is wholesaling real estate legal in georgia

Is Wholesaling Real Estate Legal In Georgia? A 2024 Guide For Investors

co-wholesaling legal real estate investing strategies real estate wholesaling reverse wholesaling wholesale real estate May 02, 2024

Wholesaling real estate in Georgia has become synonymous with profit potential. If for nothing else, local real estate investors have made a lucrative living off wholesale real estate in Georgia. Yet, despite this strategy's penchant for profits, many skeptics doubt its legality. For one reason or another, doubters are always asking one important question: Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia?

This article addresses this question, providing valuable insights into regulatory compliance, practical strategies, and indispensable tips for success in the Georgia housing market. Navigate through the jump links below to gain invaluable knowledge tailored to empower you to wholesale real estate in Georgia:

By the end of this guide, you'll have moved on from asking, "Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia?" to wondering how you can get started yourself. Once you learn the laws, you'll want to know how to wholesale real estate in Georgia efficiently and effectively.

*Before we begin our guide on whether wholesaling is legal in Georgia, we invite you to view our video on How To Wholesale Real Estate Step by Step (IN 21 DAYS OR LESS)!

Host and C.E.O. of Real Estate Skills, Alex Martinez, provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for beginners to start wholesaling real estate!

As a vital economic center in the southern United States, Georgia boasts a robust housing market with a homeownership rate of 64.5%. With Atlanta at its core, this bustling state offers numerous transactional opportunities for those pursuing a career in real estate. While many adhere to traditional pathways, the intriguing prospect of real estate wholesaling emerges as a notable alternative; this raises an essential question for many aspiring investors: Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia? As a result, we've developed this guide to help you explore the legality and implications of wholesaling real estate in Georgia.

What Do You Need To Know About Wholesaling In Georgia?

Before starting to wholesale in Georgia, aspiring investors should first familiarize themselves with the state-specific real estate laws, understand the local market dynamics, and learn the most effective exit strategies for wholesaling properties. It’s important to have a solid grasp of these fundamentals to navigate the market successfully and legally.

One of the best resources for obtaining this essential information is the Georgia Association of Realtors, which provides detailed insights and guidance tailored to the Georgia real estate environment. The Georgia Association of Realtors, in particular, is the statewide organization that will give you a birds-eye view of real estate information and issues in the state. Consequently, the G.A.R. is one of the best places to turn when asking, "Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia?"

Depending on where you want to focus, there are several local Realtor associations you can tap into as well. A few of the large groups include:

Local communities and the state also have various economic development entities. These are great sources of demographic information and financial indicators.

Start at the state level with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and then conduct more due diligence once you’ve defined where you want to perform your wholesaling activities.

Consider starting with the GDRcD's latest Fiscal Year in Review for high-level information.

To learn more about how real estate transactions are governed in the state, visit the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC), which provides a wealth of information.

Read Also: How To Find Off-Market Properties In Georgia (4 Methods)

Wholesaling real estate is legal in Georgia, primarily because investors are not functioning as real estate brokers, agents, or Realtors. Instead of acquiring actual property, wholesalers simply obtain the rights to acquire the property. They do not broker deals directly between buyers and sellers; rather, they sell their interest in the Georgia real estate contract. This distinction is crucial in adhering to legal standards, ensuring that as long as no broker-like activities are undertaken without a license, wholesaling remains a lawful practice.

Regardless of your method, whether it be assigning a contract or double closing, you must follow state laws and legalities regarding real estate deals. That said, there are also ethical considerations as well:

  • Transparency in wholesaling properties is essential: Wholesalers must have the capacity to complete a deal. Capacity is defined as having access to or funds directly available to complete any real estate investing deal they are offering. You can line up financing in advance by working with private lenders, hard money lenders, obtaining a line of credit, or through other similar means. With financing in place, a wholesaler should have a current proof of funds letter ready to submit with their offer.
  • Wholesalers should enter every contract with the intention of closing the deal: if they have no cash buyers lined up, no exit strategy, and no intention of closing the deal, they should not enter the contract.
  • Do not misrepresent your interest in your deals: When marketing your wholesale deal to real estate investors on your buyers’ list, you must state that you have an equitable interest in a purchase contract instead of claiming you're the property owner unless you’re planning on buying the property and reselling using the double close or "wholetail" methods.

What Are The Wholesaling Laws In Georgia?

There are no specific laws prohibiting the wholesaling of real estate in Georgia. However, since wholesalers enter into real estate transactions, important laws apply to them as they apply to anyone involved in a real estate transaction. So, "Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia?" The answer is yeas, if you know the laws that govern real estate transactions in the state. 

