Struggling w/ Advice

An investor who is trying to help me get going in rei has suggested that I start out by puting deals together for local investors for a fee. He’s suggesting that I find properties and create a portfolio that would include CMA, photos, estimated repairs, etc. and charge $3,500 to do this. I’m having a hard time understanding how this would work. What other information would an investor want in this property portfolio?

To be honest, I’m having a hard time with this concept. I don’t really want to pass deals on to others. However, I have my first rei – a sfh rehab – for sale and it hasn’t sold yet. The advice I’m getting is to not purchase any more property until my first house sells.

Your thoughts on the advice I’ve been given would could be helpful.

I am a newbie as well, but I’ve done a few contract assignments, which is what it sounds like was suggested to you. Here’s what I do normally:

Once I get the seller under contract and submit it to my title company with escrow money, I contact all of the buyers on my buyers list, and I give them the specifics of the deal (no address). If they are interested, I tell them I will have an open house at a specific day and time, and I call them with the address one hour before the open house starts. I open it for 2 hours (I give the seller a $20 gift card to a resturant of their choice and send them away), and then I ask all sellers to submit their best offer to me before noon the following day. Whoever makes the best offer, I write up an assignment contract with that buyer, and submit it to my title company. This method usually yields a better assignment fee than if I would have asked for a specific amount myself. I typically get $3K to $6K depending on how good the deal is. This method also allows the buyers to evaluate any needed rehab/upgrades themselves so they know what they are up against.

Sending the seller away and giving the buyers a tight deadline for their offer will keep any “shady” buyers from trying to back door me with the seller, although most intelligent investors wouldn’t do a good wholesaler like that, because they want the return business.

I make it clear that all buyers must show proof of certified funds, deposit $500 in escrow, and be able to close in a few days. This will weed the “riff raff” out of your buyers list! (it reduced mine from about 30 to about 5!)



Wow, great advice. How did you go about building your buyer’s list. How long does it typically take to receive any money on an assignment?

There are several ways to build a buyers list:

1.) Join your local REI club…network every chance you get, and when other investors see your passion for finding deals, they will want to jump on your list as a buyer.

2.) Go to the foreclosure auctions for the counties in your area…approach people you see who are bidding on these properties and ask them if they are cash buyers; find out what areas they prefer, price ranges, etc…this is a good method.

3.) Local professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) make for good investors…make meetings with them and take time to explain to them what you do…you’d be surprised how many of them would love to invest!

As far as the assignment fee…if you do the deal the way I described, then you’ll get paid at closing when everyone else gets paid.

Good Luck!


What specifics do you give the prospective buyer? Do you talk about ARV and estimated costs of repairs?

Also, do you tell the sellers that you will assign the contract to another buyer? If not, what do you say to them to get them to go out to eat at a specific time? Thanks for your input!

Hi ItsMarcoz,

How did you learn how to fill out a contract? I run into deals but I have no clue as to how to fill out a contract to take control of the property for me to wholesale?

The other problem (and I’m sorry to keep posting this question everywhere) is getting a hold of a good California purchase contract AND an Equity Purchase Agreement for foreclosure situations.

If you compare Bcampbell and ItsMarcoz - as to what they are doing, it would be easier to do what Bcampbell is proposing. He just hands over his leads (birddogging) and gets paid basically the same money as ItsMarcoz.

actually, cherdwelth, it wouldn’t be easier.

a) because it’s going to be hard for bcampbell to get all of that info/pics/etc without having a contract on the property, as most sellers would frown upon someone going thru their house taking pics unless they already had some $$$ in the deal

b) that’s WAAAYYYY more work than a birddog should be doing. That’s exactly why there is so much confusion about it being legal or not. It would be very easy to get hit with brokering without a license is if you were supplying all that info to an investor. It’s time for these lazy investors to stop trying to get the birddog to do all the work!

c) that’s WAAAYYY more than a standard birddog fee in most cases (if you are actually acting as birddog). If bcampbell decides to do this, I say that he’ll find out that he’s putting alot of effort into something that nobody will buy.

IMO, I think that ItsMarcoz’s has developed one hell of a plan of moving wholesale properties quickly. Good Show, ItsMarcoz.


That may be true - I was just saying that the pay is almost the same. If I got a contract on a house and did all that work I’d want more than 3 - 6K.

Actually Bcambell could do everything except maybe get a repair budget without ever stepping foot on the property - he could take a photo of the outside, give his overall opinion of its outside condition, and get a CMA easy enough. I personally think the fee they say he can get is exaggerated, so he should really investigate that.

