Ok, I’m a newbie in REI and I have a few questions. Needless to say I’'m interested in bird-dogging and right now it’s really my only concern. However, I’m having the most difficult time getting started.

It’s not the marking issues or even locating properties (yet). I’m having problems putting together my team of title companies and mortgagers. Evey time I call a title company here in Detroit and ask them if they do double escrow or collapsed closings no one ever knows what I’m talking about and when I finally tell them they say no. Finding a mortgage broker shouldn’t be that big of a deal if I can get over this hump. Any suggestings?

If, as you say, you are “interested in bird-dogging and right now it’s really my only concern”, then why do you need a closing company and/or mortagers?

Either I don’t fully understand your post or you don’t fully understand birdogging, or both!


If you are bird dogging, the investor will take care of that, but it is still good to have connections. I’d keep checking around. It is highly unlikely that there isn’t some good title company out there who is not willing to do a double closing. If there isn’t, Find someone open whom you can train to do it.

Double closings are now essential under many conditions. You don’t want a company that ignorant of this process. Those who know how to do this are creative and progressive. Don’t stop until you find one. It is worth the search.

Carol B.

Well kdhastedt, it is my only concern however from what I’ve read - you want to be in control of the whole situation. Everything from having a title company to ar mortgage company. Why? Well simple:

  1. There’s nothing like working with your own people. Who knows what type of profit or better deal can be negotiated.

  2. Sometimes people work on deals and end up spending time working on that deal only to find out that the title isn’t clear.

Now don’t get me wrong, all of this I don’t know for myself since I’m just starting out however, I’ve read these things in various bird dogging and wholesaling forums. Let me know if you would do things differently and why.


Who advised you to waste your time on irrelevencies?

Birddogging is finding potential deals and passing their basic info to investors who check them out, write them up, sign docs at title, and pay you finder fees if they actually close on the purchases.

If you’re a birddog, your team is THEM. And nobody else. All the other participants are theirs. You won’t need anyone else until you’re a wholesaler (negotiating, writing, and selling the contracts yourself), and even then you may need only the investors and a title company. That’s all I use, anyway.

Bring your investors a deal or two while you’re a birddog, and you’ll find out who their title company is. If you were in Phoenix birddogging for me, I’d turn you onto mine–as soon as I thought you wouldn’t waste their time pestering them about techniques you don’t need. I hooked up with them when investors I birddogged for taught me how to write up the contracts myself so I could nail down potential sellers on the spot. You have to specify a title company on the contract, so guess what: I have had a title company in my own corner for nearly a year now. I earned my way into knowing them and I’ve run about a half dozen deals through their doors. It can work the same for you.

If you want to hunt down services, your best bets right now are the services you need right now. A way to access your County Assessor’s property information. A way to access your County Recorder’s public records. A phone number locator. A comping service. A list of foreclosures in your area.

And the investors. You can find them on billboards.


Ahh, ok PR1ME evidently I’m suffering from too much reading! ;D
It appears I have things mixed up. I was looking into both bird dogging and wholesaling. I must have got the misconception that they were the same. Anyway, I think I understand now.

So you would suggest that I start bird dogging first and learn that side first before attempting to wholesale (even though I have been doing a ton of studying on filling out the needed paperwork for wholesaling)?

Yes, too much reading. Definitely.

And on top of that, you’re reading things that you don’t yet understand the relevence of. (Been there and done that myself.)

Yet another example of this: why are you worried about the wholesaling paperwork?

Once you know what birddogging and wholesaling are, and that they are something you want to do, then you have by definition decided that your job is to FIND DEALS.

Figure out where they are hiding, get out and look for them, and learn how to distinguish them from all the time-wasters around them.

To do that, you need the things I mentioned: a foreclosure list (or neighborhood with vacancies, or something), access to the Assessor and Recorder files so you can research properties you see, a comping service so you can see what they might be worth after repair, a phone number locator so you can call the owners and see if they are willing to sell, and investors to bring the information to if the owners say “yes”.

People experienced in the industry could possibly start off as wholesalers because they already have a framework of knowledge.

It sounds like you don’t. (Nor did I.)

So you couldn’t possibly start off as a wholesaler if you don’t have these other things in place and the knowledge to go with them. Even if you got insanely lucky and stumbled onto a wholesale deal and the Contract Fairy popped out of thin air to write it up for you and the Assignment Fairy conjured up an assignment form and an investor and the Title Fairy waived her wand and closed for you–you still wouldn’t have a clue what was happening or why. You wouldn’t be able to duplicate it with any reliability. It wouldn’t even count as experience, because you wouldn’t have the necessary experience to understand the experience you just experienced.

Yeah, I certainly recommend you start off as a birddog. Buy a 3x5 ringbinder. Buy a pen that slides into the ring. Slide it into the ring. Put the ringbinder in your back pocket right next to your cellphone. Walk or bike through your neighborhood and find a few vacancies. Jot down their addresses and basic condition. Tell the neighbors you might want to buy it, and ask what they can tell you about it and about reaching the owner. Take notes.

Look for For Sale signs or For Sale By Owner (FSBO) signs on similar houses nearby.

“Hi. What are you asking for the place on Easier Street?” “Ok, I’ll think about that. Thanks.” Take notes.

If there are no signs, go to, find their comp engine that I forget the name of, type in the address. Take notes. Go to the Assessor to verify the owner name. Go to and get the owner’s phone number.

“Hi. I’m not a Realtor or anything, but I know some people who might want to buy your place on Easy Street. Are you interested in selling?”

“Well, do you know of anyone else around there with property they’d like to sell?”
“Ok. When is a good time for me to call you back and set up a phone introduction or something?”

Now go outside. Look up.

See the billboard. Call the investor.

“I’m brand new to investing and I want to start off as a birddog. I looked at some vacant properties today in the Easy neighborhood and one of the owners just told me that she would like to sell. I didn’t negotiate anything because I only have 6 hours experience. If you promise to pay me a birddog fee if you buy this thing, I’ll give you the owner’s name and address. And if you’ll train me, I’ll find more and they’ll get better.”

I’ve advised newbie wholesalers to never give out name/addresses, but that’s for newbie WHOLESALERS who seem confident they can write a contract but don’t already know some buyers. (They may already be industry people, but just not investors.) The instant you can write contracts, do it. Until then, you don’t have much choice. You’re going to have to trust somebody. It’s very unlikely they will cut you out, especially if your first call to them shows you’ve already taken some initiative and found a willing seller of a vacant house. Maybe it’s a good deal, maybe not. But it’s a great situation. It means you will be bringing them real deals as soon as you know how to judge them, and they know it, and won’t want to alienate you.

If they want birddogs, they’ll train you how to be a good one for them. Maybe more, but certainly no less. Don’t ask for more. They’ll keep you busy just learning and birddogging for a while. Eventually they may train you how to write contracts, and may want a right of first refusal on anything you sign up for the next year. That’s fair. Agree to it. Abide by it.

Now. Those books you’re reading? Consider them to be reference materials at best. And you don’t read a reference book. You let it gather dust until you need a specific thing from it for a specific reason. Then you put it away again. Seriously.

Good luck.

HOT DAMN, this is a long post! Sorry. Hope it helps. But now I’m off to keep trying to find forum-acceptable ways to recruit my own birddogs here in Phoenix. Where they’ll actually do me some good…

This was my point…I thought maybe you had confused bird dogging with wholesaling!