The #1 Reason Wholesalers Get a Terrible Reputation (& How to Change That!)

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The number one reason why wholesalers have such a terrible reputation in the real estate industry is because they never have good deals.

The most common complaint I hear is that wholesalers aren’t leaving enough profit margin for investor-buyers to make any money deals.  

So what’s considered a good deal anyway?

Frankly, a good deal is a property that is going to bring our investor-buyers a nice return on their money after flipping.

The biggest problem is that there’s a lot of wholesalers out there who don’t know how properly analyze deals!

It’s very critical as a wholesaler that we analyze deals from a fix and flipper or buy and hold investor’s perspective because they are our primary customer, and what may look like a good deal for us wholesalers may not be a good deal for our investor-buyers.

Learning how to run comps and analyze deals is the lifeline of your business. Once you’ve created lead generation, you’re literally going to sit and analyze deals day in and day out. That’s why learning how to properly analyze deals should be the first thing you learn before entering into the wholesale business. If you don’t know how to analyze deals, then you don’t have a business!

And you don’t want to become known as the wholesaler with bad deals because that is the quickest way to ruin your reputation as a real estate investor.

Guys, I understand that analyzing deals can be challenging for beginners, but if you practice and follow these steps, you’ll learn how to properly analyze deals in no time.

Today, I want to encourage anyone out there who is aspiring to become a real estate wholesaler. So here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly analyze flip deals.


How to Analyze a Real Estate Deal

Deal analysis is one of the best ways to learn real estate investing and it comes down to fundamental comfort in estimating expenses, rents, and cash flow. This guide will give you the knowledge you need to begin analyzing properties with confidence.

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Step #1: The 65% Rule

The 65% Rule is what is commonly known as the “70% Rule” fix and flippers use, with 5% reduced so that wholesalers can build in a profit margin while still leaving the investor-buyers with a nice return.

This is the only equation you’ll need to know when analyzing flip deals, and you’ll want to use this equation when screening every lead that comes in.

Related: Why You DON’T Need a Massive Buyers List to Succeed as a Wholesaler

So here’s the 65% Rule: 

Purchase Price = ARV (After Repair Value) x 0.65 – Rehab

Now, as wholesalers, our job is to take the load off of our investor-buyers by helping them find discounted properties. Investor-buyers are the lifeblood of our business as wholesalers, and if they aren’t pleased with the deals you send them, trust me, you’ll be out of business sooner than you know.

Following the the 65% Rule will prevent you from chewing away at your investor-buyer’s profit margins, which will make everyone happy, including yourself!

Calculating the After Repair Value (ARV)

The after repair value is the cost you could sell the property for at retail price if the property was in retail condition.

Think of the after repair value as the cost of a property after it has been fully remodeled and is on the market with a real estate agent.

Now, the biggest factor in determining the ARV is running comparables. This is where you research the purchase price of similar properties to help you determine how much your property is worth at retail.

Running Comps

Find 3 to 5 properties on the MLA that are in close proximity to the subject property (typically within a .25 to .5 mile radius) that have been sold within the last six months. Locate properties that are similar in design, house type, square footage, bed to bathroom ratio, etc., the most important being location, time sold, house type, and square footage.

It’s extremely important to compare your property to similar house types. So if you’re running comps on a townhouse, compare it with other townhouses. If you have a duplex, compare it with other duplexes. If it’s a single family home, compare it to other single family homes.

Once you’ve found the purchase price of similar properties, you’ll get a solid idea on the retail price of the property.

Now that you have your ARV, you must determine the rehab costs, which can be one of the most challenging steps if you don’t have any experience in construction.


Step #2: Determining Rehab Costs

One of the biggest mistakes wholesalers make is trying to determine the exact rehab cost, which isn’t quite possible because rehab costs are subjective to the contractor.

For example, someone may replace a brand new bathtub for $500, and another contractor may replace the same exact bathtub for $700.