The problem I see with ItsMarcoz is the owners of the property feeling used. Unless, he tells them exactly what he’s doing up front. Many REI’s don’t.

Either way works for me.

I’d like to add a few comments to supplement the info provided here, and hope that it will prove insightful. Over the last 28 yrs I’ve been around and have engaged in a wide variety of real estate investments, have coached hundreds of successful investors, and have spent tens of thousands on attorney advice on nearly every conceivable aspect of real estate. I would like to offer some finer points of assigning contracts that many who have only been at it a few years, or who have repeated what the mainstream courses teach without their own due diligence into the validity or correctness of said methods, might find helpful…

  1. As has been clearly explained to me by a large number of attorneys, and by the chief council at my state’s real estate commission, when you are selling or assigning a contract you are NOT selling real estate. You are selling your RIGHTS to buy real estate under a given set of terms and conditions (and these rights are PERSONAL property, not REAL property). It is important that this distinction be realized, as if you begin selling something (the house for example) that you don’t own (the seller owns it) then you’re acting on behalf of the seller and are then, as I understand it, behaving as a broker, whether you intend to or not and in all the states I am aware of the practice of brokerage is tightly regulated and requires an active state issued real estate license (and with good reason I might add). Historically I’ve not seen very many people get tagged because of this but there is a growing trend in the US and practicing unlicensed brokerage can get you in trouble. In my state at least three investors, one who I know personally is as above board and sincere as anyone I’ve met, have been hit with cease and desist orders and charges that are costing them their life savings to defend against. Just understand what you’re selling, and respresent yourself accordingly to the investors you wish to sell your rights to and you’ll be much better off.

  2. As noted above, it is wise to use caution in how you present an opportunity. Having an open house for example is very similar to what agents do to sell real estate. Sometimes you may, unknowingly be presenting yourself as an agent would and that could lead to questions.

  3. Sellers can be nutty. Maybe you’ll run into a good run of sellers who have all the screws tightened down. But then you’ll get one that is a little different. I would strongly recommend that you be forthright with your sellers and GET IN WRITING your intent to open up a property THEY own and that you do NOT own for others to see it. I’ve met investors who’ve argued with me on such points, but after 20 or 30 deals and they get sued they wake up, though often its too late. Don’t ever do anything with a seller in a manner that might lead the seller to believe you’ve in any way tried to take advantage of them – and it goes without saying don’t ever try to take advantage of sellers. Think win-win and act accordingly.

  4. It is important to offer value in a transaction. If you truly understand how to properly evaluate a real estate investment and to negotiate deals that will work, and you understand how to package the deal for the investor who will end up closing the deal, then a rule of thumb I use is that in ALL cases your value is MORE than that of a typical agent. I am a licensed broker and understand what agents know and do, and I can tell you that most agents I’ve met have only minimal knowledge of how to truly evaluate a real estate property as an investment. For example, if an investment is on a $100K house an agent selling it might net 3% (a buyer agent would get 3% or whatever amount the market tends to pay in your area), so the agent gets $3000. If you put together a good investment deal on a similar house, and properly structure the contract and help the buying investor get a good investment that will offer solid yields that meet his or her criteria, you’d expect (at least I do) more than $3000. Now, that said, keep in mind that the one taking the MOST risk is the one ultimately buying the investment (if you’ve gotten your feet truly wet you’ll realize that not all investments pan out as predicted no matter how good you area). Therefore, the end buyer should realize greater yields by far than the wholesaler (at least that’s how I feel). If the deal doesn’t have enough in it for you to realize a solid return and still leave the end buyer with more than your share as a wholesaler then reconsider whether the deal is really solid or not.

  5. If all you’re doing is finding a deal and telling someone else about it, be careful as you’re referring it to someone and that too may fall under the law of agency – check with a local KNOWLEDGEABLE real estate attorney about this. There has been a good bit of talk I’ve sat in on in legal circles in my own state and about the only way a birddog can profit without, in the eyes of the legal circles here, stepping over the boundary of the real estate license law is to obtain a valid contract on the property, one which does not preclude assignment, and then sell the rights to that contract to a third party who then closes the deal. Caution is in order, as noted above, to not become a middleman brokering a deal between the original seller and the new buyer.

Note that I am NOT AN ATTORNEY nor do I represent myself to be one. If you’re getting heavy into birddogging or wholesaling please consult with a knowledgeable REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY to ensure your methods are correct and above board. Remember that attorneys tend to specialize so find a REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY. Also realize that not all attorneys are created equal. When it comes to legal or tax advice find the best advice you can.

