Wholesaling Made Easy: The Only 2 Things You Really Need to Know to Succeed

by | BiggerPockets.com

Before we jump into the content for today’s post, I just want to give you a little background on who I am so you can get a general feel for what I’m about and ultimately what kind of content you can expect to come from me.

I’m from the Indianapolis area and I am married with three incredible children whom I always try to put before my business. I have been a full-time real estate investor for 8 years and I specialize as a wholesaler, which is simply “matchmaking” experienced investors with properties that turn a profit for them.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love what I do! In essence, every day I make money simply helping other people make money. It’s so awesome, and it’s ultimately what I want to do for you, the reader (though I won’t be getting paid this time ’round)!

My heart in becoming a contributor to the BiggerPockets blog is to simply give back. I became successful in this business through a lot of trial and error, and if I can help other inspiring investors reach success with a lot less heartache and hassle than I had, then I’ll feel like my goal has been reached.

So with that, let’s get into today’s post!

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What Is Wholesaling Exactly?

Like I said earlier, wholesaling is in essence “matchmaking” investors with properties that those investors can either hold as income property or fix-and-flip for a profit.

The wholesaler finds a steeply discounted property (meaning it’s selling significantly under market value due typically to a distress situation, like a foreclosure, divorce, probate etc.), and they get it under contract and either assign the contract or sell the property to another investor for slightly more than what they purchased it for.

For example, let’s say I got an offer accepted on a property for $20,000, but I know a flipper could purchase this same property at $25,000 and still make a great return after they rehabbed it.

Related: Day in the Life of a Wholesaler: How to Find Sellers, Negotiate Deals & Assign Contracts

So I go through with it and get it under contract for $20,000 and then assign the contract to an investor at $25,000, thus profiting the additional $5,000.

Make sense? Great!

The Only Two Principles You’ll Ever Need to Know in Wholesaling

In this type of investing, there are pretty much only two things you need to focus on in order to make it work. If you do these two things and you do them well, it’s only a matter of time before success will be knocking at your door.

1. Find Deals to Buy

So obviously, in order to purchase a good deal, you actually need to find one!

But how do you do it exactly?

Well, there are a number of different approaches, but the one that I have found to be the most consistent and the most profitable has been using direct mail campaigns. For an awesome step-by-step system in getting started with direct mail, check out this article.

Second to that, the biggest return on investment honestly has come out of relationships. Networking, getting yourself out there, shaking hands, and providing value to other people has been an incredible source of deals for my business.

I’ve made it a habit to help a lot of “newbies” learn how to be successful in this business, and in turn, a lot of them end up bringing me deals that they want to partner on. My intention is never to “give-to-get,” but it’s funny how it turns out that way a lot of the time.

2. Find Investors to Buy Your Deals

So once you have a deal, how do you actually find someone to sell it to? Now, a lot of people talk about establishing a “buyer’s list,” but practically, how do you go about doing that?

For starters, people want to work with a wholesaler who is trustworthy as a viable source of consistent, good deals. Investors don’t want to deal with people who are so greedy that they don’t leave any “meat on the bone.”

What that means is you need to be known as someone who has properties that are priced low enough with your fee included that your investor buyers have enough margin to still make money. If you try to make it a great profit for yourself at their expense, very quickly people will stop wanting to work with you. But if instead you set out to genuinely want to help people and you intentionally take a profit that leaves them plenty of room to make money, word will get out, and people will begin to start thinking of you as a wholesaler who really gets what they and their business needs.

Related: 5 Common Reasons Wholesalers Don’t Get the Deal (As Explained by Sellers!)

Second to being a trustworthy person, another way to meet buyers is by going to meetups and networking events, and actually being a wholesaler who gives a whole lot rather than receives. People in real estate have a really strong gauge in sensing if someone has an ulterior motive. When you go to a networking event, be authentically interested in what other people have going on and jump at any opportunity to help them out. If you have any means to support or aid them in their life or business, it’s that genuineness of simply wanting to help others that will stir seasoned investors to want to work with you over others.

Also, if you get any business cards from conversations at a networking event, actually follow up with them either by phone or email and intentionally set reminders for yourself to periodically touch base continually. Real estate at its heart is a relationship game, and in order to play it right, you actually need to be real and come from the heart.

Are you just starting out in wholesaling? What has your experience been in finding deals and buyers?

Be sure to let me know with a comment!

