Birddogging in Michigan - Is it legal?

Hello everyone!!

I am a newbie to REI and excited to be a member of this forum. I’m looking forward to learning a lot from all of you!

My plan of action is to start out as a bird dog, generating leads for investors. This will enable me to learn the business by working with seasoned investors, and, hopefully, to find a good mentor who will help me advance in my career. I already purchased Barry Grimes’ “Jobber 101”, and found it to be extremely helpful and informative.

I then plan to graduate to wholesaling SFH with the final goal of buying and selling SFH and rehabbing them for the retail market and for rental property.

My question is…I have noticed some talk on the forum in regards to the legality of birddogging without an RE license. Does anyone know the law in Michigan? Also, should a newbie, such as myself, contemplate getting an RE license?

Thank You!!

Check with the State licensing agency.,1607,7-154-35299_35414_35475-114980--,00.html

Looks like Bird Dogs may require a license.


Glad to meet you.

The local Real Estate Boards impose regulation relevant to the distribution or aid in distribution of a homestead with the intent to protect the consumer (and in some rare cases monopolize the marketplace).

Whether or not this legislation is put into place in a criminal or a civil context, it does appear fairly evident that the enforcement of this legislation would be limited to that of:

a) When a consumer is being blind-sided (ie: you are acting on his or her behalf without proper licensing and steering him/her wrong)

b) You are continuously taking a “fee” for selling real estate.

If you are working with an investor, and you are paid by the investor, who has experience in real estate transactions, and you are not party to that transaction (ie: a consultant) you should, (this is not to be construed as legal advice) be ok, for the following reasons:

  1. You are taking a fee for selling information, not real estate (nobody can prevent you from charging $5.00 to tell him or her were the nearest gas station is, or where the nearest “deal” is)

  2. Even if legislation was in place to protect the consumer, you have conducted no harm to the consumer…so in a semi-perfect world, you can indeed pay for a lead on a house!

I think it is important to know, most investors are opposed to the local Real Estate Boards attempting to corner the market on Buying/Selling properties, I am certainly of the opinion that the local Boards would like to see no investors/creative RE at all so that they can continue to take a small chunk out of every property sold and have the properties sold according to their “rules & regulations”.

There is also such a thing as a simple Partnership Agreement, thereby making you and the investor principals in the transaction. The Bird Dog is bought out of the Partnership by the investor, thereby violating no State Statute.

John $Cash$ Locke

Wow John. As much as I see this question posted, you must be doing a lot of copying and pasting. :biggrin

Thanks for being there for us noobs.


Glad to meet you.

You are certainly welcome.

My answer was not a cut & paste to your post. :biggrin

John $Cash$ Locke

LOL! Hey Streamline, its just De Ja Vu!


Glad to meet you.

Sometimes it is not easy “remembering the future.” However, in the case of those asking if Bird Dogging is legal, I have it down pat.

John $Cash$ Locke

Nice to meet you also. Well then I must say I am very impressed. I guess thats why you have been very successful. No disrespect meant by the way.


None taken, just thought a little levity on the board might be good for a change.

Fortunately I spent time in the Marine Corps where I was taught to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome, so when I hear about all the problems in he industry today in post after post, I like to go back to what I was taught and make money in the current market conditions.

John $Cash$ Locke

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

Looks like the postings went somewhat off course. Your best bet is to contact the Michigan Licensing Agency. Some people get them mixed up with the Realtor’s. The Realtor’s are the trade association but the State agency is the one who enforces the laws.

If you do contact them as a help to others would you mind posting what they told you?

Selling information is one thing but when payment is contingent on the sale or transfer of a specific piece of property that is when it gets messy.