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 Yahoo.com, 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 Dexonline.com 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.
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…