In the video below Jeff Watson discusses wholesaling with two regulators from the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Real Estate. In part 2 of this series – is wholesaling legal – the discussion focuses on earnest money. (Go here to see part 1 if you missed it) Division Counsel Kimberley Wells says that the amount of the earnest money must be such that it reflects a bonafide intent to purchase the property. It must be more than a “nominal” amount.
The key things that Jeff says he takes away from this conversation are you must have real and legitimate intent to buy the property, you must have the ability to buy it, and then if someone else wants to buy it from you – either before when you can assign the contract to them, or after you close on it – you can do whatever you want with it. One clarification Jeff makes is you must understand that there is a difference between marketing and selling a contract versus marketing and selling a house. Before closing, you can only market the contract, NOT the house itself.
Pursuant to Revised Code 4735.052, the Ohio Real Estate Commission may impose a civil penalty up to $1,000.00 a day for unlicensed activity. “Unlicensed activity” in their view includes certain functions involved around wholesaling. Each day a violation occurs or continues is a separate violation. For example, under most circumstances, if an individual is involved in unlicensed activity for 21 days, a civil penalty of $21,000.00 may be issued.
Did you miss Part 1 of this series? See the first article and video HERE.
Please note that this article does not serve as legal advice. To safely practice wholesaling, consult the Federal and State laws specific to your area before executing any deals.
If you want to avoid the potential legal pitfalls of wholesaling, Express Homebuyers has a Joint Venture Program that may likely net you more profit than a typical wholesale fee would. To find out more about The Express Homebuyers Joint Venture Program click here.