About Author

Brett Snodgrass

Brett Snodgrass is a licensed real estate broker and wholesaler who hails from the Indianapolis metro. His mission in life is to glorify God by serving as many people as he can through his real estate business. He has a pretty active community growing on Facebook and is also the founder of SimpleWholesaling.com Come check it out now and connect!


  1. Alex Pierre

    Good read. For me personally, working in a highly competitive market to find “motivated ” sellers has been tough early on. Lots of bandit signs everywhere. Craigslist is saturated with wholesalers in my market. It tough, but I’m working at it.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Alex Pierre

      Thanks for the comment Alex, Yes, it does seems that Craigslist gets saturated with wholesalers, and I personally have not done many bandit signs. The best form of marketing that we are seeing is Direct mail. and the key after that is following up. Right now we are getting about 1 deal per 1000 letters we send for our market. You might try that and see how that goes… Thanks again, Brett

  2. Brett Snodgrass

    @Alex Pierre

    Thanks for the comment Alex, Yes, it does seems that Craigslist gets saturated with wholesalers, and I personally have not done many bandit signs. The best form of marketing that we are seeing is Direct mail. and the key after that is following up. Right now we are getting about 1 deal per 1000 letters we send for our market. You might try that and see how that goes… Thanks again, Brett

  3. joseph ball

    I think this is very misleading.
    To me, this defines a bird dog.
    To me, anyway, if you don’t have considerable knowledge and experience, you should not wholesale.
    To me, my buyers rely upon me not just for the good deals, but the support afterwards.
    A good friend on mine says, “Something will ALWAYS happen with real estate-now or later.”
    So, if you are a buyer, looking into the eyes of “Newbie Wholesaler”, would you trust your precious money to someone who has never owned a rental? Someone who may never even have bought a house? Someone who may not be an educated real estate agent? Someone who will not be there, when those problems arise?
    In my case, my buyers know they are not buying a box with a roof on it. They are buying ME. And that has value.
    My definition: If you are simply peddling deals, you are a bird dog, worth every bit of $500 per deal.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Joseph Ball

      Thank you Joseph for the comments, I appreciate any expertise and constructive criticism, as it helps me know what others are thinking. I agree with you on many points in your comments. I believe that knowledge and experience are important, and a wholesaler should equip themselves with knowledge on knowing what a good DEAL is, ETC. I didn’t know really go into that, but I will in later Blogs. I agree with your friend “Something always happens with real estate now or later” And I believe you touched on many points in your comments about “Building relationships and being trustworthy” in your comments (I agree). You mentioned your Buyers are buying “Me”. I totally agree with that and that is why building relationships with your buyers and sellers, and being honest with them, including “if problems arise” being there for them. That is what relationships are all about, and that’s why I wrote about that because it’s so critical to build and maintain that relationship.

      I don’t think I agree with the questions that you asked though:
      If I was a buy-n-hold investor, and a wholesaler brought me a good deal, and I did my “Own due diligence”, I don’t think I would even ask them if they have ever owned a rental? If it was a good deal, I wouldn’t really care about that. I think that goes for your other questions as well. If a wholesaler brought be a good deal, I wouldn’t ask them or care if “they ever owned a house before”, or “were an agent”, I would definitely Buy the house and go through the correct paperwork, and title company/attorney to proceed with the transaction. If the deal went smooth, I would start to build confidence with this wholesaler, knowing they brought me a good deal. The next time they sent me a deal… I would probably look at that deal, because I have had a great experience with this wholesaler in the past and my confidence and trust in them starts to grow and the business relationship begins. Now if that wholesaler ever lied to me or did something dishonest… the relationship would start to go in the other direction. So I total agree with you, that building that trust and relationship with your buyers and sellers is crucial and that’s I touched on that so much. Thanks again for the comments, I appreciate it. Brett

  4. Martin S.

    Brett, good synopsis of a wholesaler.

