Site Navigation

Investor Information
 Home
 Monthly Update
 Real Estate Articles
 Real Estate Videos
 Real Estate Success Stories
 Real Estate Blog
 Free Investing Books, Audios
 Real Estate Books
 Investing Glossary
 Investing Abbreviations

Real Estate Products
 No Risk Guarantee
 Best Sellers
 All Investing Products
 Real Estate Courses
 Real Estate Audios
 Real Estate Ebooks
 Real Estate Books
 Real Estate Seminars
 Special Offers

Investor Resources
 Hard Money Lenders
 Real Estate Agents
 Handyman Services
 Property Managers
 Real Estate Clubs
 Cashflow 101 Clubs
 Business Tools
 Tax Appraisal Districts
 State Foreclosure Laws
 State Property Codes
 Proof of Funds Letter

Discussion Forums
 Networking Forum
 Beginners, Carlton Sheets
 Bird Dogs, Wholesaling
 Foreclosures, Short Sales
 Sub2, Lease Options
 Rehabbing, Landlording
 Financing, Hard Money
 Asset Protection, Legal
 Commercial, Mobile Homes
 Real Estate Marketing
 Random Ramblings

Site Information
 About Us
 Advertise on REIClub
 Contact REIClub
 Link to REIClub
 REIClub Facebook
 REIClub Twitter
 REIClub YouTube
 REIClub ITunes
 REIClub Testimonials
 Press Releases


Bill Bronchick

Do You Need a License to Flip Real Estate?
by Bill Bronchick

 
You buy a property, you flip it, you profit. Does this require a real estate license? In most cases, the answer is "no". Real estate brokerage is an activity regulated by states on their own terms, thus each state defines which activities require a license. There is a lot of vagueness and ambiguity in some of the state licensing codes, as well as "gray areas", which complicate the matter. Furthermore, if you vary the techniques and your business practices beyond the scope of what I teach in my course, it is not always clear how the state authorities might view your practices. Therefore, this discussion is limited to the simple activity of buying and flipping as follows:

1. Sign a contract with a seller, assign it to a third party

2. Sign a contract with a seller, sign another one with a third party, then double close

The large majority of states use the "for another" language in their state licensing statutes. The "for another" language means the law provides a laundry list of activities that require a license if you do it "for another."

A good example is the Ohio Statute:

§ 4735.01 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(A) "Real estate broker" includes any person, partnership, association, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or corporation, foreign or domestic, who for another, whether pursuant to a power of attorney or otherwise, and who for a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration, or with the intention, or in the expectation, or upon the promise of receiving or collecting a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration does any of the following:

The code then goes on to list all types of activity, such as buying, selling, offerings, leasing, negotiating, etc. This type of statute would clearly exempt you from doing any of the listed activity so long as you were doing it on your own behalf. The following court case clearly delineates the difference between acting on your own behalf and acting as a broker.

In Xarin Real Estate v. Gamboa, 715 S.W. 80 (TX 1986), an investor named Xarin entered into a purchase contract with the owner, Gamboa, then assigned his purchase contract to a third party, Baker. When the deal blew up, Baker sued Xarin claiming, among other things, that Xarin was illegally acting as a real estate broker without a license.

The court ruled that, “No evidence exists to show that Xarin was acting for anyone but itself when it sold its interest to Baker. Xarin was shown on the sales contract to be only the purchaser and was not shown in any agency capacity… There is also no evidence that Xarin acted for Baker when Xarin acquired its interest in the property from the Gamboa's. Generally, to establish that one person has acted for another in an normal agency relationship, there must be an agreement between two persons and one must exercise some control over the other.”

Two important points are worth noting here. First, the court acknowledged that Xarin had “an interest in the property” when it signed a purchase contract with Gamboa. As we will discuss later, having “an interest” in real estate allows you to sell your interest, which is specifically exempt from many state licensing laws. Second, the court made an important point that that the Xarin did not have a deal with Baker in place when it made the deal with the owner of the property. This is important because the reverse can also be true; if you make a deal with a buyer first, then find him a property, a good argument can be made that activity is brokering on behalf of the buyer.

Other states that do not use the "for another" language clearly identify specific exemptions in their licensing statutes. A good example is the South Carolina statute, which reads:

"This chapter does not apply to:

The sale, lease, or rental of real estate by an unlicensed owner of real estate who owns any interest in the real estate if the interest being sold, leased, or rented is identical to the owner's legal interest"

However, you must have an interest in the property before you sell it. In general, a contract to purchase property gives the buyer an equitable interest in the land. 27A Am. Jur. 2d Equitable Conversion § 10. Thus, if you have an interest in the property, you are basically exempt from the licensing regulations in these states.

A few states limit the real estate activity of any persons, even if you are acting on your own behalf. SD, MN, WI, MI, MD & MN all have limitations on the number and frequency of real estate transactions you can do before you will need a real estate license. For example, Michigan law limits you to 4 transactions per year, although it is not clear whether using multiple corporate entities will be a workaround.

There's few, if any, reported cases of people being prosecuted anywhere in the country for not having a real estate license. The issue of licensing is more relevant in the enforcement of your profit. For example, if you assign your contract prior to closing and expect the buyer to pay you at closing, he may stiff you and argue "you don't have a license".

The bottom line is that if you don't act like a real estate broker, the state agencies that license brokers will leave you alone. If you use the licensing exemptions to skirt the licensing laws, you will likely hear from the state licensing agencies. It is important that you make it very clear to all parties in the transaction that you are not a broker and are acting on your own behalf.


