How to Spot a Wholesale Real Estate Pretender

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HOUSES WANTEDExperienced real estate investor with cash and credit seeking a wholesale-priced investment property in the Phoenix metro area.  The home can NOT be currently listed on the multiple listing service because everyone knows that is where retail buyers go to find a house.  If you require that I register on your fancy website with my name, email address, phone number, my kids’ names, and number of pets just to see your wholesale property list then I’m not interested.  That’s because I don’t want to receive emails from you with crappy properties located underneath power lines or next to the freeway that no one else is dumb enough to buy.  I have access to tax records too so I know what you paid for the house.  Don’t jack up the price – that’s not what wholesalers do.  Professional wholesalers buy low and sell low and make their money through volume.  And if you want to do repeat business with me then don’t try to justify your asking price with ridiculous comps that are old or miles away from the subject property.  If your house is priced for more than 75% of market value then find some other sucker to do business with.

Okay, I’m desperate.  Call me a motivated buyer.  My bank account is overflowing with cash and I need to find below market deals to fix and flip.  I’m getting my butt kicked at the Maricopa County courthouse steps.  Last Friday, I was out bid on four properties by a combined $75,000.  Since May 23rd, I’ve bid on 85 houses and have won zero.

Lately, I’ve been writing tons of offers on REO properties and short sales.  I picked up two homes this way earlier in the month.  After light cosmetic repairs they went back on the market last Thursday – by Tuesday both were in escrow.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is I haven’t found any profitable deals since the beginning of the month.  It seems as though the well has run dry.

So I decided to do a Google search for “Arizona wholesale properties”.  Did I mention I was desperate?  Page one listed 10 local wholesalers.  I randomly chose three.  Of course, these sites promised deals “perfect for investors looking to buy and sell or fix and flip” and “wholesale homes where we leave meat on the bone!”

  • The first property I researched was 2307 N. Azurite Circle.  It’s on the wholesaler’s website for $199,900 – and on the MLS for $198,850.  The owner purchased it from Fannie Mae on 5/25 for $179,550.  There aren’t any recent comps in the neighborhood but a similar model is pending for $230,000.
  • The next house I found was 1612 W. Minton.  It wasn’t active on the MLS but it was listed and cancelled back in April.  The price at that time was $64,900.  It’s on the wholesaler’s website now for $72,000 by the same owner.
  • My favorite deal is 16165 W. Maricopa.  Listed as pending on the MLS for $88,000 this wholesaler has it for sale on their website for $199,900.

These are not wholesale deals.  They’re not even good retail deals.  The house on Azurite has been on the MLS for 51 days.  Minton didn’t sell on the MLS so the seller asks for more on their site?  And then there’s the Maricopa property.  My hunch is the wholesaler is in escrow to buy it for $88,000 and is hoping to find some dope to pay $199,900.

If you’re looking to buy a rental property or fix and flip don’t be fooled by these gimmicky websites with their flashy graphics packages and flowery language promising you gobs of equity and/or profit (their words, not mine).

Do your homework.  Find out if the house you want buy is currently listed on your local MLS or has been recently.  Search the tax records to find out how much the seller paid for the property.  And do not put any stock in the comps the wholesaler provides you.  By doing this you’ll quickly separate the professional wholesalers from the wholesale pretenders.

Editor’s Note: Please see Marty’s follow up to this post/discussion below at: Defining a “True” Real Estate Wholesaler

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About Author

Marty (G+) is the Chief Financial Officer for Rising Sun Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm based in Gilbert, AZ. His firm purchases homes at the courthouse steps and public REO auctions. They have two exit strategies, either fix and flip or seller financing.

150 Comments

  1. Great post, Marty. I was looking forward to this article after you and I talked about the topic and I think you nailed what is going on. It seems that there are far too many of these “wholesale pretenders” as you called them who are just pitching crappy “deals” (retail) out there. Anyone can go and find a deal on the MLS, but to find the diamonds in the rough – that’s a skill.

    I’m very curious to hear the feedback from other readers on this one!

  2. Jivonna Burney on

    First I would like to say thanks for the information in this article. I am a wholesaler so this information gives me insight of what not to do in the future. Is there a particular website that you use in order to get your comps? I have been on the hunt for a site with good comps

    • Jivonna, the best website I know of for comps is your local MLS. It’s tough to comp houses without it. You need to know what houses are active and pending – that information is not available anywhere else. If you don’t have access to the MLS in your town then find someone who does. Better yet, become a Realtor and get your own access.

  3. John Evan Miller on

    This is a fantastic article. Thank you for the exceptional post and plethora of helpful information.

  4. Great post! – If I may comment on ‘It seems as though the well has run dry.’…
    As an REO broker in NJ our office typically takes in 15-25 bank owned properties per month. From the first of the year through May, I believe we’ve had about 16 come in. In June and July (with three days to go), we’ve had 15 new properties, mostly Fannie Mae. It looks like they’re coming back albeit slow.

    • Ed, these things tend to move in cycles. Right now the supply of homes here in Phoenix is very low so investors and retail buyers are tripping over themselves to buy. Foreclosure notices are way down the past two months as well. I don’t believe the well has run dry for good. However, it could be a month or two before we start to see profitable deals here again. I hope I’m wrong. Thanks for reading.

  5. Apparently every wholesaler in Kansas City fits your “pretender” definition. Either KC has a non-existent wholesale industry or the wholesalers needs SEO/web marketing training.

    Thanks for the info.

    • Zach, the same is happening here Phoenix. And here’s a point I didn’t have a chance to make in the post – if the deal the wholesaler has to sell you is so good then why don’t they keep it for themselves? It’s probably because it’s not really a good deal.

      • Hi, love the post. To comment on your “if the deal is so good, why don’t they keep for themselves. ” maybe because some of us don’t have the funds to close the deal. :-)

        • i think the point is that if the deal is THAT good, you as a wholesaler will find the money for that deal instead of trying to pawn it off for above list (where you likely found it in the first place).

    • Hey Zack i am from Kansas City and have been working with a partner
      doing wholesaling the past year. Did you get burned by a wholesaler is
      that why you are commenting that way? because i believe that i find true
      wholesale deals.

  6. Mike Grayford on

    Yes, these are the same kinds of “deals” I see from wholesalers every day here in Los Angeles, too. Investors have to be very careful when looking at properties, including those presented by wholesalers.

    • Mike, it’s an odd coincidence that this is happening in other markets besides Phoenix. They must be teaching these techniques in the latest Real Estate Guru 101 investment bootcamp class.

  7. I agree with the loopholes most wholesalers make you jump through to see current deals are a PAIN. We don’t really see any reason to hide what we have. Yes, some deals may be a steal, some may be mediocre. We have all our wholesale deals listed and we offer people to just in an email to subscribe to our RSS feed via feedburner in order to have an easy way to stay in the loop. Just as an example – we clearly have our properties up [on our site] and there are no loopholes to jump through.