    @Joseph Ball

    How much trust does a buyer need from a “newbie.” The buyer can look at the contract and the house before signing an assignment agreement. Its either a deal or not. Plus, the buyer should be making a deposit with the title company or lawyer for escrow.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Martin Stevens

      Thanks Martin. Tanks for the comments, I agree with you about depositing your $ with a Title company/attorney as well. I try to keep Wholesaling “Simple”, thus why I named our company “Simple Wholesaling”. This was a simple synopsis, and I will go more into depth on some specific areas of wholesaling in future blog posts. I believe it is the “Wholesalers” job to bring a good deal, but the buyer has to do their due diligence and take responsibility for themselves as well in knowing if it’s a good deal for them. Thanks again. Brett

  5. I enjoyed your article. I’ve been wholesaling Real Estate for a few years now. I’m starting to get good at it.
    I use direct mail, bandit signs, door knob hangers, Craig’s List, networking, but my favorite method is recruiting bird dogs.
    I pay these finders very well and several have gone on to do wholesaling on their own.
    I’ve discovered that learning to wholesale is the easy part, training my mind with motivation and persistence and focus is the real task.
    I come across some insane deals and many times sell them in 2 hours or less and at a good chunk of change., I get a great feeling helping sellers get cash for a house they don’t want and can’t afford to repair. Sometimes these properties are buried in back taxes and code violations, vandalism and the homeowners are seriously distressed. I enjoy sitting at their kitchen table, listening to their stories and helping them.
    I let my buyers look over the properties and do their own due diligence. I simply tell them I have a house at 123 Main St for $45,000
    To JB, I’ve never made less than $2,500 on a deal and most times $7-$15,000
    My bird dogs don’t know how to negotiate with sellers, don’t know how to put the deals together with contracts, Title companies etc. They are simply sending me addresses, and I pay them a heck of a lot more than $500.
    I do have a rental, but I luv the quick profits of slamming a junk house to a rehabber for 15 Grand.
    My buyers have become friends and they beg me to find them more deals.
    It is a fun business, but it takes a person with that certain mindset that can with stand the extreme ups and downs and plow thru with a good sense of patience & humor.
    I just wish I’d known about wholesaling many years ago.
    Let’s make some MONEY

    • Brett Snodgrass


      Thank for the comments, Sounds like you have a great business that sounds very similar to our business plan. Many people ask me why I wholesale the properties and don’t rent them for monthly cash-flow or fix them up and flip them. I was a rehab and flip investor for three years, but got really burnt out with the contractors, lenders, & slow dime method. I just enjoy finding deals and passing them onto other investors and let them make a lot of slow dimes, while I can make a quick nickel. Thanks again for the comments, and hope you can share more on future posts. Thanks. Brett

  6. Jay Johnson

    I agree with you, Brett. Who cares about what you have, don’t have, what you have done or haven’t done, ” Do you have a deal for me ” is all a real buyer is looking for. I think, as a wholesaler, we should provide all the numbers, but a real buyer, that knows what they’re doing, is still going to do their own due diligence.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Jay Johnson,

      Thanks for the comments. Many Wholesalers do provide all of the #’s (Rehab, ETC), And I used to provide all of that, But most of the investors that I sent the deals to, didn’t use My Contractor that I use, and they would get their own #’s anyways… So, I provide them with “Work the house needs” but I don’t provide a rehab estimate unless they ask. I do this because I am not sure how much “their contractor” charges for each rehab item. For example, I replaced a roof on a house, and I got three estimates. All of the estimates were different, some even thousands apart… Well, if contractors differ on that item, and they differed on every item of the house including (Kitchen, bathroom, Flooring, Paint, ETC) Well when you have a full rehab, and the numbers differ 500-1000 on each item, by the time you are done, the entire rehab differs by like 10-15K depending on which contractor you use. This is why I choose not to put the #’s for Rehab, but I do put Rental #’s Etc. But I don’t think it’s totally wrong to NOT put Rehab numbers, This is just what I choose. Thanks again for the comments. Brett

      • Jay Johnson

        There are buyers that say, ” Just show me where and tell me how much, and I’ll let you know if I want it”, then, it’s some that want you to show them numbers. You’re right, I don’t think you could get 10 contractors to come price the same job, and get any two of them to have the same price. I would like my estimates to be high, and my ARV to be low so the end buyer is in good shape even if something comes up that wasn’t expected. I’ll do it whatever way they want to do it as long as we all make money.

  7. Ashley Barnett

    Great job Brett !! I’m a newbie and wholesaling is very very difficult in my city. I agree with everything @Alex Pierre said. I have yet to find a deal. I’ve used bandit signs, door signs, car signs, etc. When I began this journey no one explained how expensive the startup cost for marketing as a wholesaler would be, which has been difficult as well. And every wholesaler I know already have partners they deal with. And yes I attend the monthly meetups in my area. I’m reconsidering my niche. But kudos to you Brett.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Ashley Barnett

      Thanks for the comments. I know marketing can be expensive… I think Direct Mail is the Best Way to go, but it can get expensive especially when you are hesitant because you haven’t gotten a deal. Hopefully there is an experienced wholesaler in your area that you might learn from. You might even reach out and ask one if you can be an apprentice for a year with them, and learning everything you can and doing all of the “Not so fun” jobs, and they would be paying for the marketing. I have one person on my team that wants to be a “Wholesaler” but didn’t want to spend all of the $ on Marketing, so he is our Acquisitions manager and takes all of our Calls… I pay him, and he will be with me for two years and then go on his own. That might be an option for you.