Bill Bronchick
William Bronchick, CEO of Legalwiz Publications, is a Nationally-known attorney, author, entrepreneur and speaker. Mr. Bronchick has been practicing law and real estate since 1990, having been involved in over 600 transactions. He has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television talk shows including CNBC Power Lunch. He has been featured in Who's Who in American Business, Money Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Business Journal. William Bronchick has served as President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors since 1996.


Bill Bronchick Products (9)
CoursesHow to Create a Bulletproof Corporation
CoursesHow to Create Your Own LLC and Family Limited Partnership
CoursesStep by Step Guide to Land Trusts
CoursesUltimate Guide to Buy and Hold
CoursesUltimate Guide to Fix and Flip
CoursesUltimate Guide to Owner Financing
CoursesUltimate Guide to Wholesaling
SpecialsWealth Protection Library
CoursesWealth Protection Strategies


Copyright Notice
Copyright 2002-2014 All Rights Reserved. Published with Permission of Author. No part of this publication may be copied or reprinted
without the express written permission of the Author and/or REIClub.com.

Back to Top

Free Newsletter
Name:
Email:

Article Options
Printer Friendly Page
Send This to Friend

Author's Articles
10 Inexpensive Ways to Spruce Up Your Rental or Rehab Property
60 Days To Your First Bargain Purchase
7 Real Estate Contract Buyer Clauses Checklist
7 Reasons to Use a Land Trust
9 Mistakes New Real Estate Investors Make
A Review of the National Consumer Law Center
All About Property Disclosures
Are Real Estate Seminars Worth the Money?
Are You a Newbie at a Real Estate Club?
Are You Clear On What is a Good Deal
Are You Waiting on the Sidelines?
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, & Credit - How it Affects You
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, & Credit - Part II
Basics of the Real Estate Contract
Be a Smart Investor... Do the Math
Big Brother Is Watching You, New (Bad) Legislation Coming Your Way
Bubble, Schmubble - Flipping Works in Any Market
Bull vs. Bubble
Bulletproof Your Wealth with Family Limited Partnerships and LLC's
Buy A House - Get Thrown in Jail?
Buying at the Foreclosure Auction
Collecting Money Owed by a Tenant
Common Investor Legal Mistakes
Common Sense Mortgage Tips
Create Monthly Cash Flow Without Any of Your Own Money or Credit
Dealing with Real Estate Agents
Dealing with the Dealer Issue
Dealing With the Due on Sale Clause - Part II
Do You Need a License to Flip Real Estate?
Essential Contract Clauses
Essential Contract Clauses II
Explaining Foreclosure Options to the Homeowner
Five Big Mistakes Newbies Make
Flipping Properties for Cash Profit
Flipping Versus Holding - Which is Better?
Get That Property Out of Your Name!
Getting Started as a Real Estate Entrepreneur
How to Create a Real Estate Cash Cow
How to Determine Property Values in Today's Market
How to Get a Hard Money Loan
How to Save Up to 90% on Title Insurance
HUD Properties, FHA & Title Seasoning
Illegal Flipping and Lender Seasoning
Investing in a Changing Market
Keep a Positive Perspective in a Negative Market
Know Your Real Estate Laws
Learn the Landlord-Tenant Rules!
Lease Option a Junker!
Lease Option Tips & Strategies
Lease/Option 101
Lease/Option vs. Contract for Deed
Lease/Options & the Equitable Interest
Mortgage Broker vs. Mortgage Banker
Non-Income Verification Loans
Owner Financing Mechanics
Personal Property Trusts
Real Estate Investing is Just Like Weight Loss
Reduce Taxes By Investing In Real Estate
Risks of Buying Real Estate in Emerging Markets Out of State
Scripting Common Objections from Foreclosure Sellers
Setting Your Financial Goals
Seven Ways to Flip a Property
Should the Government Bail Out People in Foreclosure?
Should You Disclose on Short Sale Flips?
Should You Do Real Estate Full-Time?
Should You Use an Attorney's Fee Clause?
Tax Issues on a Subject 2 Deal
Tax Lien Investing 101
Ten Myths Preventing People from Succeeding in Real Estate Investing
The Basics of “Short Sales”
The Bona Fide Purchaser
The Ethical Real Estate Investor
The Forgotten Owner Carry
The Mortgage Elimination
The New Limited Liability Company
The Not-So-Handy Man's Guide to Fixing and Flipping Properties
The Property Recording System
The Role of Insurance in Asset Protection Planning
The Wrong Way to Invest in Real Estate
There is No Due on Sale Jail
Top Ten Ways to Get Sued - Guaranteed!
Understanding Loan Terms
Understanding The Mortgage Loan Market
Using A Home Equity Line Of Credit To Buy Properties
Using a LLC IRA for Real Estate Investing
Using Trusts for Personal & Business Privacy
What Every Landlord Should Know About Discrimination
What to Do if a Tenant Abandons the Property
Where to Incorporate: The Answer May Surprise You!
You Have to Sell a House to Get it Sold
Zero In On Motivated Sellers


Author's Products

How to Create a Bulletproof Corporation

How to Create Your Own LLC and Family Limited Partnership

Step by Step Guide to Land Trusts

Ultimate Guide to Buy and Hold

Ultimate Guide to Fix and Flip

Ultimate Guide to Owner Financing

Ultimate Guide to Wholesaling

Wealth Protection Library

Wealth Protection Strategies


 
Anti-Spam Policy | Compensation Disclosure | DMCA Notice | Earnings Disclaimer | External Links Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms And Conditions | View Cart
©2002-2014 All Rights Reserved. REIClub.com