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The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 The Shrinking Middle Class in America 1 How I Got Started Investing in Real Estate 3 Why We Decided to Start Wholesaling 4 Set Skepticism Aside It Will Hold You Back 5 Is This Book for You? 6 The Catalyst to a Better Life 7 1 Wholesaling Overview: What s in It for You? 9 The Benefits of Learning How to Wholesale Real Estate 9 Conclusion 13 2 Getting to Know Your Local Real Estate Market 15 The Importance of Gaining Intimate Local Market Knowledge 15 Step 1: Gain an Understanding of Local Market Metrics 16 Step 2: Get to Know Price Points of Properties by Neighborhood 17 Step 3: Understand Zoning Laws within the Market 18 Step 4: Study Your Competition 19 Step 5: Identify Key Real Estate Professionals in the Market 19 Set Your Focus 20 Conclusion 20 3 Establishing Your Marketing Presence 21 Foundational Marketing Materials 21 Business Cards 22 Seller Credibility Packet 22 Buyer Credibility Packet 23 Private Money Credibility Packet 23 Core Website 24 Facebook Page for Your Business 25 Easy-to-Remember Phone Number 25 Memorable Business Name 26 Logo and Business Color Schemes 26 Conclusion 26 4 Understanding the Pre-Foreclosure Process 27 Definition of Foreclosure and How to Learn Your State s Process 27 Types of Foreclosure 28 Buying Properties from People in Foreclosure 32 Conclusion 33 5 Finding Pre-Foreclosure Properties 37 Finding Recent Pre-foreclosure Property Filings 37 Conclusion 40 6 Finding Wholesale Deals Utilizing Direct Mail Campaigns 41 Step 1: Find the Best List 42 Step 2: Decide How Many Times You Will Mail the Prospect 44 Step 3: Create a Spreadsheet to Track Your Mailings 44 Step 4: Determine What Types of Direct Mail Pieces You Will Use 45 Step 5: Craft a Compelling Message 46 Step 6: Choose Postage 48 Step 7: Set Up Your Inbound System 49 Step 8: Fulfill Your Campaigns 49 Step 9: Note Response Rates 50 Conclusion 50 7 Finding Deals on the Multiple Listing Service 53 The MLS Offer System 53 Outsource Steps within the System 56 Conclusion 57 8 Finding Deals Utilizing Craigslist 59 Searching for Properties under the Real Estate for Sale Section 59 Searching for Properties by Keyword 60 Contacting Landlords Who Are Renting Properties 60 Contacting People Having Estate Sales 61 Creating Advertisements that Get People to Contact You 61 Creating a Compelling Ad Title/Headline 61 Using Symbols to Make Your Title/Headline Stand Out 62 What the Body of Your Advertisement Should Communicate 62 Conclusion 64 9 Other Killer Ways to Find Profitable Real Estate Deals 65 Purchasing Internet Leads 65 Questions to Ask about Purchasing Internet Leads 66 Facebook 67 Facebook Ads 67 Other Real Estate Professionals and Investors 68 Door Hangers 69 Bus Bench Advertising 69 Banners 69 Vehicle Wraps 70 Car Magnets 70 Billboards 71 Television Advertising 72 Conclusion 72 10 Overview of How to Value Real Estate 73 The Cost Approach 73 The Income Approach 74 The Sales Comparison Approach 74 A Word of Caution 75 Always Determine the Highest and Best Use of the Property 75 Your Goal as a Wholesaler When Making Offers 76 Conclusion 76 11 Deal Evaluation System Stage 1: Gathering Information 77 Vital Information to Gather in Stage 1 78 Recommended Tools to Gather and Track Information 82 Conclusion 84 12 Deal Evaluation System Stage 2: The Desktop Evaluation 85 Step 1: Confirm the Property Details by Reviewing the Property Card 85 Step 2: Pull the Listing Sheet If the Property Is Listed with an Agent 86 Step 3: Understand What You Are Trying to Determine with the Sales Comparison Approach 87 Step 4: Find the Best Comparables Using the Multiple Listing Service 87 Step 5: Look for Off-Market Comparables 89 Step 6: Analyze the Sold Comparables to Determine Whether the Property Is Worth Visiting 90 Step 7: Classify Your Leads 90 Step 8: Prepare Your Comparable Package 91 Step 9: Prepare Your Buying Appointment Package 92 Conclusion 93 13 Deal Evaluation System Stage 3: The Property Visit 95 Filling Out the Comparable Sales Adjustment Grid 96 Performing Drive-by Inspections of the Subject Property and Comparables 96 Examining Comparables that Are Active and on Deposit 98 Making Adjustments 99 Calculating Adjustments 103 Conclusion 103 14 Estimating Repairs on Properties 105 Repair Cost Is a Critical Number You Need to Make the Right Offer 106 Our System to Estimate Repairs 106 Exterior Repairs 107 Interior Repairs 111 Mechanicals 116 Other 117 Things That Can Greatly Enhance the Value of a Property 119 Conclusion 122 15 Negotiating and Making Offers to Sellers 123 Negotiate with Confidence 124 Step 1: Uncover the Seller s True Needs and Desires 124 Step 2: Research the Seller or Agent You re Negotiating With 125 Step 3: Know What You Are Offering before Meeting with the Seller 126 Step 4: Walk through the Property 126 Step 5: Build Rapport and Dive Deeper into the Seller s Motivating Factors 127 Step 6: Explain How You Can Help the Seller 129 Step 7: Frame Your Offer 130 Step 8: Handle Objections Effectively 130 Step 9: Sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement 132 Conclusion 132 16 Understanding Purchase and Sale Agreements 133 Parties Involved 133 Description of Real Estate 134 Personal Property Included in the Sale Price 134 Purchase Price and Financing 135 Where Deposits Are Held 135 Financing Contingency 135 Condition of Premises 136 Inspection Contingencies 136 Statement Regarding Lead-Based Paint 136 Occupancy, Possession, and Closing Date 136 Deed Type 137 Marketable Title 137 Adjustments 137 Buyer s Default Clause 137 Seller s Default Clause 137 Risk of Loss and Damage 137 Addendums 138 Broker/Agent Fees 138 Time to Accept 138 Conclusion 138 17 How to Get the Money for Your Wholesale Deals 139 Conclusion 140 18 Working with Private Lenders 141 What Exactly Is Private Money ? 