Wholesaling Real Estate – What is it?

"Wholesaling" Real Estate - What is it?

If you’re a real estate investor, you’ve either wholesaled properties or heard about others doing it.

In real estate, what exactly is a “wholesale”? Here are the basics:

  1. a property is purchased at a deeply discounted price
  2. no repairs or rehabs are done to the property
  3. it is resold to an investor who plans to rehab it and sell again for their own profit

Let’s break this down:

To purchase a property at a deeply discounted price, expect it to be in bad condition. The properties that need a lot of repair and have been neglected for years are the ones that are typically sold for very low prices.

How do you find properties that can be wholesaled?

  • Direct mail marketing – gets sellers who call before they talk to anyone else. No competition deals are always the best.
  • Marketing also lets sellers know before they call you that you’re not an end user and won’t be paying retail.
  • To buy a lot of properties, you must talk to a lot of sellers. The nationwide average is that you must talk to 20 sellers before you buy a property. If you’re not finding these deals, you’re not talking to enough sellers. How many properties you want to buy will tell you how many sellers you need to meet with.
  • Drive areas looking for deeply distressed and/or abandoned properties. Write to the address and check tax records to see if owner has another address listed that you can also write to.

Why do sellers sell that deeply discounted? Many reasons, including:

  • Lived in it for years and never did anything to it (no updates and/or minimal repairs)
  • Moving to retirement home
  • Inheritance
  • Live out of state
  • Distressed and can’t afford to fix it
  • Burned out landlord
  • Hard for them to sell in this condition
  • Hoarders

What you need to evaluate before making the purchase:

  • After Repair Value (ARV) – What will retail be? You need good comping sources to determine what the value will be after repairs.
  • What will it cost to rehab it to retail value?
  • How much can you pay to buy it?
  • Your purchase price must be low enough to allow both you and the next buyer to make profit.

What do you do to a wholesale property before selling it?

  • Typically nothing!

Why do wholesalers often get a bad name?

I think most people who have a bad taste about wholesaling either haven’t done it or have run into some who do it wrong.

I was a full time investor for 8 years before we began wholesaling. In 2013, my husband and I purchase a HomeVestors® franchise – the We Buy Ugly Houses people – and we have been primarily wholesaling since.

To do it right, we spend money every month marketing to the right people to get the phone to ring. Then we spend a lot of time with the seller crafting a solution to their problem. And we negotiate a price that allows us to resell to an investor who will rehab and still be able to make profit on the deal we sell to them.

Do all these steps and people will respect you and come to you for deals. There is nothing wrong with wholesaling so don’t be afraid of it.

Is wholesaling legal?

I was surprised the first time I heard this question. Wholesaling is not a buying technique, but a selling technique. With wholesaling, you purchase the distressed property for a low price. There is a closing with either a title company or attorney and you go on title as owner. You then mark it up a minimal amount and sell it to someone who plans to rehab and make their own profit.

It is not illegal as it is a normal purchase and sale – you buy it, you own it, then you sell it. The only thing different between wholesaling and a regular purchase and sale is the low price and no work is done to the property before resell.

With wholesaling:

  • we are doing a service
  • we are a solution
  • we are helping people out
  • we are taking a terrible situation and making it better for the seller

What can you add? Do you wholesale?

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