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Wholesaling

Wholesalers: Should You Obtain Your RE License?

Should real estate wholesalers operate with or without a real estate license? There are a lot of mixed opinions about this, and legality varies by state, but as long as you make sure that you abide by the law, you may not need to have a real estate license to wholesale properties. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of acquiring a real estate license, as opposed to operating as a real estate wholesaler without one.

Benefits of Wholesaling with a Real Estate License

  • May offer increased credibility with sellers, buyers and associates in the industry.
  • Gets you access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), although most wholesale deals are done on off-market properties, meaning you won’t find them listed on the MLS. 
  • You could use your RE license to earn additional income, if you want to earn commissions on selling properties, but this is a whole different beast to wholesaling, so ask yourself – do you want to be a real estate agent, or a wholesaler?
  • Being a licensed agent also serves as a good starting point when growing your network, by giving you the chance to connect with brokers and agents, who could potentially bring you future wholesale deals. This is also a great way for beginners to learn more about the ins and outs of the industry.
  • Not worrying about state requirements which the number of annual transactions you can do without a license.

Drawbacks of Wholesaling with a Real Estate License

  • Acquiring a real estate license requires ongoing time and money.
  • Bear in mind that if you’re a licensed agent, you can only work if you’re employed by a brokerage, which means that they are entitled to a commission from each sale you make. What’s more, being part of a brokerage means you’re limited by the policies set out by the firm, and therefore you might not be able to conduct business in the same way that you would independently.
  • By law, you are also required to disclose that you are a licensed agent, which could negatively impact your ability to source deals and put you at a disadvantage, when compared to an unlicensed wholesaler. This isn’t necessarily always the case, but it’s worth being aware of.
  • Potentially getting fined, or worse, for exceeding state limitations on the number of annual transactions one can do without a license.

Regardless of whether you decide to operate as a wholesaler with or without a real estate license, there are certain risks you should always be aware of. To safeguard your credibility, as best practice, it’s always important to carry out proper due diligence by staying informed about your state laws. We highly recommend consulting a real estate attorney for their legal opinion. Also, be extra mindful of the language you use when sourcing deals and marketing them, so that all parties involved understand what your participation in the transaction is. 

 

Image Courtesy of Subhan Saad

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Wholesaling

Bandit Signs — Lead Magnet or Eyesore

Image by: Collis

You know those ugly signs you see when you’re sitting at stoplights that offer to BUY YOUR HOUSE FOR CA$H — those are called bandit signs. They are a disputed tactic in real estate circles, some people swear by them while others shun them. 

Why They Work

Do you ever think to yourself, “Who keeps putting up these stupid signs?” Or better yet, “Who actually calls these numbers?” You might be surprised by the answers to both questions.

  • Answer #1 – Property wholesalers are responsible. Wholesalers look for motivated sellers to buy their (usually) distressed homes. Then they mark the price up and try to sell them off was quickly as possible without making any repairs.
  • Answer #2 – It should come as no surprise, but motivated property owners. They’re lured by the idea of getting quick cash and getting rid of a property they don’t really want.

So why are they so effective? The signs are purposefully designed to be simple and non-threatening. They target motivated sellers who want or need to get rid of their homes fast. The message is simple and clear. That’s why they look like some guy with a magic marker scribbled his number on some poster board and nailed it to a utility pole or stuck it on someone’s front lawn. And that’s not far from the truth, except for most of them are made from corrugated plastic. By being ugly and straightforward, homeowners are less intimidated to phone an “average Joe” than some real estate agent. 

Legality

They are called bandit signs for a reason — they violate city ordinances in almost every community across the country. They are considered litter, so city crews just throw them away. That’s also why they usually pop up on Fridays after city offices close. Hefty fines can be levied per infraction and increase with the number of violations. Clearly, wholesalers remain unfazed by the threat of fines.

How To Profit From Them (Without Getting Caught)

1) Keeping your message simple and brief. 

2) Not using your company name. 

3) Taking the proper steps to avoid getting fined:

  • Only use prepaid cell phones (burners).
  • Never use your own name.
  • Place your signs on the weekends, most city employeesonly work Monday thru Friday.
  • If possible, use private property to place your signs. Ask the owner first. 

4) Placing them in high traffic areas for maximum exposure.

Wholesaling is YOUR business, only you can determine what strategies to implement to meet your income goals. Bandit signs have been proven to be excellent lead magnets, but they aren’t the only tool at your disposal. If you decide to use them, it’s best to incorporate them into your overall marketing strategy.

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Wholesaling

How to Wholesale Houses with Mortgages

A row of houses.

