholesale them. A wholesaler has to leave enough room for them to make a profit and enough money for the end buyer to make a profit. Below you will find many ways to find cheap properties. Here is a great tool that can help you evaluate properties to wholesale.
Is it possible to wholesale properties from the MLS?
I find most of my properties on MLS, but it is difficult to wholesale them. Most investors keep an eye on MLS properties; the competition makes it tough for wholesalers to buy properties cheap enough. I think a wholesaler has to be able to act very quickly to get properties from the MLS, much like when I buy properties. It may be wise to get your real estate license and make a commission on these deals if you want to wholesale MLS properties.
Wholesaling off-market properties
I think a wholesaler’s best opportunity is to find off-market properties. Off-market properties are not listed for sale, but the owners want to sell. The owners may be too far away, too busy, or too beat down to list the homes with a real estate agent. The owners still want to sell the home, they just need the right person to find them and make them an offer. Here is a great article on how to find off-market properties.
- Attend REIA meetings: You may find investors or wholesalers with off-market properties at Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) meetings. Meeting other wholesalers will not do a wholesaler much good unless it is an incredible deal. Investors looking to get rid of homes at the meetings may be a fantastic opportunity. You can also find buyers at REIA meetings, which is very important to a wholesaler.
- Send direct mailings: I send out direct mailings and I have purchased off-market properties because of my letters. I started my mailings this year and I think that given enough time and effort this will be a successful tactic. I send mailings to absentee homeowners and inherited homeowners. As a Realtor, I can list homes that may not work out as purchases. However, I must disclose that I am a Realtor and that I may be buying homes below market value. It is a double-edged sword but I still think it is very advantageous to be an agent. I recently purchased my first property due to direct marketing and I will be the first to tell you that I am not an expert yet at direct marketing. Here is a link to a company that does direct marketing for you to attract motivated sellers. Use code InvestFourMore to get a 10% discount!
- Advertising for off-market properties: Many investors advertise that they buy houses with websites, bandit signs, and billboards. I have not tried these tactics yet, but I want to try a few of them. I do not put any signs in my car; I love my cars too much.
- Websites: A few websites market to off-market sellers. The website sells leads to investors. I have never used these websites, but I know investors who have gotten deals from them. Here is a great resource for websites that will attract motivated sellers.
Flip2Freedom, a program that teaches everything you need to know about wholesaling, put together by a wholesaler who has done thousands of deals.
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It is not easy to become a successful wholesaler
The best tactics to get the best deals as a wholesaler are not easy to implement. It takes time and a lot of effort to buy homes off-market. If it were easy, all investors would use these tactics. It is difficult and very few investors try to market to off-market sellers. If you are serious about investing in real estate and have little money, wholesaling may be your way in. Market to sellers in order to get the best deals to wholesale. When you get enough money to start buying properties to hold or flip, you can market to sellers to get the best deals for yourself as well.
How to get a contract on a house to wholesale
As a wholesaler, you have two options, get under contract on a house or buy the house and sell it right away. Many MLS listings require proof of funds or a pre-qualification letter, another reason it may be tough for wholesalers to buy off MLS. Most REO and HUD listings do not allow you to assign the contract, which means you will have to buy the home. If you are wholesaling because you do not have money to buy an investment property, it may be tough to buy a home to wholesale off MLS. If you are buying properties from off-market sellers, it will be easier to get a home under contract. The seller of an off-market property will not require a pre-qualification letter or proof of funds before signing a contract. Once you get a contract on the off-market property, you can assign the contract to another investor for a fee.
What does it mean to assign a contract?
Assigning a contract is a simple concept. The contract has a clause that allows it to be assigned, meaning that another person can step in and become the buyer without the seller’s permission. A wholesaler can actually sell the contract to another investor without buying the home. Anyone else can step in and be the buyer as long as they buy the home according to the terms of the contract.
How to use a double close to wholesale a house
I have never done this, but it is possible for wholesalers to buy a home and then sell it immediately without using their money. You need a great title company that will do a double close. The seller sells the home to the wholesaler who immediately sells the home to the end buyer. The title company uses the end buyer’s money to pay the original seller. Please check your state laws for to make sure this strategy is legal in your area.
How does a wholesaler find buyers?
Once a wholesaler finds a house to sell or to assign, they must find a buyer! Usually the margins are very tight on wholesale deals and there is not room to pay real estate commissions. The wholesaler must find their own buyers in order to make the most money on wholesale deals. A wholesaler must also close very quickly in order to assign the contract or complete a double close within the contract period. As I mentioned earlier, a REIA meeting is a great place to find investor buyers. Check recent sales to find who bought houses for cash, as they are most likely investors. I just received a letter from a wholesaler who contacted me because I had purchased a house for cash. Try to hang out where investors who buy houses hang out; trustee sales, auctions, and tax sales are all great places to find investors. Advertise to find buyers on Craigslist or in the newspaper. Look for recent cash sales on MLS or in public records to see which investors are buying houses for cash in your area. Finding buyers is an extremely important part of wholesaling and is often a wholesaler’s biggest challenge. In some instances, one wholesaler will use another wholesaler who has more buyer contacts to help them sell houses.
Is wholesaling practicing real estate without a license?
As a wholesaler, you must take the title to the home or sell your interest in the home. You cannot bring a buyer and seller together and take a commission or any other type of fee. This would be considered brokering a real estate deal and you must have a license to do this. It is against the law to practice real estate without a license. It is also illegal in most states for a real estate agent to pay a referral fee to someone who does not have a license. You can send a lead to a real estate agent who then lists and sells the house, but you cannot be paid a percentage of the sale on that lead. There are some possibilities for being paid on a per lead basis.
How much money can you make wholesaling real estate?
Some wholesalers will never do a deal and others do hundreds of deals a year. The money a wholesaler makes on each deal varies greatly depending on the wholesaler and the property. Some wholesalers make $2,000 on each deal, others $5,000, and some more than $10,000 on each deal. I know multiple wholesalers who are doing more than five wholesale deals a month and averaging over $5,000 per deal. You can definitely make good money wholesaling, but to do many deals you have to spend money on marketing and have a great system. There will be many calls coming in from possible sellers and you have to be able to talk to those sellers quickly, determine if the price is right, get the home under contract, and find a buyer.
It takes hard work and time to become a successful wholesaler. It is not a get rich quick business, but it can be a way to get started if you have no capital and really want to invest in real estate. I think the biggest benefit of learning to wholesale is that it teaches you how to find a great deal. If you can find great deals, there will always be buyers willing to invest in them. If you think you are finding great deals, but no one will buy them, maybe they are not so great. Knowing the value of a property and repairs needed is very important to being able to wholesale.
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