    Most times I find myself putting my email in websites only to have “special” investing seminars or software being sold to me instead of actual property lists. We tend to find that letting the home sell itself works out in the long run – and having returning investors is far more worthwhile than ripping off a naive investor once.

    • Andy, no doubt you’ll earn repeat clients doing business this way. I could never understand why a wholesaler would want to trick someone into a bad deal. Thanks for doing it the right way and for speaking up for the professional wholesalers out there.

  8. the first thing i do before i bid on a house is to go to the assessor’s page and look up the last few transactions. would never go blind into a investment deal.

  9. Marty –

    Very good article and hopefully there will be follow up on building relationships with the real wholesalers. One thing I wanted to point out is that most “true” wholesalers (and this may be gross generalization) are usually one man operations that have a great deal of time and experience in their craft and often do not have websites because they don;t need them. They have a list of clients that they work with, but would probably consider working with more as long as they were true buyers. You nailed the concept of what a true wholesaler is – he knows his market, knows great pricing and is very happy making a good profit without trying to grab more. I have a wholesaler here in Memphis who I have been buying from for over 10 years and today we buy between 3 and 5 properties a month and he make anywhere from $2-4k on each. He sells to a couple of other buyers and that is it. He makes a great living and we have access to very good deals for our clients through him. In the end, I just don’t think the “true” maybe we’ll say traditional – wholesaler can be found online behind a website. They are on the streets.

    Good stuff – thanks for the article.

    • Chris, I agree with your definition of a “true” wholesaler. Very accurate. The pros have a buyer’s list in place and they don’t really need to advertise on the internet because their deals are so good. The best way to find a good wholesaler may be to develop one yourself. Find a motivated individual that wants to learn the business and turn them loose on the pre-foreclosure lists (i.e. direct mail, door knocking).

  10. How do you really feel Marty?
    I advise wholesalers I come across to at least show me a deal I haven’t already found my self and turned down.
    Don

    • Don, did I sound angry in this post? Mad? Frustrated? All of the above? Not really. It was meant to be a tongue-and-cheek kind of post. I like your advice. Thanks for reading.

  11. A love to hear about an investor on the same page as me! I am so sick of these so-called wholesalers and their so-called deals. Get real. Unfortunately, there must be enough foolish suckers out there who buy these or else we would have weeded them out by now. Or perhaps we lose some, but get more fresh out of some ridiculous and costly guru bootcamp claiming to educate on how to wholesale!

    A fool and his money are soon parted still holds true today.
    Great post Marty, love the very direct ad.

    • Will, surprisingly no one has responded yet to my ad. But it’s only been up for about 8 hours. I really do hope a wholesaler in my area will read this and bring me some deals.

  12. Manny Cirino on

    Hey Marty,
    as a wholesaler I must admit my initial reaction to the first couple of lines was oh no here we go another P@$* of realtor bashing wholesaler! But you have a great point. I have found success by finding non listed exclusive deals, real motivated seller. The investors have all came to trust me and do business with me for these 3 reason;

    1.) I never spam there inbox(i only email real deals)
    2.) I never jack up my price more than $2,500 dollars(only if there is room for more then I will go $5,000 very rare)
    3.) I always stay under 65% market value
    4.) my comps are solid(no older than 4 month)
    5.)My repair estimates are accurate I back them up with quotes

    These are tips to other wholesalers if you can’t tell! ;’)

      • I don’t know how many people have come to me with deals, only to find out that i’m having to coach them on how to properly comp a property. Their deals end up not being deals and are ridiculously over priced. Like yesterday for example. I had a wholesale deal finder come to me with a house that he comped out at 500k (ARV). That was adding one extra bathroom to the house. There was no 3/2s anywhere close to 500k. I comped the property at more like 455k MAX. I had to instruct him to find comps no more than a quarter mile away from the property, and no more than 3 months MAX back in sales while the comps being part of the same zip code. Yes although pending comps are good to see inventory on the market close to the home, it is still not where a wholesaler should be comping his property at. I had to do that with another wholesaler a couple months ago. Who taught these wholesale investors how to comp? I have to agree… deals are drying up…. especially in very large areas like here in San Diego where I am. Anyone work in the MID to SOUTHERN California areas who can bring deals my way? IM OPEN to any investor or wholesaler who has real deals in their pipeline.

    • Abdul Rasheed on

      Amazing post and awesome list of comments. I am new into real estae and wholesaling. I am hoping to get into wholesaling in NJ more as a way to learnt to know the market, find deals, make small profit while doing so. I learnt a lot from this page about what makes a wholesaler a great one. Thanks to you all!

  13. Ricardo M Rodriguez on

    Marty,

    As someone who is trying to get into the wholesaling world I truly appreciate the post and responses. Gives me a guideline things not to do. Thanks for the post and others for the responses.

  14. Marty, I’m local to you so I see this all the time as well.

    I’m sure the valley isn’t the only places that suffers from this type of delusional individuals but it sure makes for great entertainment. Good luck with your buying goals for the rest of 2011!

    • Nick, every now and then I’ll reply to some of these wholesalers’ emails. I’ll ask them why the house is on the MLS. You’ll find this hard to believe but they never respond to my question.

  15. As someone who is trying to get into the wholesaling world I truly appreciate the post and responses. Gives me a guideline things not to do. Thanks for the post and others for the responses.

    • Jeremy, I didn’t mention this in my post but I got my start wholesaling. If you find good deals the buyers will find you. There will be no need to advertise. I’m glad this post and the repsonses that followed helped you out.

  16. Great post. I’ve been wholesaling for a couple of years and have been rehabbing for the past year. I’ve made good money fast on the wholesale deals I have sold. I like wholesaling a lot. Along the way, I have met many new investors who are trying to wholesale, but as you described, they are pushing deals that are not true wholesale deals.

    • John, that seems to be a natural evolution – wholesale first and then rehab when you have more cash. I’ve done both and prefer flipping because of the upside potential. But, wholesaling is great way to start out if you have more time than money. Thanks for the comment.

  17. Marty,

    It is great to see that you are pushing homework and education for the masses. I cannot tell you how many people have walked into our offices and had terrible stories about coming off a bad situation where they were misled. They generally have no clue about scams and wholesaling.

    • Randy, it’s easy to see how a newbie real estate investor that doesn’t have a lot of education might fall for the marketing gimmicks some of these so-called wholesalers use. That said, it’s buyer beware. Just because a wholesaler uses fancy marketing techniques doesn’t mean they are running a scam. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to do their due diligence.

  18. Charles Bradford on

    Marty — I’d like to add my kudos to those who also commented. I’ll admit, I had to chuckle a time or two as I read your post. Here in central Indiana, there are a handful of “true wholesalers” that are among some of my sources. They don’t do websites. They know what I like (type house, area of town, price range) and will typically make me one of their first calls when they contract one. And, they make $2,000 to 3,000 per transaction and move on. When they call, if it’s something I like, we often take it off the market within hours.