  8. Brett thanks for the read, I did wholesaling before the real estate crash of 2008 and I made great money from this. Keep in mind I was no real estate guru nor did I have experience in doing this type of work. It’s all about mindset and networking. If you settle to be a bird dog more power to you, it’s nothing wrong with doing it. I saw the bigger picture and I made contacts with industry professional. I made a name for myself and investors would contact me seeking deals but when the market crashed, so did my business. I’m planning on getting back into wholesaling, it’s just a matter of me getting back with the right people.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Ron Ridgway
      Thanks Ron, I hope that you can pick it back up. My friend lost everything in the CRASH and went bankrupt, so I have seen how that can happen. I wish you well and to keep moving forward. Thanks for the comments.

  9. A few of the posts suggested that finding wholesale deals was difficult, Haha. Heck yea it is, that’s why in my estimate, 99% of wholesalers quit. And who can blame them? I’ve gone 4, 5 and 6 months with several big deals falling apart & at the last frikin minute. It’s seriously depressing. I would be depressed for a day or 2, then get mad and try 10 times harder.
    I have experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs and that’s weekly.
    The reason I have done well is because I never quit. I also practice tactics that most others wont do.
    I read every book on salesmanship and motivation. Knowing how to wholesale Real Estate is probably only 10% of the battle. When several other wholesalers are fighting over the same deal, I’m the one sitting at the kitchen table with sellers with an empathetic ear listening to their stories, I don’t do the hard sell.
    I also have become friends with my bird dogs and other wholesalers and don’t hesitate to lend them one of my books and give advice. I don’t ask for payment. But, the crazy thing is, I’ve had several deals just fall in my lap from helping others.
    My learning has taught me, the main ingredients for success in this or any business is, passion, knowledge, perseverance, and gratitude.
    Let’s make some money.

    • Brett Snodgrass


      I agree with you Rando. I believe God made us two ears and one mouth, so we need to listen twice as much as we speak… Being a listening ear is crucial. I love the idea of just keeping motivated and keep moving forward, and eventually this business works. Our motto is “it’s not easy, yet it’s simple”. Meaning the actions that I take are pretty simple actions, but I have to work really hard at doing those simple actions over again to make this business work. Thanks. Brett

  10. Cesar Torres

    This is a very inspirational read, thanks you to everyone that posted on here.
    I am a new wholesaler and I was part of that 99% that quit, now I am back. But when your marketing money goes flat and the bills start to add up…… what book do I read, or what podcast do I listen to. I am at 2 months, working at it full time in the afternoon, and still no deal. Lots of calls, a few appointments, but still falling short. I know…. Tomorrow…. we hustle again!

    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Cesar Toress,

      Keep your head up, are you doing direct mail, and how many are you sending? Listen to BP podcasts. Listen to episode 136, the last one. I would read some books from zig ziglar, on motivatin and setting goals. I like following @kent Clothier. I think he has great things to say. This is just a start, i hope you get 5 deals soon. Thanks. Brett

  11. Ben G.

    Great post Brett and it’s good to see you sharing your information with the community. You’re a wealth of information and a highly reputable Indianapolis wholesaler. In your opinion what’s more important having a lot of deals or a lot of buyers? I started off finding the deals first, I know others take a different approach.

    I’ll see you at the local meetups I hope sometimes soon!

    • Brett Snodgrass on

      @Ben G.

      Thanks for commenting Ben. To answer your question, I believe that “Having a lot of Deals” is the best approach. And the word “Deals” is the most important word in that phrase, because a Deal is something that you are no doubt going to make $ on. I didn’t really say “Have a lot of properties under Contract,” because if the ones you have under contract aren’t really deals.. then you are really in for some stress, (I know as I have had properties under contract that haven’t sold the most quickly, and I hope to learn from those). But if you have a lot of deals, and they are truly deals, you will find out they aren’t hard to sell, and you already know a handful of investors that will buy it if it’s a true deal.

