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Wholesaling in Real Estate: What’s Legal, What’s Not?

Hello there! Today’s topic is wholesaling in the real estate sector. There’s a lot of chatter out there that it’s “illegal.” But is that really the case? The quick response is – “It depends.”

Now, let’s peel back the layers and look closer.

Real estate laws aren’t the same across the board; they differ from state to state. But there’s a universal rule: if you’re assisting someone to buy or sell property and getting a fee in return, you’re typically required to have a license. The reason? It’s to make sure you have the right training, education, and adhere to ethical standards to protect the buyers and sellers.

Here’s where wholesaling enters the scene. In wholesaling, you’re not directly playing matchmaker between a buyer and a seller for a fee. Rather, you’re passing on your right to buy a property to someone else.

Let’s use an example to make it clearer. Suppose you’ve found a gem of a property that’s on the market for $80,000, and you believe it’s a steal. Instead of connecting a cash buyer to the seller and asking for a fee (which could land you in hot legal water), you put that property under contract in your name. Then, you sell this contract to your cash buyer for, let’s say, $90,000. In this scenario, you’ve earned a neat profit of $10,000 without breaching any licensing laws.

But there’s a caveat to remember. These contracts, termed “assignments,” aren’t always enforceable. If your cash buyer gets cold feet and backs out, you’re the one bound to the original contract. That means you’re on the hook to buy that property, whether it fits your plans or not.

The crucial point here is this: Wholesaling isn’t automatically illegal. It’s all about how you approach it. Be sure to understand the difference between being a licensed real estate broker and a wholesaler. Always secure properties under contract in your name, then assign those contracts for a fee. Follow these steps, and you’ll steer clear of any legal issues.

So, that’s the lowdown on wholesaling – no longer a mystery! Keep these tips in your toolkit, and you’ll navigate the real estate world like a seasoned pro. Until next time, happy investing!

About the Author Sean Flanagan

Sean Flanagan is a Christian family man, MMA Lover, Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai practitioner and self-confessed coffee addict. Lover of everything real estate related and a coach to successful students nationwide. He is the author of PRE-Wholesaling for Fast Cash, Founder of Lucky Buys Yucky Houses ®Motivated Seller Marketing Program , Creator of Pre-Vacant House Goldmine, and also of Abandoned House Secrets.

Sean Flanagan

Sean Flanagan is the CEO and founder of the Investor Lab, a real estate education and publishing company which has trained, coached and mentored thousands of aspiring real estate investors towards successful careers. Investor Lab, LLC was meticulously designed to serve as a comprehensive resource center catering to the distinct needs of real estate investors.

A sought after speaker, real estate coach and published author, he has appeared on major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX.

Prior to launching the Investor Lab, Sean founded a now nationally recognized real estate brand which was a pioneer in the industry, introducing many investors to “outrageous marketing” combined with the power of broadcast TV commercials, radio ads and billboards used to saturate a real estate territory and quickly become the most recognized real estate investment company in the area. The brand is now licensed by real estate companies in over 150 markets across the country.

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