    Then, there are the “wanna be’s” that deluge me with spam, have great template websites and encourage me to look on Zillow for values!! While these clowns may occasionally sell one, it’s not to anyone that knows what they’re doing. After 18 years in the business, I’d say I’m fairly “seasoned” so try as they might, I don’t give these guys a second thought. Thanks for pointing out the vast difference and defining what a true wholesaler is very aptly. Nice job!

    • Charles, thanks for the example. It’s good for our readers to hear stories from investors like you. The more detail the better. I think everyone reading this knows now what a “true” wholesaler does.

  19. I am a wholesaler in Coolidge (AZ), and I agree with all of the posts here. There are deals that just don’t seem like they’re deals to joint venture or to purchase. I think (as a sequel) to your post Marty, someone should post a article on how to present a deal to potential buyers through email, so we have an idea of what most investors are looking for in a wholesale deal through presentation. I’ve seen everything under the sun from other wholesalers, to hardly anything but a minor description and/or a picture. Most investors want at least 25-30% equity, but they would also like more equity in the deal.

    There can be multiple reasons why a house is listed on the MLS and the wholesaler is selling it, but as long as the house is under contract, they are in control of the deal as long as the numbers work for the potential buyer. Obviously the house in Maricopa was overly priced, the 1st & 2nd house they didn’t do their homework on. Trust me, I like repeat customers, too. A lot of the time, these websites aren’t updated, either. I have a website, but it’s not fancy. All of the advice about what not to do is great. As for the comps, I stay in the 0-6month range. The max I would go out for comps would be to 1 yr. I’ve also had it, where I couldn’t get any comps for a particular home. :O So, I get creative and play with similar comps minus a bedroom, bathroom, or square footage & factor everything in.

    • Dallas, direct email is always a good way to contact wholesale buyers. Generic email blasts are not. I buy in Pinal County. Send me what you have. Maybe we can do some business together.

  20. Ricardo M Rodriguez on

    Quick question for all:

    As seasoned investors what do you look forward for the wholesaler to do when bringing you deal?

    • Ricardo, address, pictures and your price is all I need. I can figure out the rest. If the numbers look good I’ll drop everything, check out the house and close in 24-48 hours. That said, you’ll want to get specific criteria from your wholesale buyer first (i.e. area of town, size, construction type, single-family, multi-family, etc.). You don’t want to be farming for single-family houses if your buyer wants a duplex.

  21. Great Article Marty.

    You are spot on, and hit the nail on the head!

    I highly enjoyed your point about “squeeze / landing” pages to just get an name / email address to be spammed to death. This tactic may be good for information marketers, but NOT for a TRUE real estate wholesaler.

    I firmly believe that an investors website should show credibility and value to the potential buyer. ( I don’t see realtors using that method, and if it did work, Realtors would have jumped on it long ago)

    I respect you for writing the truth about the wholesaling business. Wholesaling is a great business, and it takes work like anything else!

    @Andy – Great use of RSS Feeds! No hoops, and no email deliverablity issue!

    Duncan Wierman

    • Duncan, I agree that wholesaling is a great business, especially for those with more time than money. It’s how I got my start back in 2002. It seems like the internet marketers have been infiltrating our industry. That’s not a bad thing IF they don’t misrepresent themselves.

  22. Great article.

    I think many of these people that call themselves wholesalers have just enough nickels to rub together to buy an overpriced course.

    The courses mix in a little of the real world and then leave out most of what it will take to be successful.They don’t put that in the course because much fewer people would buy it.

    It would be better if you are just starting out to find a TRUE wholesaler that can verify their deals and volume and pay them to learn from in your local area.That would be much more valuable than a generic course that won’t show you how to succeed locally.

    I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee if the deal was valid.

  23. Great article and very informational. I am a real estate investor and a Realtor in my local market and I cannot even count how many of these very same wholesalers I have come across. The market is picking up. The stats show good increases from last year to this year. If these type of phony deals keep going I feel it will mess up the actual increases we are now seeing.

  24. The definition of “wholesale” has changed over the years. In the current market it’s all about what an investor is planning to do with a property, and what works for his or her particular situation. Some investors are buying property to stay busy remodeling and to get paid for their work. Some are accumulating a portfolio of rental houses. And some of us are doing both. I look at the potential of each house and what it can do for me, and then decide what it’s worth to me. Hope that helps investors who are just starting out.

    • Leo, you are right. The definition has changed. To a buy and holder a wholesale price may be 80-90% below market value. To a flipper, wholesale price would have to be 75% or less. My problem is with the language some of these so-called wholesalers use in their emails and websites. A good practice is to under promise and over deliver. Many times these wholesalers do the opposite.

  25. bravo-
    you have defined your state’s version of the current batch of charlatans that are basically unlicensed, inexperienced realtor wannabees. They have read a few of those late night books that define how to flip properties with no money down or option out a property.

    These people make it bad for the rest of us and waste the time of people trying to buy real estate at fair prices.

    When one buys a property from this type of “wholesaler” he is paying too much and sometimes paying more than retail for the property. When buying from a bank, institution, tax sale or auction there are inherent risks. Mechanicals may be non-functioning or require replacement. The repair history or flooding history of the property is unknown and there may be intentionally hidden damages to the property by the previous occupants.

    These risks we take as buyers are discounted in our lower than market purchase prices. I have been buying distressed and under-market property for years. When there were virtually no foreclosures available, I had to buy heavy rehab “hand grenades” that nobody else would dare touch. I did buy a condemned house for $100 at a tax sale once. It was one of my earlier deals. I made $9 an hour for many months of hard work.

    This was how i cut my teeth in the business. People trying to play middleman with “dead” real estate are the lowest of the low on the totem pole. The late night TV guys ebcourage people to sell this way and encourage even more people to take their small bankrolls and buy from these sellers.

    When I sell a property that needs work, I usually hold paper on it. i also define all that i know the property may need, and warrant the work that i have performed. I want the deal to work out for my buyer. I make money, they get a great deal.

    These “wholesalers” cannot warrant anything, and many times don’t even hold title to the property they are selling. The also want cash or hard money. The fallacy there is a cash sale is a cash sale. They know that they are selling a property that cannot be financed.

    The proof of their inexperience is that they even include the words “or hard money” any real investor knows they must have their own funds, one way or the other, on a deal that can’t be conventionally financed. Some investors use hard money frequently and the experienced ones know that to turn a buck they absolutely have to be able to buy right. buying right, as you have shown, is not paying the MLS price (or above).

    I have been trying to buy a retirement property in Florida for almost a year. There are tons of properties down there. Craigslist has been littered with these pesky fake wholesale ads for way too long. It was bad when you would see the same property listed by different people for different prices on the same day. They were using the same stock photos from the old MLS or zillow listings.

    The mistake you could make was to email one of these drones. Then their computer fires all of their dreck listings almost daily into your inbox. None of the property qualifies as a good deal or wholesale, yet they bombard you with rehashed listings.