Attorneys Must Oversee All Closings

One law unique to Georgia is that a licensed real estate attorney must close all real estate transactions. In other states, the title company handles the closing and escrow. Usually, only one attorney is involved in the transaction. The attorney represents either the buyer’s lender if the purchase was lender-funded or the buyer if the transaction is a cash purchase.

If you’re buying a house and have gotten a loan for the purchase, the attorney who conducts the closing does not represent either you or the seller. Instead, the closing attorney represents the lender; this means that only the lender’s interests are represented by the closing attorney.

The Real Property Section of the State Bar of Georgia has created a Residential Real Estate Closing Procedure Handbook that details all elements of this law.

Commissions, Fees, and Profits

In the state of Georgia, according to Title 43, Chapter 40, Rule 520-1-.10 Handling Real Estate Transactions, “Licensed real estate agents receive payment or receipt of a commission, fee, rebate or thing of value to a licensee based upon pre-established terms set forth in a brokerage agreement, a brokerage engagement agreement, management agreement or other written agreement.”

You will collect an assignment fee if you engage in real estate transactions and assign a contract; this amount must be disclosed to all parties as part of the transaction process.

However, when using the double close or a buy-and-sell method, the wholesaler is not required to disclose their profit when they flip a property to a final buyer.

The Georgia Real Estate License Law

Whether it impacts them or not, wholesalers should know about the Georgia Real Estate License Law. The Georgia General Assembly created this statute in 1926 to govern the activities of real estate professionals. It has been amended several times since then.

This law protects the public from intentional or unintentional harm that could arise in their relationships with real estate brokers. The law established a three-member Georgia Real Estate Commission to regulate licensees.

Seller’s & Buyer’s Disclosures

You must legally disclose information about the property’s condition using double closing or wholesaling methods. You could be sued for fraud, misrepresentation, or omission if you don't provide the appropriate information.

Also, if you’re assigning a contract, you must disclose that you are doing this as a case of complete transparency.

Some of the more common disclosures include:

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Do You Need A Real Estate License To Wholesale In Georgia?

A license is not required for wholesale properties in Georgia. However, you must apply a different set of rules to complete wholesale transactions if you don't have a license.

For example, without a license, real estate wholesalers can only market the rights to assign a contract you have for the property. You can’t market the property itself.

Also, without a license, you collect a fee for your services when you assign a contract. If you have a real estate license and represent a principal in the deal, you will receive a commission when the property closes.

Collecting fees and commissions is not an issue with the double close or buy-and-sell method; this is because you are negotiating and completing two separate transactions independently of each other. As such, you can negotiate the best possible prices when you buy and sell the property.

Unlike with an assignment of a contract, you’re not required to disclose the amount of profit you’ll make by flipping the property. Many wholesalers like this degree of privacy.

Read Also: How To Become A Real Estate Agent In Georgia

Is Co-Wholesaling Real Estate Legal In Georgia?

Co-wholesaling is legal in Georgia because it follows the same rules and regulations as traditional wholesaling in the Peach State. That said, co-wholesaling is the process of partnering with another person to wholesale properties. Many people, especially those just starting, like working with partners to tap into added expertise and financial resources or increase the number of wholesale deals they want to do.

Partners often bring different skills to deals. Usually, this means that one partner will take the lead on finding deals, and the other partner will provide cash flow or financial buying power.

Either partner may also provide expertise in real estate investment practices, real estate law, contracts, rehabbing, R.E.O. properties, or other areas to facilitate transactions.

If you decide to co-wholesale, ensure you work with someone ethical, transparent, and trustworthy. When you join forces, execute a co-wholesaling/joint venture agreement to further protect your interests and prevent disagreements.

Read Also: Georgia Real Estate Classes Online: Wholesaling, Flipping & Licensing

Is Reverse Wholesaling Real Estate Legal In Georgia?

Reverse wholesaling is legal in Georgia, as the same rules that make traditional wholesaling legal apply to reverse wholesaling. The main difference between reverse wholesaling and traditional wholesaling is that you structure deals in the reverse order of the steps, lining up end buyers first and then finding investment properties to put under an assignment contract or executing a double close or buy-and-sell strategy.

Many wholesalers like reverse wholesaling because it gives them a more reliable exit strategy and allows them to form long-term relationships with cash buyers. Often, reverse wholesaling can lead to completing multiple deals with the same buyer. Aligning with private and hard money lenders also creates a more streamlined process.