142 How Is the Lender Protected? 142 Turning People into Private Money Lenders 143 Finding Existing Private Money Lenders 143 Can You Openly Advertise for Private Money Lenders? 144 Meeting with the Lender for the First Time 144 Conclusion 145 19 Working with Transactional Lenders and Hard-Money Lenders 147 What Is Transactional Funding? 148 Hard-Money Lending 149 When You Will Use a Hard-Money Lender in Wholesaling 149 Know the Terms 150 Qualifying for a Hard-Money Loan 150 Locating Hard-Money and Transactional Lenders 151 Conclusion 152 20 Building a Trophy Database of Buyers 153 How You Can Leverage a Database 154 You Must Have Software to Build a Trophy Database 155 Conclusion 155 21 Networking to Find Buyers 159 Strategic Networking Opportunities 159 Networking with Other Real Estate Professionals 162 How to Build Relationships and Stand Out from the Crowd 165 Conclusion 166 22 Direct Response Marketing Strategies to Find Buyers 167 Craigslist, Backpage, and Other Online-Classified-Ad Websites 168 Facebook Real Estate Groups 169 Company Website 169 Lead-Generation Pages (Squeeze Pages) 170 Penny Saver Newspapers 170 Reaching Out to Your Competition 170 Cash Buyers 171 Conclusion 172 23 Marketing Your Wholesale Deal 175 Make Sure Your Trophy Database Is Organized 175 Assemble the Critical Information into a Wholesale Deal Marketing Package 176 Call Your Most Serious Buyers First 176 E-mail Blasts 177 Text Blasting 177 Voice Broadcasting 178 What If You Have a Deal to Sell but Don t Have a Buyers List? 178 Conclusion 179 24 Classifying, Prescreening, and Communicating with Buyers 181 Classify Buyers within Your Trophy Database 181 The Importance of Prescreening Buyers 182 What to Do When Buyers Contact You 183 What You Need to Know about a Buyer 183 Communicating Properly and Training Your Wholesale Buyers 184 Conclusion 185 25 Working and Negotiating with Buyers 187 Know the Comparable Sales in the Area 187 Have an Accurate Repair Cost 188 Create a Sense of Urgency 189 Common Negotiating Techniques Buyers Use 189 What if the Buyer Thinks You re Making Too Much? 190 Confirm Funding 190 Case Study 191 Conclusion 192 26 How You Profit: Selling a Contract 193 What Does It Mean to Sell a Contract ? 193 Completing the Assignment of Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement 194 How Do You Get Paid? 195 Coordinating the Closing 195 Common Questions 196 Which Is the Better Exit Strategy: Selling a Contract or Double Closing? 196 Common Misconceptions about Wholesaling 197 Conclusion 197 27 How You Profit: Double Closing 201 What Is a Double Closing? 201 Signing the First Purchase and Sale Agreement on the A-B Transaction 202 Signing the Second Purchase and Sale Agreement on the B-C Transaction 203 Know How the Buyer in the B-C Transaction Is Planning on Funding the Deal before You Sign a Second Purchase and Sale Agreement 204 What Else to Look for from Your C Buyer 205 Don t Pass Funding Through 206 Always Have Legal Counsel 206 Conclusion 207 28 The Real Estate Closing Process 211 Who Handles the Escrow and Closing? 211 What Is Required to Open Escrow? 212 Who Selects the Escrow Company? 213 Are You Opening One Escrow or Two? 213 What Happens during Escrow? 213 How Do You Prepare for Closing? 214 What Can Cause Delays during the Closing Process? 215 What to Check the Day before Closing 216 What Takes Place at the Closing? 217 How to Ensure There Are No Snags the Day of Closing 217 Hiring Someone to Help You Process Your Wholesale Deals 217 Conclusion 217 29 Building Your Local Team 219 Real Estate Agents 220 Locating the Top Agents in Your Market 221 Hard-Money Lenders 222 Mortgage Brokers 222 Insurance Agents 222 Title Agent/Real Estate Attorney 223 Contractors 223 Conclusion 224 30 Building Your Business Advisory Team 225 Real Estate Coaches 227 Marketing Mentors 227 Negotiation and Sales Mentors 227 Business Management Mentors 228 Legal Mentors 229 Tax Mentors 229 Mastermind Group 229 Conclusion 230 31 The Path of Smart Growth 231 Preparing for Growth 231 Managing Your Time 232 Developing Systems 232 Growing at a Sustainable Pace 233 Integrating Technology into Your Business Management Systems 233 Hiring Employees and Scaling Your Business 234 Constantly Improving Your Leadership Skills 235 Index 237

About the Author

THAN MERRILL (San Diego, CA; is the founder and president of, the largest and most successful real estate educational and coaching company in the country. FortuneBuilders has been featured in Inc. magazines Inc. 500 List as one of the fastest growing private companies three years in a row. Than has also been featured in 20+ episodes of AEs hit TV show Flip This House . In the past decade he has done close to 1,000 real estate deals, everything from single-family, to multifamily, to commercial properties.

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