Where Can I find contracts and paperwork for wholesaling deals? Do I have to talk to a lawyer about getting them? Do I google it? Do I make them myself?
If you're looking for just a generic wholesale contract and assignment contract (works in any state) - you can usually just google search them or shoot me an email and I will send them to you.
Personally, I don't use these and prefer to use the Board of Realtor's state approved contract (known as the FARBAR here in FL). The generic contract works only with direct sellers who are highly motivated. I get deals from not only motivated sellers, but also REO's, Short Sales, Listed Rehabs etc... in those cases, the Real estate agent, Company, Asset Manager, Attorney or even a Savvy seller will want to see it on the state approved contract (if you submit the three page wholesale contract to a listing agent for example, they will often throw it in the trash and "blacklist" you for future deal consideration).
Not only will submitting your offer on this contract increase your offer acceptance conversion rate in most cases (and make you look more professional), but consider the contract more binding should you need to litigate (i.e. the seller tries not to honor your agreement and go with a higher offer). Also, the terms of the deal are more specific (contract specifically addresses occupancy status, leases, possessions, liens, violations, designates responsibilities and other contingencies).
Now a disclaimer and word of caution for your personal knowledge....
I am wholesaler but I am NOT licensed (and choose never to be licensed). The state approved contracts are copyrighted forms that are to be used by active licensed Realtors only. Sure, you can find them on google, but if you use them without permission, you are technically breaking the law.
That said, here in FL, we have a service called Altastar. For a fee of $129 per year, non-licensed individuals are able to lease and legally use these contracts, which is what I do.
I don't know about Maryland, but would encourage you to do your homework and see if a similar service exists in your state.
Otherwise you basically have a few options (assuming you are not licensed):
1. Just use the simple wholesale contract (again this won't work on REO's and MLS listed deals)
2. Have an attorney prepare a contract for you that closely resembles the board approved version (again for deals with an agent involved they will still insist on using the approved forms)
3. If an agent is involved - Make the offer verbally and have the agent draft the paperwork (you need to carefully read over these contracts because you don’t know what terms and contingencies the agent may slip in there. One of my “rules” is to ALWAYS control the paperwork.)
4. Just use them anyway. This is 100% your decision and I can’t advise you to use something illegally. That said, while I do it the RIGHT way now, when I first started wholesaling, I used these contracts prior to leasing them... and I know a lot of investors that do the same.
To me it’s similar to the FBI warning that comes up at the beginning of an NFL game (or movie or whatever). If you record the Super Bowl… it is illegal… you are breaking copyright law and can be penalized significantly. Does that mean people don’t do it???
Again, this is a decision you have to make at your discretion and talking to an attorney is recommended.
Best of luck,
I think the best place to get them is from an investor-friendly real estate attorney in your jurisdiction that's familiar with wholesaling. Real estate law is very jurisdiction specific. An experienced attorney in your area will know what's required to be in contracts in your jurisdiction.