    I opted out of too many of these lists. One clown had his own “real estate investor’s institute” that would bus people around to these “foreclosures”…

    he isn’t on their anymore, Iguess he figured out that it is illegal in most states to sell property you pretend to own without a license….

    more on this later..
    thanks for bringing it up…
    I hope this helps
    rob

    • Robert, fantastic points! I love the real world examples. I completely forgot about Craig’s List ads that I’ve seen. You could have written this post. Thanks for reading.

  26. Marty,
    Great article. I understand your frustration! We are getting outbid daily at the courthouse steps by people paying nearly retail. I am currently working with a couple of investment groups who are looking to supplement their trustee sale purchases through buying well priced REO properties. I am sure you have ways to do that as well, but keep me in mind. I do all of the comps to save my clients time.

  27. The issue with todays wholesalers is…. Lack of education. Most of them have been told wholesaling is a get rich quick with no effort. This is why the turn over is so high. Most don’t know cost of repairs, how to properly run comps. Or even how to find their own deals.

  28. I agree. As wholesalers our job is to find great deals.

    As buyers… if you want great deals you need to pounce when we have them. Our preferred buyers are those who do this. The other guys never get wind of the better deals because we do not waste time on tire kickers.

    I dare you to find a house on my site that is not a deal for someone!

    Kent Clothier is also dead on in his comments.

    • Andy, like you, when I was wholesaling I had a list of about 20 buyers – 5 of them were rock solid and would make a decision in 24 hours or less. They always got my best deals. I’m glad you commented here. Our readers need to hear from the pros.

  29. I havent got into wholesale deals yet, however, i thought you wasent reselling the house but charging a wholesale fee based on the contract price(assignment fee). selling the acual paperwork no double closings, flipping or whatever. but basically assigning your right over to your buyer./and/or assigns. what the F!!!

    • Candace, it’s tough in today’s market to do assignments. If you’re trying to lock up a short sale or REO the banks don’t want to see any “and/or assignment” language on the contract.

  30. Perry Schoolfield on

    I did things backwards I suppose. 20 yrs of landlording, and a few rehabs, and now I’ve been wholesaling full time 3 1/2 years. In the past, I’ve bought properties from wholesalers (sometimes did the total rehab repair work myself), so I’ve seen the business from all sides. I chuckled at some of the comments written, nodding knowingly. I think what you are experiencing are new wholesalers ( or wholesaler wannabe’s) that are throwing anything against the wall to see what will stick because they are hungry to make a profit and make a living, and maybe get out of their 9 to 5 job to wholesale full time. They are still learning the business. I am still learning the business… I learn something new every day, particularly from other seasoned wholesalers who have been out there longer than me, and most of them are a heck of a lot younger than I am. Your post has prompted me to make a point, however, that I would like to make to those investors that depend on wholesalers for their properties. This is going to sound a bit defensive. I know some will disagree, but my own experience is that getting a good marketable (profitable) deal under contract to flip to an investor is NOT an easy thing to do, particularly if you work in a competetive market like mine (Dallas/Ft Worth). It takes time, hard work, persistence, a little bit of real estate savy, (talking to sellers when ya don’t feel like it), and yes….even MONEY. Yep, you even have to spend that green stuff (sometimes a lot) to get those properties under contract to flip to your buyers. Once in a great while, you’ll have a gift fall into your lap, but not that often. Not to tick anyone off, but as to the few posts pointing out what a “real” wholesaler should make: I respectively beg to differ, guys (and gals). I’ve made $1,000 on a flip to an investor, and I’ve made $20,000 on a flip. If I spend my money and time (as described above), and once every 6 or 8 months I am able to negotiate a home run deal with a seller, why would I be passing all that rarely seen large amount of profit on to my investor buyer? Is he going to be sending me a fancy card around Christmas or something? The answer to that is of course “No”. Understand, those are the infrequent deals that balance out all the one-sies and two-sies paydays for a wholesaler, and actually make it possible for him to stay in business, put groceries on the table, and continue to bring deals to you and other investors. I’ve yet to meet an investor that gets upset at my profit. As long as the numbers work for them to make a good profit, that is all they are concerned about….. and all they SHOULD be concerned about. If they are newbie unsophisticated investors, maybe they would be upset, but I’ve yet to run into that. I’ve had my buyers tell me flat out ” I don’t care what you make”. Hopefully when/if I start wholesaling a large volume of properties, I will pass more profit to the investor, but not currently (when I am just trying to stay afloat like everyone else). Now, I can’t really comment on wholesalers pushing MLS properties (that was posted earlier), but I can comment generally on putting properties out there where the profit margin seems pretty thin or nonexistent. Yep, that does happen. There are properties out there that don’t have any business being offered to investors, particularly if the price didn’t even interest retail buyers. But, there are also those seemingly marginal properties that have some utility to SOME investors (maybe not you). Keep in mind, investors (even experienced) don’t all have the same stringent investment criteria you might have. Not every experienced investor goes with the 65% or 70% ARV less repairs formula to evaluate their deals, and while you may be looking at it as a rehab, another may be assessing it as a possible rental (two totally different animals). That is why I will sometimes send out a seemingly marginal property to my buyers list. If it ain’t your kind of deal, just pass on it.
    By the way, one of my early wholesale deals, I acquired for $26K, and put out to my investors for $36.9K, and the phone rang off the hook. It was bid up to sell for $45.5K to a very experienced rehabber, netting me $19.5K. Comps in the neighborhood indicated it was worth probably $75/sf or $90,750. He sold it after rehab for $94/sf or $114,000. Do you think he begruged me my $19.5K? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, he congratulated me on finding/negotiating such a good deal. Not meaning to step on anyones toes here. Just my 2 cents.

    • Perry, you make some EXCELLENT points here. Yes, wholesaling is VERY hard work. Most meaningful entrepreneurial enterprises require a lot of it. This is why there are so many phony deals out there – people think it’s easy. I’m not sure about most readers here but I don’t really care how much a wholesaler marks up a house if I can make money on the flip. My issue is with a wholesaler that artificially inflates the comps in order to create a profit.

  31. You’re right….so funny I have had a few investors lately wanting to buy fix and flips. They all think they are on some kind of exclusive wholesale list that will send them some kind of secret deals no one else can find. (Hopefully they’re not paying for this service). I get the same properties from the same “wholesalers”, and typically they are Fannie Maes not under contract yet, priced $1000 or $2000 above the retail listed price in the MLS. They want the new buyer to pay both closing costs on a double closing. Comps are normally way out of line. Not sure if they actually sell any of these, but I’ve always wondered how they get around Fannie Mae anti flipping provisions. Maybe the first deed never gets filed?

    • Bruce, I tell people all the time there are no exclusive lists out there. The banks aren’t stupid. With the retail market so hot why would they NOT expose their properties to the retail market? And I don’t know of any way to get around the Fannie Mae deed restriction.

