How To Start Wholesaling Real Estate [Where to Begin]

Published on September 1, 2023


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How To Start Wholesaling Real Estate [Where to Begin]

Real estate is made out of many profitable niches. Among these, wholesaling is favored by many especially investing novices, since they don’t need a hefty capital, unlike in traditional real estate ventures. 

As the bridge between sellers with investors, wholesalers operate pretty fast since they don’t ever own the property. If this type of real estate deal intrigues you, then you're in the right place! 

This article will serve as your overall guide in wholesaling! Here, we listed the most comprehensive list of steps and strategies to kickstart your journey into wholesaling real estate.

What is Wholesaling in Real Estate?

What is Wholesaling in Real Estate?

Wholesaling in real estate refers to the process of entering into a contract to purchase a property and then assigning that contract to another buyer without taking ownership of the property yourself. 

In much simpler terms, a real estate wholesaler acts as the middleman between the property seller and the end buyer. The wholesaler doesn't get the title to the property.

Their main objective is to identify underpriced or distressed properties, negotiate a purchase price, and then quickly find a new buyer willing to pay a higher price. The difference between the negotiated purchase price and the sale price to the new buyer is the wholesaler's profit.

Real estate wholesaling is about identifying opportunities in the property market and capitalizing on short-term price differences that's why investors need to put the property under contract.

It's different from traditional real estate investing, where the investor might buy a property to rent out or to renovate and sell at a later date. Instead, wholesalers focus on quick transactions, aiming to earn a profit without investing significant capital or time into property improvements.

What is a Wholesale Real Estate Contract?

A wholesale real estate contract is a specialized legal document that establishes a binding agreement between a property owner (or seller) and a wholesaler. 

Here, the wholesaler secures the right to purchase a property with the intent to transfer this right to another party — typically an end buyer or investor — before the actual transaction is finalized.

Unlike traditional real estate purchase agreements, the wholesale contract is unique in its structure and intent. One of its distinguishing features is the inclusion of an assignment clause. 

This specific clause permits the wholesaler to "assign" or transfer their contractual rights to a buyer. 

This is crucial for the wholesaler because their primary goal isn’t to close on the property themselves. Instead, they aim to connect the seller with a suitable buyer and, in the process, earn a profit from the price difference established in the contract.

Pros and Cons of Wholesaling Real Estate

Like any investment strategy, real estate wholesaling comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Read this section to understand the pros and cons of real estate wholesaling, ensuring you make informed decisions in every deal.


Ideal for Novice Investors

Wholesaling is a suitable entry point for those new to the world of real estate investing. It allows beginners to learn the ropes, understand market dynamics, and build a network without the commitment of owning and managing properties. 

The processes involved, such as identifying potential deals, negotiating, and understanding contracts, provide invaluable experience for novice investors.

Less Risk

Wholesalers typically don't hold onto properties for extended periods, reducing the risks associated with market downturns, property depreciation, or issues with tenants. 

Since they're not purchasing the property outright but rather securing the rights to a contract, they're not as exposed to these typical real estate pitfalls.

Fast Closing

Wholesaling is about quickly turning contracts for profit. Unlike traditional real estate transactions that might take months, wholesaling can result in fast closings, often within weeks. This speed can be attractive for those looking for quicker financial returns.

Small to No Capital Needed

One of the significant advantages of wholesaling is the potential to start with limited funds. In many scenarios, a wholesaler might only need earnest money to secure a contract. 

This amount can be minimal, making it possible to get started in real estate without a substantial capital outlay.


Finding Properties to Wholesale Can Be Difficult

The wholesale business model relies on finding below-market-value properties to then sell the contracts for a profit. Identifying such deals, especially in competitive markets, can be challenging. Wholesalers need to be adept at marketing and networking to consistently find good opportunities.

Low Returns

While wholesaling can have faster returns than other real estate strategies, the profit margins might be slimmer. Instead of the potential appreciation and rental income of a buy-and-hold real estate investing strategy, wholesalers earn a one-time fee. Depending on the deal, this fee might be smaller than other forms of real estate investing.

The Wholesale Fee is Publicly Viewable

Depending on local regulations and the specifics of the transaction, the wholesale fee (or assignment fee) for real estate may be publicly recorded. 

This transparency can lead to questions or negotiations from buyers or sellers who see the fee and might have concerns about the deal's fairness or profitability.

Steps in Wholesaling Real Estate

Wholesaling real estate is a methodical process that, when done correctly, can yield significant returns. In this section, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of wholesaling to ensure your deals both strategic and profitable.

Step 1. Do Your Research

Embarking on a wholesaling real estate journey requires thorough research. Knowledge of the local real estate landscape is essential. This involves identifying whether you're in a buyer's or seller's market and which areas are budding investment hubs. Studying average property values and rental rates helps in making informed decisions. 