Related: 4 Ways to Generate New Wholesaling Leads That Actually Work

That’s why as a wholesaler, it’s good to work with price ranges, which will give your investor-buyers a good idea of how much rehab is going to cost. Then during the inspection period, the investor-buyer can determine the rehab costs based off their own business model, network, and experience.

Now, if you don’t have any construction experience, I would recommend utilizing contractor to bids to help calculate rehab costs.

Here’s how you do it…

During the inspection period, ask 3 to 5 contractors to bid on the scope of work of the property. Then take the lowest and the highest bid provided by the contractors and make that your rehab cost range.

It’s that simple!

Step #3: Purchase Price

Now that you know how much the property is worth at retail and the cost to rehab, let’s revisit the 65% Rule by multiplying your ARV by 65 percent and then subtracting the estimated rehab cost.

Now you have your purchase price!

Submitting an Offer

Now that you’re comfortable with your purchase price, you’ll want to sharpen your negotiation skills as well.

If you submit your offer first, I highly recommend starting $10,000 lower than your ideal purchase price allowing you a little to negotiate if the seller pushes back on your initial offer.

Here is a negotiation tip that has worked for me in my business…

Before submitting your offer, make sure you get the seller to make an offer first. This allows you to get a feel for how much they want for the property.

Once they throw out their number first, ask them this question, “If I were to buy your house right now all cash, what’s the lowest that you could go?”

You’d be amazed at the response you’ll receive.

I’ve had people literally drop their asking price significantly, by $20,000-$30,000, just by asking that simple question!

Now, if the seller doesn’t accept your initial offer, be sure to follow up with them.

Following up is very important, and I’ll be the first to tell you that a lot of our deals have come from simply following up!


I hope this post cleared up some of the confusion that comes along with analyzing deals.

We have to work on cleaning the tainted reputation that’s out there about wholesalers, and it starts by learning how to analyze deals the right way.

Analyzing deals is the single most important aspect in real estate wholesaling, and once you master this, investor-buyers will come knocking at your door.

If you have any questions about how to analyze flip deals, feel free to ask in the comments section.

Leave all your comments below!

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 Come check it out now and connect!


  1. Jeric L.

    Brett, thank you for making this wholesaling simplified in layman terms. It is very helpful and to the point. It is great to have people like you making it a mission in helping others, which is very much appreciated. More power to you!

    By the way, I also follow your which is another great platform in educating yourself.

        • Brett Snodgrass

          Bids are different for every area. The better relationship you have with them, the more likely they are to waive a bid fee. Ask around your area and find some trusted contractors, build a reputation with 2 or 3 of them and as long as you are throwing them business they will help you as well. We try to find contractors that do a little bit of everything so we are not hiring out for every separate job.

  2. Seth Taylor

    Thanks Brent, For the great post. I can unfortunately say that I made all the rookie mistakes you spoke about. Initially I was so hungry to get a deal done I was locking up properties that clearly not deals may be 90% of the ARV, it was brutal. I wish I had access to this information then.

  3. Inetta Bell

    Thanks for this information. I am a newbie Wholesaler and wasn’t going to start Wholesaling until I had the numbers correct. This is one of the most, if not the most important aspect of wholesaling. It will make or break your Wholesale business. My plan was to get a contractor to assist initially so that my numbers would be close to accurate but this information has helped me tremendously.

  4. Mark Elkins

    Your article is dead on correct! I have been explaining this for years to “wholesalers” who won’t listen. The other issue besides not using your 65% rule is when the seller doesn’t really have a contract and tries to sell me at a price that includes their fee as a percentage of the purchase price when the fee might be the only thing killing the deal! Tip: get a contract in place and ask me to pay you for the contract. That way you can’t lose the deal, I know all the terms and the only thing we have to talk about is the price of the contract.

    Keep up the good work Brett!

  5. Ross Wygmans

    I’m a total newbie, so bear with me. Brett suggests having 3-5 contractors bid on the rehab costs during the inspection period to get an accurate cost range. Doesn’t the inspection period kick in after the contract has already been signed, hence an offer has already been made?

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