  32. Robert Steele on

    I subscribed to a bunch of wholesaler lists and have yet to see a good deal. The comps are cherry picked every time. The one deal that I saw that looked promising had an addendum from the wholesaler a mile long. One of the conditions buried in there was that if the wholesaler was unable to deliver title they could postpone the closing indefinitely all the while holding on to the quite sizable finders fee. I mean their terms absolutely sucked. I told them to go jump.

    • Robert, that’s unbelievable! After 10 years in the business I’m still amazed at some of the crazy stuff that goes on out there. An addendum that says they may not be able to deliver title? What a joke.

  33. Such an informative post. The information about the wholesale deals is completely a bunch of knowledge to store.Good thing I stumble on your blog here in biggerpockets.com

  34. Hi Marty, Thanks for the great article! Three questions: (1) Do the wholesellers you work with ever “assign” over the contract?; or, (2) Do they indeed buy the house low and then sell it to you low; and, (3) I live in Alabama…what do you suggest is the best way to find Buyers like you in my area?

    • Carl, I don’t see many contract assignments here in Phoenix. Most of the inventory here short sale or foreclosure and the banks won’t accept an offer with that language. However, I do know investors here are doing double escrows. Buy low, sell low is how all wholesalers – whether they’re wholesaling cereal, cars or houses – make money. You need to leave enough meat on the bone for the fix and flipper/buy and holder to have a decent margin in the deal. I would suggest you contact title companies in your area. Find out if they do business with investors. If so, ask to be put in contact with them. You can also advertise on Craig’s List or in your local newspaper. That’s how I built my wholesale buyer’s list back in 2003.

  35. If only buyers do their assignment (review of MLS listing and tax records) ahead of time, these ‘pretenders’ as you called won’t have much to offer. I am still a newbie in this type of business and your advice adds up to my databank. Thanks for the advice, Marty!

    • Cary, if you’re bottom feeding for deals on the MLS and you want to wholesale them to buyers like me then you’ll need to do a double escrow. It’s not that difficult. Just make sure you have your buyer lined up ahead of time.

      • OR, you could do what’s known as a “courtesy closing” for bank’s that insist on using their title company to close. Tell their title co. you’ll be signing all the papers at your title company, and they will send everything there. Meanwhile, the buyers funds & the transaction on the deal will be in place at your title co,., ready to go. They will use the buyer’s funds to close your transaction with the bank, and complete the transaction from you to the buyer, so you get paid. At that point, your title co. will send everything back to the bank’s title co. & you won’t need to use transactional funding. REI Guru Stephanie Davis goes into more detail about this on her youtube videos.

        • Dallas, I never thought of that but it’s a great tip. There are other creative ways to do this. I know an wholesaler that will put a deal under contract in an LLC and transfer membership of the LLC to their buyer after closing.

  36. Shucks Marty, you just raised three more questions in my pea brain….(1) If someone is “bottom feeding” via the MLS, then a Real Estate Agent is obviously involved (maybe two). Who pays the commision(s)?; (2) Is there enough in the deal for them to even be interested?; and, (3) What is a good source to look-up double escrows?

    • Carl, the seller usually pays the commission. If you have your Realtor write offers on your behalf then he/she will get paid by the seller. If you have a wholesale buyer already lined up for the deal then you don’t need to pay anyone to sell it. Call around to the title companies in your area and ask if they do double escrows. Or, as Dallas wisely suggested you can do a courtesy closing.

  37. I am a wholesaler that offers turnkey properties with rent, maintenance and other guaranties, our investors get a very good deal and most of the time we make a very good profit, even though we are firm believers in leaving some money on the table . Since when does making a good profit turn into something to be ashamed of, The freedom to make as much money as possible without hurting the next guy is what America is all about, It is nothing to be ashamed of. We price properties at what the market will bear, anyone telling you they sell for anything less is simply not telling the truth, anything less would be unfair to all concerned including our employees on profit sharing plans our shareholders and partners, our investor buyers will do the same thing when it comes time for them to sell, they will sell at what the market will bear. Which is ultimately the fair price for all concerned. At least until the next cyclical real estate crash.

    • Sam, if you are selling houses for what “the market will bear” then you are NOT a wholesaler. You ARE a retailer. I agree, there’s nothing wrong with making a profit. However, I have a big problem with retailers that try to dress up their so-called wholesale deals with overinflated comps.

  38. Great article and I have run into the same thing. I am a real estate agent and have seen so many of these in South Florida. They buy them of for cheap from a bank or court house steps than try to list them as wholesale deals for crazy prices. So many buyers see wholesale or REO and think they are getting a deal. The MLS is the best place to get comps so many other sites are not accurate. I do sell unlisted bank owned multi units all over the country. We do not mark them up that is why they are distressed sales. Check the tax records also and see what the house sold for. Watch out for ones that don’t have a clean title.

  39. WOW!

    I am a beginning wholesaler and the way that I was taught / learned is almost completely contradictory to what this post defines as a pretender! I feel terrible! its not that I’ve been trying to screw anybody but I definately have tried some of the “gimmiky” techniques mentioned here. I only want to wholesale now so I can familiarize myself with the market before jumping into quickturns and rentals and the such. My name and company name is EXTREMELY important to me and I would hate for it to be jepordized by shady techniques. Thanks for opening my eyes to how NOT to impress a good investor. One question though, is having a website so bad? Every source of advertisement is good right? I would hate to come off as ametur (even though I am) or sneaky through techniques that every seminar junkie has. Whats the best way to increase my buyers list?

    • DC, if you have good deals to sell there will be no shortage of buyers. Websites and Craigslist ads won’t be necessary. Find out who’s buying the houses in your area at the courthouse/distressed houses on the MLS and call them.

      • This has been exactly what I’ve been searching for.I am brand new to wholesaling and I have worked to educate myself as best as I can by constantly doing my due diligence. My question is, what type of contract do I use to lock down a home with the seller?Is there a different one I use for the buyer? Now mind you I live in southern California, as I know laws are different in each state. My other question is,what is the best way to advertise or shall I say, find a motivated seller/good deal? I have business cards and I even have bandit signs.I see you mentioned craigslist and that i didn’t need to use it? It’s funny people mentioned not using websites because I NEVER planned on it myself! I want to be just a one man operation,down to earth solid guy that buyers can depend on. To be honest Marty, all I need is five serious buyers and I will churn milk into butter! I take heed to the comments from the seasoned investors and money makers and I thrive to play on they’re level of the game.Remember though, however you got into real estate, you had to learn from someone or some source and you experienced trial and error.Not ALL new wholesalers are crabs or bums! LOL There are quite a few though,such as myself, that possess the guts, drive and determination it takes to lift off the runway and fly as a professional just as you did. I am ready to taxi down the runway so Marty, or anyone else, if you could assist me with those final little checkpoints, I’d greatly appreciate it.

        • Moe, very sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner. I just noticed your comment here. I posted this a while ago but it’s got a tremendous shelf life.