Best of luck with your investing endeavors.


Ron gives some great advice here. It is important to disclose fully to the seller what your intentions are. I disclose everything I intend to to with the seller on each deal, so they will know everything EXCEPT the exact amount of my assignment fee. Will you lose a few deals due to this disclosure?..YES…but you will close more than you lose by being upfront and honest with the seller.

If you are effective in making the seller understand the ramifications of a foreclosure and/or a bankruptcy on their credit, then they will be less inclined to resist ANY actions you need to take to get their house sold quickly! All preforeclosure sellers are going to be in some state of denial, frustration, anger, and embarrasment…the key is to override those emotions with a clearly communicated fear of the inevitable…which is that the worst case is for them NOT to act!

My advice to any other newbie like me who is farming preforeclosures…learn the foreclosure process and Chapter 13 process from top to bottom, in and out…because the better you know it, the better you can communicate it to the seller. The reality is…by the time they call you or you find them, the situation will be:

1.) They won’t have enough time to sell the house themselves or through a realtor.
2.) Bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure sale, but it will not solve their problem…not only will they have to pay the agreed upon payment to satisfy the back payments and fees, but their regular mortgage payment, which they were already having difficulty paying, will resume. Make sure they understand that Bankruptcy means they will be paying MORE than they were before. I agree with Ron on this one too…consult a real estate attorney for better understanding.
3.) Their lender is likely highly ticked off by this time, and won’t really be agreeable to any arrangement that would prevent the foreclosure.

Drive this home, and your negotiations will be easier!

You might leave deals on the table until you do an effective job driving these points home…once you develop this skill, the deals will begin closing.

As far as contracts…find and REI club that teaches! My club has a class every month taught by our club president that teaches the TREC 20-7 contract from top to bottom. I believe the class cost a whopping $30. You can also check your local community college, but I recommend a investor based course, because they will show you things that are more specific to what you are doing. For example, they can show you how to word statements in certain sections that will allow you to escape out of a contract with all earnest money in tact in the event you cannot locate a buyer to flip the house to. These tricks remove much of the risk from the wholesaler.

I’m not sure where you should locate a good set of contracts for your state, buy the people in your local REI club will know and will be glad to tell you.

Good Luck!


Great posts ! Thanks.

Is it true that ski-in ski-out property is rarer than beach front property? Yes it is! With all of the doom and gloom about the crashing real estate market, it is hard to think about investing right now.

I want to make a clear distinction between residential real estate and 2nd home real estate.

Residential real estate is driven by every day people and the economy.

2nd Home real estate is driven by the Baby Boomer Market.

While the residential market is going down in a lot of areas, the 2nd home market is going up. Why? There are 19,000 baby boomers turning 55 or older daily in the U.S. alone! It is literally the largest transfer of wealth in history.

I have been around the block in investing and I have discovered a place that is in the stages of where Aspen or Vail was in the 1980’s. I have gotten a piece of this place and feel like it’s the next hottest thing. You can’t be in the bread and butter residential market right now in my opinion. You got to get in front in of the trends. That trend is precisely in the Baby Boomer market right now.

Park City is the place. If you are still skiing in Aspen or Vail you are wasting your time. Park City is 35 minutes from an international airport. You don’t find the lift lines. You have better snow. You have a shorter drive to actually be on the slopes. And the key, the place is UNDERVALUED. I find the prices to be about 1/2 of Aspen or Vail.

Until those prices catch up to Colorado prices, my feeling is that Park City is the place. If you’re curious, I’d be happy to fill you in a little more. I’d also like to hear of others out there who have had success in this market.

I am NOT saying that this can happen to you, but I do have a collogue that bought a home here in Park City 1 1/2 ago and it literally doubled in value. The home bought for $500,000 is now worth just over 1M. Things are not done here though. I have plenty of evidence to back it up and would be happy to get it to anyone who would like it.

Why am I sharing this with you? Simple: I am sick of seeing people get burned in “opportunities” that are totally topped out markets. I have been there myself. I want to help people get a little savvier.

Park City, UT

What if yoyu only live 1 hour to Aspen/Vail but 6-1/2 hours to Park City…?



are you in denver or closer? I have a friend in Denver who literally says it is faster for him to get on a direct flight to salt lake city and he is skiing within 45 minutes of the airport. he says that by the time he gets in the car and deals with traffic it takes 2+ hours to get to the CO resorts.


Western Slope…