To compensate a bird dog

Is it legal in NYC to compensate a bird dog that is not a licensed rea?

enyone ::slight_smile:

Why wouldn’t it be??? It is not illegal to sell information.

As long as they are not acting as real estate agents it should be fine.

Bird dogs don’t sell real estate, they sell the informational lead…


In some states, such as MD, wholesalling IS illegal by the books. This has been verified. Ofcourse, there are ways around it, i beleive you have to enter a joint venture with the rehabber or something like that to show that you have a ‘vested intrest’ in the property.

The best thing for you to do is contact an RE attourney and simply ask them if it is or not in NYC.

Hope that helps!

The question wasn’t about wholesaling, it was about bird dogging…NOT the same thing!



Whats the diffrence between a Bird Dog and a wholesaler?

Do bird dogs deal with assignment contracts and do they receive “finders fees” ?

RE Bird Dogs do just what real bird dogs do…they point out the birds (e.g., the RE deals)

Wholesalers buy low and sell higher to rehabbers, etc. This involves getting the contracts and either assigning them or actually closing and reselling (or doing simultaneous closings)


In some states, such as MD, wholesalling IS illegal by the books. This has been verified.
That is absolutely false. Assigning a contract is not illegal in MD or any other state that I am aware of.

Bird dog- Sells information about a property

Wholesaler- Assigns a contract to a retailer

xDennis you seem to be full of a lot of incorrect information.

I was under the assumption that a “bird dog” was a “wholesaler” , a Birddog is just like a head hunter who may earn 500-1000 for point out the Property pending the close.

As far as wholesaling being illegal in MD, please refer to this post:,103157,103157#msg-103157

I may be using/understanding the term “bird dog” incorrectly causing me to see it another way.

There are a few flaws I found reading those posts. Ofcourse these are all just posts about what people have heard and so on.

-One said something about “practicing real estate without a license” well the the MD RE commission provides issues licenses - Salesperson, Broker, and Associate Broker. Which one of those is a bird dog?

-The members of that forum seem to have a vague understanding of the difference of a bird dog and wholesaler as well. Which now shines some light on your misunderstandings.

I would have to say that an investor “practices real estate” more so than a bird dog who sells information. I pay “bird dog” fees to people who find me properties, people who find me motivated sellers, and people who find me qualified buyers. I currently use several police officers in MD as bird dogs. Ofcourse I wouldn’t expect them to know every law especially those pertaining to RE but it shows how ridiculous those claims are.

Paying a bird dog is paying a finders fee/ referral fee. They are not acting as agents (representatives) for a buyer or seller. They say “Hey there’s a property located at 555 Nowhere RD. that looks vacant”. They take zero part in the transaction of RE.

If you ask any licensed RE professionl about wholeslaing, bird odggin, etc. most times they will try to tell you that it is illegal…it’s turf protection.

In the purest sense of the term, a bird dog is only selling the informational lead…not property. He’s just pointing the property out to the investor.

The assumption that a bird dog and a wholesaler are the same thing is not correct.


This is a fine line and it seems everyone walks it.

Here’s the break down to making it legal as best as I can describe.

You really cannot tie compensation to a specific property if you do not have it under contract. That seems to be the most mis-understood part of “selling leads”. In Realtor parlance it’s called “procuring cause”.

You have to sell general generic leads(and lots of them probably to equal what one “$500.00” finders fee would be.)

You can’t say I have this vacant property and sell that one “lead” and then be paid on it. And to complicate things more buyers usually only pay if the deal closes - definitely illegal as they would be paying “on a specific property”. Heck Realtors can’t even give someone flowers that refer them a deal. They would be breaking the law.

You must be in the business of selling leads period. Generic unqualified leads for a flat price and if this were ever tested

(which BTW I’ve never heard of it being tested so that good) I’m sure you would have to have payments and receipts for lots of leads a a period of time.

Not just three large payments tied three different houses.

My advice is move rapidly to true wholesaling where you have a contract to sell.

Be well,