          To your questions –

          I’d hire a local real estate attorney to draft a contract for you. Laws very from state to state. You need legal counsel from someone in California.

          For finding deals start door knocking. Talk directly with homeowners in foreclosure, whether they have equity or not. Create a website (WordPress) and voicemail (Google Voice) to funnel those leads. Next, try some direct mail. Start small, maybe a few hundred letters a month to an area you know well.

          Lastly, you don’t need buyers, YOU NEED SELLERS. 100% of your effort and focus should be on finding great deals. Selling them will be easy. You don’t need some huge marketing machine if you have great deals to sell.

  40. Duncan Wierman on

    ROFL – If it was easy .. everyone would be rich. The key to making your wholesale business easier it to CRANK UP your MARKETING!

    Do it everyday CONSISTENTLY.

    If not, I guess you could buy one of those other courses that have a ” magic button” to have checks fly into your bank account ..

  41. Nakeya Womack on

    Marty first off I just want to thank you for this blog. It is so educational to a new investor as myself. Over the past year I have found myself shifting through the real estate “gurus” to FINALLY come across this blog (only on biggerpockets). I to almost got caught up in buying material that was going to do absolutly nothing. I want to be the best wholesaler possible. I do not want to cheat anyone or lie to them just to make a profit. I want to help people, both the motivated seller and my investor. If that means door knocking and doing it the good ole fashion way, then I am ready!!!! This is not a game to me, this is my dream, my career, and my families financial health. I am here to build a good reputable business. I believe that anything that is worth having is fighting for and working hard for. I am just waiting for someone to have faith in me and teach me the ways to do Real Estate the right way.

    Thanks again ALL of you!

    ~Nakeya~

    • Many of the tools and resources you need are right here on BiggerPockets.com. What part of the country do you live in? You may be able to work with a local investor to get some experience.

  42. My only complaint really are the gurus who make it seem like it’s the easiest thing since basic addition and one person can do it all..and it isn’t…you need to know your market, what homes go for, how to accurately estimate repair costs and the gurus won’t even touch on that stuff…or if they do it’s very brief…i can think of one guru in particular who’s guilty of that but i won’t name names..learned my lesson the hard way..lol will find an easier way to make $$$ w/ real estate

    • When you find an easier way to make money in real estate I’d love to hear about it. You may find that one exit strategy suits your personality better than another (i.e. wholesaling vs. flipping) but they’re all difficult to master.

      • Marty, there is an easier way but it involves a website and out of respect for BP’s guidelines, I won’t post the name..

      • Actually, I disagree..to me the most difficult part was getting the seeler to agree to your price and making sure the buyer wouldn’t flake or at least follow through..the theory itself is simple

        • Jorge, when you say this is easy you do yourself and every other investor/member of BiggerPockets.com a diservice. I’ve spent 10 years in this business and it gets more difficult every day. Increased competition, new technology and local/state/federal laws all combine to make the business of real estate investing more challenging.

          It’s usually the gurus, and those recently brainwashed by the gurus, that proclaim real estate investing is easy. The rest of us know better.

  43. too, make sure your buyers are ethical and can put up the cash for the deal..also make sure they know what assigning a contract is about…nothing like having to explain a contract assignment to a buyer and him giving you the “deer in the headlights look”…ugh..happened to me too many times.. Wholesaling is for the birds….

  44. or like my end buyers would tell me” it’s a deal only if you’re practically stealing the property”..I’m paraphrasing though

  45. Marty, you sound confused..I never said assigning contracts was easy..the method i’m investigating is easy but it doesn’t involve assigning contracts….I agree w/ you about the gurus, apparently you never read my other posts

      • Marty, I hear ya…that’s something you gotta take up w/ the gurus lol

        This one is my fave..”Real Estate investing is so easy anyone can do it”…I’ll not give the guru’s name though…i might give his initials

  46. I absolutely agree that there are a lot of wholesalers out there that do not know what the heck they are doing. Heck, even I was there at one time. I believe the biggest problem is that with the day and age of the internet, everyone feels they need to work on a national level. The key to truly good wholesaling is to REALLY understand you market. If the new guys and gals would just begin in one neighborhood of one city, it would work a lot better for everyone. Just my 2 cents.

  47. i no longer bother w/ wholesaling but more power to you guys and good luck…I realized you practically have to love real estate to do it..I don’t love it, i actually find it extremely boring..I, like many, was mesmerized by dollar signs..in my case it was right after Katrina hit…when the smoked cleared and i wanted to kick some guru butt for them stretching the truth on how hard it really was, i realized it wasn’t for me…doesn’t mean the same kind of money can’t be made in other fields or w/ other methods but it does take a love that’s for sure..

  48. too, to be honest, I totally went by trial and error w/ no one to guide me..i believe if i did have help, i would’ve done a lot better..reminds of me of the guru who acts like he’s self taught w/ flipping but had a mentor…but i already mentioned his initials..

  49. Whatever a business person decides to do in business is simply their decision; real estate related or otherwise. How they find their deals, how they go about marketing their deals, it’s just simply their decision. The ones that do a less than “perfect” job (according to others’ expectations) at what they do will be replaced by the new flavor of the month soon enough I suppose. However, the notion that there is a better or best way to wholesale, retail or just buy and sell real estate flys in the face of common sense.
    The market for ANYTHING is simply what it is. Dicovering the “HOW TO” of identifying frauds in real estate is just part of a “NEW” individual investor’s learning curve and to think that you can EVER rely on anyone in the business world to deliver what you want in exactly the manner you think it should be done… well, is simply naive. The assumption seems to be that there should be a clear concise exact cookie cutter reflection of how a wholesaler does business; this is just not realistic. I suppose you could try to identify some list of specific rules for a ‘TRUE” wholesaler to meet before he qualifies to, in fact, call himself a wholesaler, but that seems to also indicate that we would all have to agree on a list of specific requirements or hurdles for people to jump through just to win our approval to do exactly what? Buy a property and resell it for a profit? I suggest you throw away the titles and go forward with a clear honest mindset that regardless of anyone’s counsel – – it is without doubt YOUR sole responsibility to learn the elements of what constitues a “REAL DEAL” in your specific target market and NEVER rely on any titles to assure you of some predetermined outcome. That is just sheer nonsense. Wholesalesers, retailers, whatever; one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. And you never know what you may find behind a door that appears to be the wrong one until you open it and walk through. Yes it is true that there are some people out there trying all different ways to make a buck in real estate nowadays. So what? It’s my job to sift through it ALL and find what’s worthwhile regardless of “titles”. Who are these “pretenders” anyway? I wonder if they have other parts of the business wired a bit better than me? Other deals in the works better than the crap one they are presently advertising on Craigs List? And just how desperate are they to dump this one? Maybe they have another deal in escrow that will be falling apart from some “pretender BUYER” next week they are not even aware of as yet? Where do they get their financing? Could I possibly negotiate a better deal than what I assume is possible, or learn ANYTHING from them worthwhile? ANYTHING? Or maybe SOME of these guys are just like you starting out new, doing their best and simply scewing up. Nah…I suppose not. Let’s do the wise thing, let’s just imagine the worst, assume we know everthing and go with that…

  50. Tony, good point…what I always found amusing is that these gurus never were clear on if you should tell the seller you’re gonna assign the contract to an end buyer or not tell them and just go to closing and then explain it…they seemed to miss that one lol

    • LOL yeah those ‘gurus’ are pretty stupid LMAO!