Note that this is not just about market dynamics. Being updated with local regulations, wholesaling laws, zoning laws, and potential legal pitfalls ensures that your deals are all legal. 

Also, aside from researching, don't underestimate the value of networking. Interactions with a local real estate agent, brokers, hard money lenders, and seasoned investors can offer golden nuggets of advice, potential leads, and a pulse on emerging real estate market trends.

Step 2. Find a Property and Make an Offer to the Seller

At the heart of wholesaling is the art of identifying and negotiating with motivated sellers. These are typically individuals or companies keen on selling their properties swiftly, often below market value. 

The reasons vary – from financial constraints, relocation, distressed properties, to potential foreclosures. But how do you find them? 

Successful wholesalers often employ several approaches. These strategies of real estate wholesaling involves direct mailers informing about a potential buyout, strategic 'bandit' signs in high-visibility areas, and digital campaigns targeting local property sellers. 

Platforms like Lead Vine and SEO for REI can be treasure troves of leads for those who are interested in real estate investing or those who wants to get into real estate wholesaling. But sometimes, it's as simple as driving around neighborhoods looking for signs of vacant or distressed properties, then reaching out directly. We’ll discuss more of this in a separate section.

Step 3. Make an Effort

The world of wholesaling isn't for the faint-hearted; it demands a lot of efforts. After identifying a potential property, you're tasked with understanding the seller's unique motivations and creating a pitch that aligns with their needs while ensuring a profitable margin for yourself. 

This can involve on-site property assessments, cost evaluations, and sometimes even professional inspections to gauge repair expenses. 

When it comes to the actual deal, your negotiation will be tested. A good wholesaler knows when to push when to pull back, and when to walk away from a deal. And once terms are agreed upon, attention to detail is crucial in drafting contracts, particularly in ensuring the clause to assign the deal to another buyer.

Step 4. Put the House Under Contract

To put the property under contract is an essential step when you invest in real estate wholesaling. This step means creating a formal agreement between you, the wholesaler, and the property's seller, detailing the terms of the purchase, including the negotiated price, potential contingencies, and the timeframe for sale. 

This document not only solidifies your intent to purchase (or your right to do so) but also provides a foundational basis for the next steps in the wholesaling process. This should also include the right to assign the contract to another party when you enter into a wholesale deal. The contract protects both parties' interests and outlines the consequences if either side go against the agreed terms. 

Ensuring this contract is transparent, comprehensive, and legally sound is important to prevent future complications and to ensure a successful assignment to the eventual buyer.

Step 5. Find a Buyer

With a property locked under contract, the next phase is to seek out a buyer, ideally one who's willing to pay a premium over your agreed purchasing price to ensure your profit. You need to market your contract to potential cash buyers because this will be the backbone of the entire wholesale real estate workflow.

The search for a buyer to reassign the contract in real estate involves many strategies. Wholesalers might tap into their network of real estate investors, advertise on platforms like Craigslist or local classifieds, or even use digital marketing techniques to target potential investors. 

It's crucial to present the property in a compelling manner, highlighting its potential returns or any other attractive attributes. Given the short window typically available (as per the contract terms with the original seller), efficiency and effectiveness in this step are key to a successful wholesaling deal.

Step 6. Assign the Contract

Assignment of the purchase contract is the core of the wholesaling real estate business model. This phase involves formally transferring your rights as the buyer to a third party, typically for a defined fee. 

Essentially, you're selling the right to purchase the property under the terms you've previously negotiated with the seller. 

To achieve this, an "Assignment Agreement" is drafted detailing the terms of the original contract and the added fee that the third party agrees to pay for obtaining these rights. 

The completion of this step allows the new buyer to proceed directly with the purchase and sale agreement, streamlining the wholesaling experience.

Step 7. Get Your Wholesale Fee

This step represents the end of the wholesaler's efforts and is, for many, the most gratifying part of the process. 

Upon successful closing of the wholesale real estate transaction between the new buyer and the original seller, the wholesaler receives their designated wholesale fee. This fee is the difference between the price initially set with the seller and the price at which the assignment contract was assigned to the buyer. 

Receiving this fee not only represents the profit from the deal but also signifies a successful process of connecting a motivated seller with an eager buyer. 

Payment terms can vary; some wholesalers might receive their fees at the time of the contract assignment, while others get paid at the property's actual closing. Either way, clarity in documentation and agreement terms is vital to ensure timely and accurate compensation.

How to Find Properties to Wholesale

Wholesaling properties is a profitable venture for those who know where to look. In this section, we'll delve into proven strategies and tips to identify good properties for wholesaling. This is a perfect guide for beginners who want to learn how to start wholesaling but have difficulty finding leads.

1. Property Leads

Property Leads is a great source of wholesaling leads due to its unique pay-per-lead platform leveraging SEO, resulting in the highest conversion of motivated seller leads. Their SEO-driven leads offer unmatched profit per deal and conversion rates. 