No specific restrictions are placed on reverse wholesaling activities as long as wholesalers comply with Georgia real estate laws.

Georgia Wholesale Contract

There are two primary legal documents you will use as a Georgia wholesaler; they are:

  1. Georgia Purchase and Sale Agreement
  2. Assignment of Purchase and Sale Agreement Rights

Unless a purchase agreement specifically prohibits it, a contract can be assigned to a new buyer without a seller’s written permission since all contracts are assignable by default.

The Georgia Association of Realtors has approved a standardized purchase and sale agreement, which is widely used.

The Georgia Realtors Purchase and Sale Agreement states in Section B, Paragraph 4.e. :

"Entire Agreement, Modification and Assignment: This Agreement constitutes the sole and entire agreement between all of the parties, supersedes all of their prior written and verbal agreements and shall be binding upon the parties and their successors, heirs and permitted assigns. No representation, promise or inducement not included in this Agreement shall be binding upon any party hereto. This Agreement may not be amended or waived except upon the written agreement of Buyer and Seller. Any agreement to terminate this Agreement or any other subsequent agreement of the Parties relating to the Property must be in writing and signed by the Parties. This Agreement may not be assigned by Buyer except with the written approval of Seller, which may be withheld for any reason or no reason. Any assignee shall fulfill all the terms and conditions of this Agreement."

It is clearly written that the standard Georgia wholesale contract may not be assigned without the consent of all parties. Fortunately, a supplementary form called "Georgia Realtors Assignment of Purchase and Sale Agreement Rights" formalizes the required approval from all parties.

When completed, this assignment addendum effectively transfers rights and obligations under the purchase contract from the assignor to a designated assignee. Since assignments are common practice in real estate transactions, there is a Realtor-approved form to complete this part of the transaction.

If you're unsure how to strategically manage this situation, talk to a real estate broker about editing or removing this language from the contract or using a different contract altogether.

If no Realtor is involved in a transaction, one or both parties may hire a lawyer to negotiate and draft a sales contract instead of using the standardized Realtor forms.

Read Also: How To Buy Foreclosed Homes In Georgia (8 Steps)

wholesale real estate contract pdf

Tips For Wholesaling Real Estate In Georgia

As a wholesaler engaged in a double close or "wholetailing" deal, executing various contingency clauses is part of the process.

Contingency clauses are conditions or actions that must be met for a real estate contract to become a binding legal document. They are put in place to protect both parties in a real estate transaction. The most common contingencies include:

Other contingencies you may see:

  • Appraisal Contingency
  • Financing Contingency
  • Inspection/Due Diligence Contingency
  • Clear Title Contingency
  • Homeowners Insurance Contingency

When a contingency isn’t met, either party can consider the purchase contract null and void.

Regarding advertising and marketing properties, only licensed realtors can market and advertise a property they do not own. An unlicensed wholesaler can only market that they have the rights to assign a property under contract.

Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC) Advertising Rules 520-1.09, as of July 2016, defines who can advertise and how advertising real estate can be conducted. Some wholesalers get into trouble with this part of the law, so understanding this statute is worth your time.

As part of this statute, Realtors must disclose they hold a license:

“Regardless of whether the licensee's license is affiliated with a firm or on inactive status, any advertisement must include either (a) the legend "seller, buyer, landlord, tenant (select the appropriate name) holds a real estate license" or (b) the legend "Georgia Real Estate License # (insert licensee's six-digit number; for example, 000001)." "Georgia Real Estate License" may be abbreviated to "GA R. E. Lic.."

Is Wholesaling Real Estate Legal In Atlanta?

There are no specific laws or statutes that restrict wholesaling in Atlanta. Real estate laws, with few exceptions, are applied at a statewide level.

Because it is such a large metro area, Atlanta may have the most opportunities (and probably the most competition) if you want to get into wholesaling.

No matter where you try wholesaling, the keys are to do your homework and stay positive and persistent.

Final Thoughts

If you've been wondering, "Is wholesaling real estate legal in Georgia?" rest assured, it is—provided you adhere strictly to the necessary laws and guidelines. Now is the moment to shift from asking about its legality to taking action. Wholesaling offers a lucrative opportunity to generate significant profits. Dive into the world of real estate wholesaling and start building your financial future today.

*Disclosure: Real Estate Skills is not a law firm, and the information contained here does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before making any legal conclusions. The information presented here is educational in nature. All investments involve risks, and the past performance of an investment, industry, sector, and/or market does not guarantee future returns or results. Investors are responsible for any investment decision they make. Such decisions should be based on an evaluation of their financial situation, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.

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