      What do you suggest a ‘newbie wholesaler’ do when assigning the contract? Should he/she keep it hush hush or say “i’m working with other investors”?

      • John M., honesty is always the best policy. Explain to the seller that the “and/or assignee clause” in your contract allows you the flexibility to someone step in on your behalf and close the deal.

  51. Thanks to you all for stating that wholesaling is not the easiest, get rich, quickest scheme going right now. I have been trying to wholesale since February 2012 and I have not found a motivated seller yet. Most homeowners want retail prices for their homes. Should I try another strategy within real estate? (e.g. inheritance) Or is it just that hard to find good deals?

    Been fooled by quite a few guru’s already stating that this was going to be easy and haven’t made any deals yet. Please help.

    Houston,TX

    • The concept of wholesaling IS easy. Get an ‘ugly’ house under contract, double-close or assign, collect money! Its the sellers that will always be hard to deal with. That’s why you should learn every type of real estate investment niche you can. If you’re trying to wholesale a house that is in excellent condition then you should consider something else to do with the house. Learn every type of real estate investment vehicle you can.

      Don’t blame ‘guru’s’ for not finding a deal. A lot of them are just salesmen (although some ‘gurus’ are good). But, the same can be said for people who overly-praise free information on certain sites. Advertise your services and if people call ask them why they are wanting to sell their house.

      Find someone in your town who is a true player of the game and won’t mind teaching you. Also don’t come across as a helpless ‘investor’ and offer to shine the player’s shoes and clean his/her office as Marty Boardman suggests people do. Inviting to lunch and showing you’re motivated is good enough.

      • John M., good advice on finding a true player in the local market. But for what it’s worth, coming across as a helpless investor helped me get back into real estate investing after the market crash. I was introduced to a very successful investor by the pastor of my church in 2009. I hung ceiling fans and window blinds and changed door locks for this investor for a year while learning his system for buying houses at auction. It got me get back on my feet.

    • Lionel, while I’ll agree with John M. that the concept of wholesaling is fairly simple to understand, finding great deals is very challenging. You mention you’ve been looking since February 2012. What type of seller are you targeting? What type of marketing are you doing?

      • First of all I like to Thank everyone for their posts. I usually market to Absentee Owners. Whether within state or out of state. I am open for any suggestions on finding motivated sellers.

        Thanks

  52. @Lionel – In my book wholesaling is great IF you have a marketing machine that is cranking 100’s of leads per month. If not, you are in trouble. NO one selling there house is jumping up and down saying they will sell at 50 cents on the dollar!

    I suggest the best way to get started ( and I would do this if I had to start all over again) is Lease Option Matching ( some refer to it as Cooperative Lease Options, Or Wholesaling Lease Options)
    Its easy, and almost risk free. Its easy to crank up the lead generation.

    There is lots of competition out there tho, so build your brand, become the authority, and thought leader.. and people will come to you.

    Duncan Wierman

    • Thanks Duncan. Please send more information on your products. On a side note, do you think that having a job in real estate prepares you better to be involved in this field?

    • Lionel, Duncan is right about marketing. You need to get the phone ringing. However, since you’re new to this I’d take John’s advice first and find a pro in your area to learn from.

  53. @Lionel – Being an agent, can be a two edge sword. I am not an agent, and never want to be.

    BUT perhaps for you to gain confidence, and the appearance of authority … it may be good for you.

    Holding a RE license for the “Lease Option Matching” technique, can help give you access to more potential leads and the credibility to pull off more deals.

    Duncan

  54. Lionel, make sure the guy is willing to mentor..like a wholesaler once told me.. “Nobody wants to teach the competition”… yep, that’s how it is, at least in new orleans/metairie

  55. This whole article is a one sided manipulated agenda. I have been following up on this the past year and any opposition that was intelligent and truth full about wholesaling has been removed in a short period of time. Remember you can’t believe everything you read.

  56. Are there any good and Honest realestae teachers out there I get a ton of emails everyday from guru’s when I look at there reviews there all bad I want to learn wholesaling?

    • Ted – Not all teachers are bad, but you probably want to avoid the guru set unless you want to get yourself into an endless loop of being upsold. Between the countless articles on BiggerPockets and our hundreds of thousands of forum posts, there’s more info than you’ll ever need. If you really need a coach to get you off your feet, post something in our Marketplace and I’m sure you’ll find someone. Good luck!

    • You can read countless articles on here or anywhere else, and post questions on the forums. The problem is, the majority of the articles are completely useless and are praised only by other ‘contributors’ and frightened novices. Unless you already know what you’re doing, you will find nothing that will ‘get you started’ for free. There’s always that one little question that you have after wasting several hours reading free information. Notice how a lot of the articles you read anywhere say “you need to crunch the numbers on a deal” but never really go into go full detail and show you how or what formals to use? Forums may be good, but if you happen to run across a good deal and need answers…NOW, then you’re pretty much out of luck.

      So if you really want to learn wholesaling, you’ll need to remember this: Wholesaling is easy by definition, but hard to obtain. It will be even harder once the market goes up. Real Estate Investing is also a circus. But the general idea is:

      1) Find a house in a low-income neighborhood: Preferably boarded up, vacancy notice, yellow tagged. (Hopefully the owner isn’t dead, or worse, the bank has possession of it.) Come up with an offering price (65%-repairs-your fee=offer; is the general formula. There are other ways to come up with offers). Don’t put any ‘I Buy Houses’ type signs up unless you know other means of investing. I had put signs up when I started with only wholesaling in mind, and people that called me had houses in low-income neighborhoods, excellent condition, and paid in full (no outstanding loans). What do you do with that if there ain’t no broken drywall?

      2). Locate the owner through your county’s tax records and contact him/her: Usually if the owner’s address is in the location of the abandoned house you encountered, they are either dead or haven’t updated their tax information. If their address is in the same city (or state) find the owner of that new address. If the owner matches your abandoned house location, then go ahead and contact. If not, they’re probably dead. (If you don’t mind being a stalker for all the good reasons, then its worth the headache.) Tax records are definitely helpful (and creepy).

      3) Slap that house with a Offer To Purchase contract (with ‘and/or assigns’ next to your name) and take it to your local title company: This is where most wholesalers fail. Most title companies know diddly-squat about ‘transactional funding’ or ‘assignment of contract’ or ‘double-closing/simultaneous closing’ (Both are the same). So call around prior to finding anything and ask if they work with investors and if they do any of the above closings.