Their exclusive lead offerings minimize investor competition, while their home seller websites retain sellers, amplifying conversion chances.

2. LeadVine

LeadVine is the top wholesaling lead source due to its unparalleled data accuracy, comprehensiveness, and niche filtering. Catering specifically to real estate investors and professionals, its unique manual data process ensures precision. 

Specialized data on Deceased Property Owners, Probates, and Divorces provides investors with prime investment opportunities.

3. SEO Meets REI

SEO MEETS REI is another great lead source for real estate investors due to its deep SEO expertise and tailored approach. Specializing exclusively in the real estate industry, they understand the investor challenges in the digital real estate investing niche. 

With seven "We buy houses" websites, they generate over a thousand SEO leads monthly, predominantly from motivated sellers.

4. Drive for Dollars

"Drive for Dollars" is a hands-on strategy where wholesalers personally drive around neighborhoods, scouting for properties that appear vacant, distressed, or in need of repair. The signs can be as common as boarded-up windows or an overgrown lawn. 

Once potential properties are identified, wholesalers then research ownership and reach out directly to offer their services, aiming to secure deals listed below market value.

5. Auctions

Real estate auctions, both online and in-person, present a prime opportunity to find properties at below-market prices. Often, these are foreclosures or properties seized due to unpaid taxes. 

Wholesalers can bid on these properties and, if successful, put them under contract. It's essential, however, to research the property beforehand to ensure it offers viable profit potential when wholesaled.

6. Real Estate Attorneys

Networking with real estate attorneys can be a goldmine for wholesalers. These attorneys often deal with estates, divorces, or distressed properties and can provide leads on potential deals before they hit the open market. 

Building a rapport with such professionals can mean exclusive access to opportunities that others might not be aware of.

7. Direct Mail

A tried-and-true method, direct mail involves sending personalized letters or postcards to targeted homeowners, offering to purchase their property. By focusing on specific demographics, such as long-term homeowners or those in pre-foreclosure, wholesalers can directly reach motivated sellers. 

Although it requires an upfront investment, a well-crafted direct mail campaign can yield a high return in potential leads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need a License to Wholesale Real Estate?

Whether or not you need a license to wholesale real estate largely depends on the state you are in. In many places, you do not technically need a real estate license to wholesale properties. 

However, some states have regulations and laws that make it difficult to wholesale without a license. It's important to check with local regulations and potentially consult with a local real estate attorney to ensure compliance.

Is Wholesaling Legal?

The legality of wholesaling can vary by state. The core concept of wholesaling houses is to get a property under contract and then assign or sell that contract to another buyer for a fee. 

Some states have stricter rules about how this process should be carried out, often in an effort to prevent scammers or to ensure that both buyers and sellers are protected. That said, wholesalers start with their transactions by first consulting the law.

What is Virtual Wholesaling? (Wholesaling Real Estate vs Virtual Wholesaling)

Virtual wholesaling is the process of wholesaling real estate without physically being in the location of the property. This method leverages technology, online tools, and remote communication to find, analyze, and secure properties. 

Just like traditional wholesaling, the wholesaler's goal is to get a property under contract and then assign or sell that contract to another buyer. The primary difference is that all operations, from finding deals to closing, occur remotely.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Wholesaling Real Estate?

The initial investment for getting started in real estate wholesaling can be relatively modest, especially when compared to other real estate investment strategies. In fact, in some cases, you can enter the world of real estate with no money or you may be able to get discounts.

One of the primary expenses of real estate for beginners is marketing. To find motivated sellers to start investing in real estate, you might need to invest in direct mail campaigns, online advertising, or other marketing channels.

Other potential expense includes earnest money deposits, operational costs, expenses related to education or coaching (if you are new to wholesaling), fees for setting up a formal business entity, like an LLC.

How Much Money Will You Make Wholesaling?

The profit from a single wholesale deal can vary widely based on factors like the property's location, the deal's specifics, and the wholesaler's negotiation skills. Some wholesalers might make a few thousand dollars on a deal, while others might make tens of thousands of dollars or more. 

It's also worth noting that the frequency of deals can vary. A wholesaler might do a few deals a year or several deals a month. As with any business, the profit potential depends on effort, expertise, and market conditions.

Final Thoughts: How To Start Wholesaling Real Estate (A Guide on How to Get Deals)

Starting in wholesaling real estate offers a simple way to the world of property investment, requiring minimal capital and posing less risk compared to other strategies. However, its success depends on researching and patiently identifying motivated sellers. 

Whether you're a novice seeking a starting point or an experienced investor looking to diversify your portfolio, wholesaling offers a unique, fast-paced, and rewarding venture. As with any business, the more you grow in knowledge, the greater the returns.

Ready to make your first wholesale deal? Check us out at Property Leads. We offer highly motivated seller leads generated from SEO. Our leads are exclusively sold to ensure great deals for you!

Fill out the form below to start getting motivated seller leads for your wholesaling business!


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