What is a Wholesale Contract in Real Estate?

What is a Wholesale Contract in Real Estate?

A wholesale contract is a strategy used by investors to facilitate the purchase and sale of properties without actually buying them outright. In a wholesale transaction, the wholesaler acts as an intermediary between the property seller and the end buyer. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Finding a Property: The wholesaler identifies a property that is often distressed, undervalued, or owned by a motivated seller looking to sell quickly.
  2. Signing a Purchase Agreement: The wholesaler negotiates a purchase contract with the property owner, securing the right to purchase the property at a specified price. This contract usually includes an "assignable" clause, allowing the wholesaler to transfer their interest in the contract to another buyer.
  3. Finding an End Buyer: The wholesaler then seeks out an end buyer, typically a real estate investor or flipper, who is willing to purchase the property for a higher price than the wholesaler agreed to pay.
  4. Assigning the Contract: Once the end buyer is found, the wholesaler assigns the purchase contract to them. The end buyer agrees to pay the original contract price plus a fee to the wholesaler for facilitating the deal.
  5. Closing the Deal: The end buyer closes on the property directly with the original seller. The wholesaler collects their assignment fee, which is the difference between the contract price with the seller and the price paid by the end buyer.

What to Know About Wholesale Contracts

  • Assignment Fee: This is the profit the wholesaler makes on the deal, typically the difference between the contracted purchase price and the price at which they sell the contract to the end buyer.
  • No Ownership Transfer: The wholesaler does not take ownership of the property. They are simply selling their right to purchase the property.
  • Risk and Reward: Wholesaling can be a low-risk way to get into real estate investing because it requires little capital upfront, but it also requires the ability to find good deals and willing buyers.
  • Legal Considerations: It is essential that the wholesale contract is legally binding and includes clauses that allow for assignment. Wholesalers should also be aware of local regulations and ensure they are compliant with real estate laws to avoid any legal issues.

To summarize, a wholesale contract in real estate is an agreement where a wholesaler secures the right to purchase a property at a set price, then assigns this contract to an end buyer for a higher price, earning a profit without actually taking ownership of the property.

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