      4) Assign or simultaneous close that house to an end buyer (its really easy to find them if you advertise correctly), collect money, cash it, go celebrate: Assignment of Contract requires its own little contract with your end buyer that pretty much says “yeah, this other guy can have the property for a fee of $5,000″ (NEVER accept less than $5,000). Also, if your buyer backs out, make sure $2,000 of that fee is non-refundable. If you have to simultaneous close, then find a transactional funding company. This is different with some states because some title companies (or agents if you find a sweet deal on the MLS) don’t accept Proof Of Funds from transactional funding companies and prefer actual bank Proof Of Funds. This is where you get creative. (I haven’t had this problem yet, and I work with a private investor who offers loans for just in case).

      5) Celebrate: You have just closed your first deal.

      This is just a general idea. You should look for other information to be sure you know what you’re doing (whether you pay for it or not).

      I will be honest and say that I got tired of wholesaling quickly after wasting several hours and days reading articles, and downed Advil like skittles after watching my inbox ramp up with “Dude! Wholesaling…” spam. I don’t mind paying for courses or mentorship because I can get everything done quickly. Of course, (whether online or offline) 90% of them are horrible while 10% are amazing. It kinda follows the Kiyosaki rule of 90/10. I also love Subject-To.

      • If I may add to John’s post, one major key to wholesaling is finding MOTIVATED sellers. Yeah, you can find that boarded-up house or the pretty “paid off” house all day long, but if you find out they aren’t motivated and the numbers don’t work because of it, you move on to the next house. If you know how to do subject-to and lease option/wholesale lease option deals, in addition to wholesaling, you can move pretty houses, too. The numbers have to be good, and they can’t owe too much in back payments to do it.

        9x’s outta ten, you hear a ton of fluff from gurus who think they know everything ~ trust me, my inbox is flooded everyday with junk like that, wanting me to listen to a webinar that wants me to buy a course or membership for anywhere from $300 to $2k. If you just starting out and don’t have a huge budget to work with, you may not be able to buy those courses. It’s their way of making extra $ & that’s great. I learn to take everything with a grain ‘o salt. I don’t think one guru has everything ~ they leave out stuff, until you need it. Then, they get you to buy whatever it is, to have that one or two things you need.

        I don’t doubt the market is shifting all over the US, in some more than others, quick. So, institutional buyers have adjusting, accordingly, and eventually the mom ‘n pop cash buyer will get in line, too.

        • Dallas, I’ve found wholesale deals in all price points, from 30K condos to million dollar homes in Scottsdale. The owners all had one thing in common – they were motivated. You’re right about that.

      • John, I disagree with your comment the articles here are “useless” and only “praised only by other contributors and frightened novices.” I doubt this site would have grown to its current size with over 100,000 members by peddling worthless information. And I’ve seen plenty of posts here with specific numbers.

        However, I do agree that you can’t get into wholesaling, or any other business, for free. I’ve spent tons of money to improve my business, including Quickbooks classes and personal development.

        • Marty –
          John is simply a troll, posting under an anonymous name . . . I have yet to see a comment where he isn’t ripping on BiggerPockets or our authors. I find it funny that he keeps coming back to read our mostly useless articles.

          Ironically when he asked for help on our forums, no one busted his chops — instead, our members took the time to help him out 6 months ago when he was just getting started: Few Questions Before Making Offers

      • John –
        There’s always going to be one additional question. Whether you take a $50,000 course, learn from a mentor, or read articles and books, if you don’t have just one more question, then you’re not making strides in your business. AND if you think you know all the answers, you probably are fooling yourself. Rarely is there an expert in any field that doesn’t continue to ask questions . . .

        I’m sorry you find our articles and other content to be mostly useless; I suppose the 450,000+ people who have come to BiggerPockets over the past month might disagree.

        • I did post a question and I did not get ‘slammed.’ But, I also did not get solid answers. Instead, I got vague gibberish from a couple of ‘experts’. Why wouldn’t I be upset? Thankfully I did come across some helpful information from some contributors’ articles, as well as other resources and was able to close on a couple of deals. (Still learning though.)

          And, a troll? really? I just call things the way I see it. The only reason why I end up coming back is because:

          A) Google thinks its fun and nice to put BP on top results for every single real estate topic I search. So why not just click on a BP link and hope its a good read?

          B) There are some other contributors that I like that do give good information. However, if I read something that makes me roll my eyes followed by ‘suck-up’ type comments by scared ‘noobs’ then I’m going to comment on it.

          Sorry if I’m a straight-shooter.

  57. Thank you for your brutal honesty. I love it. Right now I am pretty much a brand new rookie in the game of wholesaling. I would like to learn as much as I can. Right now I am working on a direct mail campaign mailing letters out to section 8 landlords whom may be frustrated with their tenants. Good thing I have money to play with to properly send these letters. Right now I have about 3500 leads of section 8 landlords. It’s going to take a while but I think I’ll be lucky enough to do well with this info. I’ll make sure to join this site because I feel as though I’ll gain some additional knowledge. Thank you again for the brutal honesty. I’ll need to remove that property from my list “that is near the highway no one dumb enough to buy” Ironically that was one of the first properties I’ve sent a letter to. Hopefully they have others instead.

  58. Im a Real Estate Investor in the South Florida Area.

    Finding Deals is not easy. That is why Real Estate Investors get to make good money out of it. It bothers me when i get a phone call from a realtor asking for properties from us, and when they see the property was active on the mls, they say they want “Off MLS Properties” Because they could buy those themselves. REALITY CHECK is they dont. It takes experience and skill to spot deals on the multiple listing services, get them under contract and close them. They didn’t found them… they pass by them on their screen and didn’t even notice the potential.

    Most deals are not for everyone, so do your homework, and remember to buy properties from guys who actually buy them. What we do is that we rehab and keep everything we get under contract and we don’t sell.

  59. There is a misconception that a wholesaler is working the market to receive less than a referral fee, just to make happy the investor. Im Sorry, but if getting the properties is so easy, i dont see why investors don get them by themselves or use Realtors… Wait… I know why!!! They are not willing to pay the price or do the work!!!

    Properties in the MLS are getting listed and selling way over the asking price. REO’s listed for 100k are closing for 140k+ and on top of that when a deal is a real steal, you wont find the information on public records. By the time it appears, my properties are already renovated and SOLD to end users.

    Real Estate Wholesalers are way more knowledgeable that Real Estate Agents on investment properties, and they spend more time and money than the average investor on acquiring this deals, just to deal with Real Estate Investor wannabes who believe that we should give them the deal on a silver plate so they can make money…

    Dont like the price? go to the (public ) Library, get a “Wholesaling for Dummies” and do the work so after that, you can be compensated with the spreads…

  60. Actually Jamie, I think what they’re referring to in this topic is assigning the contract…..not the actual acquisition/renovate/advertise for sale type transaction…..

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