      But I do hear a lot of wholesalers say “I have so many BUYERS, but I need a deal to sell to them,” Well the wholesalers in that case isn’t really making any $, because he doesn’t have any “Deals”. That’s my take on it, but I think you need to continuously be building at the same time… So when you are getting your deals, and marketing those deals… Every investor that calls you that is serious, you should keep their info, put them in a database, and ask what they are looking for… that way you are continuously building your buyers list while you are getting deals. Good Luck Ben, Hope to see you soon.

  12. Elliot Grochal

    Good article Brett. I started my direct mail campaign a few months ago. Put together a nice letter, hand signed each one, hand addressed each one with an American flag stamp (A Robyn Thompson lecture claimed this should result in 10-12% call backs). After mailing out 350 letters to 4-units in the Bronx, I have received 4 call backs. I have looked at 3 of the properties so far, but the sellers are savvy here and I haven’t been able to find a property/selling price with a cap rate more than 5%… I have a friend who did a much less time intensive route where she had a company mail out post cards, and sent out 3,000. She also hasn’t received anywhere close to a 10% call back rate. Could this be the fact that NYC is so competitive and saturated or do we need to try another route? I suppose persistence is the key and we need to just keep on trying other methods? Thanks for the advice BP community!

  13. Randy Phillips on

    I wud like to help you get better results with your direct mail Elliot. I noticed you wrote that you hand signed every letter. I sometimes get 15% response to my post cards and letters, but when I don’t hand write the letters and envelopes the response drops dramatically.
    I pay a girl 15 – 20 cents each to hand write my stuff, and I use yellow lined steno paper for the letters and yellow and other pastel colors on the postcards, it’s also important you use red ink, I don’t know why, it just seems to bring in more calls. And your envelope shud be the small ones and don’t seal, just tuck in the flap.
    Also you need to time your direct mail to arrive on a Monday and Tuesday.
    Also you need to make the letter short and specific which builds curiosity. Sample below.

    My wife and I would like to buy your house at 123 Main St.
    Please call us
    Randy & Miriam.
    PS Please call

    If your printing a longer letter you will be lucky to get a 1-2% response. I’ve been there.
    Doing the direct mail is a big gamble, and it’s scary laying out big buks for a big campaign, but sometimes it pays off big. It’s crazy cuz sometimes I get a call on a letter I sent out over 2 years ago.


    • Brett Snodgrass

      @Randy Phillips,
      @Elliot Grochal
      Thanks Randy , great response to ELLIOTS question. I will Be taking note of this on my mail campaigns. Elliot I think he makes a good point. Biggest thing is to try this and not give up. Also I saw that you sent to 4-plex owners. You might try sending to single family absentee owners, as 4-plex owners in New York are probably pretty savvy. Hope this helps, Thanks. Brett.

  14. Hello Mr. Snodgrass

    I really enjoyed your article it was very helpfull to me as I am a novice at real estate investing. And wholeselling is something I have being doing some research on for me to get my foot in the door. Funny how that saying has some connection to what we are talking about. Since I do not have any reserves to start off from I believe this would be a great start for me to begin and thanks for the advice. Is there any way that you could provide more information about wholeselling or do you have a program that I can follow or purchase?

    Thank you
    O’Dell Smith

  15. Brett Snodgrass

    @o’dell smith,

    Thanks for the comments O’dell, I would read as much as you can about wholesaling on BP. I would start with “The ultimate beginners guide to wholesaling” here on BP. I also would look up @Kent Clothier, as he has some great things to say on wholesaling. I’m coming out with a basic simple wholesaling system. It will be free… As I don’t sell information these days. It’s not yet out, but coming soon. Shoot me a message and I can send when it’s ready. Thanks. Brett.

    • Thanks you Brett for the information and I have been reading a lot of articles in BP to become a little wiser each day in the real estate business. I am currently working with a friend of mine that I was introduced to at a seminar that I had attend. I apologize if I begin to ask a lot of questions I’m just being a sponge right now because I am a newbie at all of this.


  16. Pete Garcia

    Your article was a good read and as a newbie trying to break into the world of Wholesaling, I’m really eager to jump in and get my feet wet. I’ve been on BP trying to soak up and read as much as I can on Wholesaling so I can have the knowledge to start my journey. Thanks for recommending Kent Clothier I’ll have to look him up and read all he has to say as well. I’m currently saving up to hopefully send out my first mailing campaign and take the plunge.

    By the way, in an earlier post you mentioned coming out with a basic simple wholesaling system, any luck getting that out or completing???


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