To be a successful wholesaler, you have to be prepared to work every deal you find, even when they aren’t ideal situations

A motivated seller is a motivated seller. If there is money to be made, don’t let a small glitch prevent you from considering a deal. Wholesaling houses with mortgages is part of that deal.One of the burdens of home ownership is the mortgage. Even homes in affluent neighborhoods go into foreclosure. Remember the crash of 2008? Millions of homeowners lost or were at risk for losing their home because they were underwater on their loans. 

Equity Is King

Some wholesaling deals will involve houses with debt. What matters to you as a wholesaler is the amount of equity the seller has in their home. It’s much easier to close a deal if you can offer them more than what is owed. They’ll simply use the proceeds from the sale to pay off their loan. 

Some homeowners are still hesitant because they aren’t motivated enough. When the seller needs some convincing, remind them of the cash they’ll have in their pocket when this is all over. Look, the seller wants two things from the sale of their home, 1) to get out from under their home debt, and 2) to walk from the deal with some cash in their pocket. If your offer price is higher than what they owe, then the latter is true, but that’s not always the case.

The Short Sale

A less desirable option is the short sale. This type of transaction occurs when a seller owes more on the house than it’s worth. Though this is not ideal, anything is possible. Many wholesalers would, instead, not get involved with short sales because of the extra hassle involved and find it not worth their time, so they move on. This presents you with an opportunity. The seller would already have to be in default on their loan, be willing to take a hit to their credit score AND be able to bring cash to the closing table.

It’s important to realize that there are many reasons why a seller might be eager to sell or why they are behind on their mortgage payments. They may have inherited the home or suffered a job loss. Just because they are underwater on their mortgage, doesn’t mean that they don’t have cash in the bank. They may be going through a divorce or being relocated for work. The takeaway here is, don’t presume anything, your goal is to make money. If the deal presents an opportunity to do so, don’t make assumptions about the seller’s motivation.

Wholesaling houses with mortgages is really no different than most real estate transactions. It is far more common to find a seller that still owes on their home than one who owns it outright. As a wholesaler, that is the leverage you want. Your only concern is, can you find a buyer? It doesn’t matter to you how much the seller owes if you can strike a deal that turns a profit. 

Categories
Wholesaling

How To Find Cash For Your Flipping Deals.

You have a found a great property for a fix-n-flip, but you don’t have the money, or it’s tied up elsewhere, perhaps another flipping project. Though those gurus on late-nite TV will rant about how you can buy a home with no money down, it’s tricky and much more complicated than they make it seem. In a more realistic scenario, you will need to come up some cash or collateral to fund your next project.  

Here are the most common ways to raise cash for your next house flipping deal:

Private Investors or Partners

Look to friends and family when preparing for your initial funding

If you have close friends, family members, or business associates, who either have the money or have the ability to access a loan, they can be a good place to start. Don’t expect them to do it for free. If you have a bit of cash, you can pay them interest on the loan and pay it back in full after the sale.

If you’re confident that you can make it work, prepare a business plan and a contract that outlines the details including purchase price, rehab costs, ARV, and how the proceeds are going to be divided in the end. Both of you need to have realistic expectations of what kind of profit is available to each of you.

Full disclosure: if you haven’t done so before, know that doing business with family and friends can be a delicate situation and put pressure on your existing relationship. If the investments run into problems or fails, it can cause a rift or worse yet, you’ll fall entirely out of contact.

Another option is to find an investor that will allow you to work off your end with sweat equity. If you have the knowledge and skills to do some or all of the work on a property flip, you may find an investor willing to trade you for your portion of the labor. After the sale, you’ll split the money according to your agreement. You won’t make as much money as doing it all yourself, but it’s a good place to start. This strategy will provide you with the means to save up some cash to eventually, fund your own deals.

Hard Money Lenders

If you feel more comfortable keeping it impersonal, you can contact a hard money lender. They are real estate investors willing to provide you with a short-term loan. Because these lenders are familiar with the industry, there are some advantages:

  • Will provide approval for distressed, investment-grade properties that require work
  • Credit rating and other loan requirements are more lenient than a bank
  • Loan approval is quicker, allowing you to bid on deals and compete with other buyers
  • National companies make loans all over the country

Real Estate Investment Associations & Groups (REIA)

Most cities have real estate investment associations or groups, so join several in your area and start regularly attending meetings. REIAs bring together people with expertise that you can benefit from, including not only investors but lawyers, accountants, and contractors. Free advice is worth its weight in gold. These like-minded folks may be willing to fund your rehab, or at least be able to recommend someone.  

Raising money and structuring your next rehab isn’t horribly difficult, but it may take some creativity. It may mean combining strategies to get the deal done. After flipping your first property, you’ll be able to roll-over any profits to fund your next deal. In time, you’ll be able to finance your own deals, and perhaps, greenhorn investors will start coming to you when raising cash for the next flip.