You probably already know that Tarek and I were real estate agents before we started flipping houses. Because we already had our real estate licenses, we had a headstart on a lot of house flippers. Since we already know the business, we can act as our own realtors on all of our flips, which saves us money and increases our profits. We know that becoming a licensed realtor takes a pretty big time commitment, and it’s a financial commitment, too. So whenever someone in one of our seminars asks me, “Can you make money in real estate without a license?” my answer is always yes, especially if you just want to earn extra cash with your flips instead of becoming a full-time flipper.
Partner with a Great Real Estate Agent
One of the biggest advantages to having a real estate license is getting access to the MLS (multiple listing service). If you don’t have the time or money to get a license right now, I recommend partnering with a really great real estate agent who has experience with buying and selling flip properties. Depending on your needs and your realtor’s specialties, you may actually end up working with two agents—a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent.
Your buyer’s agent is going to have full access to the MLS, and they can be on the lookout for promising listed flip properties for you. Then, when you’ve bought and rehabbed a property, your seller’s agent will go to work to sell it at a good price. Yes, you’ll have a slightly lower margin when you buy and sell flip houses, but you’ll also have experts on your side who can help you find great leads and sell your finished properties faster.
Remember That Not All Properties Are Listed
Another thing to remember is that not all distressed houses are going to be listed for sale on the MLS. Through public records, you can find everything you need to know about the foreclosure properties that are set to be auctioned in your area each month. Furthermore, if you take the time to drive through the neighborhoods where you want to flip houses, you’re likely to find distressed properties and motivated sellers.
You can find out where the owners of those properties live by looking up the property addresses in public tax records. Then you can get in touch with them and offer to buy their houses from them at a reasonable rate to get them out of debt and out from under the burden of a distressed property.
Get to Know Some Wholesalers
Wholesalers can also help you get great leads on properties. When you network with one or more wholesalers in your area, you can call them up and ask them if they have any contracts on properties in your price range for sale right now. If they have a property that works for you, then they make a profit while you get a great deal on a flip house. Everyone wins, and they’ll be more likely to call you the next time they have a lucrative contract for sale. Building relationships with wholesalers in your area can be hugely helpful in making a profit as a flipper without a real estate license.
So, can you make money in real estate without a license? Absolutely. And, honestly, if you want to earn extra cash and keep house flipping as a part-time project, I really don’t think you need to go through everything involved in getting a real estate license. If you’re going to make it your main source of income, though, you should probably look into getting licensed.