Real Estate Wholesalers are investors who employ a technique in which they sign a purchase agreement (with the inclusion of an earnest money deposit) as the buyer. But then the wholesaler finds another party (often referred to as the end buyer) to purchase the real property (rental property, or otherwise) for a higher price – to wit, the profit earned as a middleman.
Wholesale houses purchased by real estate wholesalers tend to be below market value and offered by motivated sellers and those facing financial distress and uncertainty, like with the circumstances created by a pending foreclosure.
When investing in wholesale properties, the contract’s buyer receives this transferable right by way of the contract through the Principle of Equitable Conversion or Equitable Interest.
Because real estate investors may work several of these real estate transactions at once, they are referred to as 'wholesalers.'
Real estate wholesaling is similar to the fix and flip strategy. Still, it is often preferred because there is less need for substantial capital, with the deal typically closing significantly faster than house flipping. Real estate wholesalers can profit without taking title to the property, mitigating potential risks and unknowns when renovating. Note, however, there are instances where the real estate wholesaler may take title to the property – only briefly if they are exiting the wholesale deal using a wholetailing or double closing strategy.
For new investors, the art of real estate wholesaling is an intelligent way to meet other real estate professionals as the practice lends itself to networking even while negotiating your first deal. This is an important step to establishing a cash buyers list. Wholesaling real estate in Mississippi is legal, but it is critical to understand the relevant laws and local customs for the market in which you intend to work.
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The state of Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the union in 1817.
Mississippi is located along the Gulf Coast in the southern U.S. region, with a climate that is considered subtropical. In addition to its coastal plain, the state is also a part of the Mississippi Delta. As the 35th most populous state, Mississippi’s population is as follows -
Source – worldpopulationreview.com
The five largest cities in Mississippi are -
Mississippi’s largest city is also the state capital – Jackson.
The Mississippi Real Estate Commission (MREC) is the state agency tasked with administering and enforcing real estate license provisions in the state. MREC’s mission is to ensure real estate transactions and activities in the state are completed both ethically and professionally.
Mississippi’s license law is found in the Miss. Code Ann. Title 73 – Professions & Vocations Chapter 35 – Real Estate Brokers.
The following represents Mississippi’s larger trade & professional organizations dedicated to the real estate profession. These professional trade organizations are each a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) –
The MAR was developed to unite the many real estate professionals with real estate industry advocates. The Mississippi Association of REALTORS offers the Mississippi real estate community a dedicated source of information, professional development, and advocacy throughout the state.
Established in the mid-1920s, the CMR serves nearly 2,000 real estate professionals across ten counties in central Mississippi. CMR is recognized to be Mississippi’s largest professional organization dedicated to real estate and its professionals.
The Hattiesburg Area Association of REALTORS seeks to serve the members of the real estate profession in the greater Hattiesburg Area. HAAR aims to promote the improvement of the quality of life throughout its membership area. Additionally, members of HAAR are offered discounts on phone services and rental cars, etc.
The Northeast Mississippi Board of Realtors represents and provides leadership to the real estate community in the northeastern part of the state. It encourages community involvement and promotes the highest ethical standards while advocating for private property rights.
Additionally, Mississippi is known as an "Attorney Closing State." This means that any real estate closing must be performed by a lawyer in good standing with the Mississippi Bar, which may add to a wholesaler’s closing costs, but offers the necessary due diligence by a licensed legal professional.
As a result, real estate wholesalers can depend on the expertise of a licensed Mississippi lawyer, as the attorney is required by state law to complete the real estate deal. Wholesalers will find it helpful to establish professional relationships with those within (and on the fringe of) the real estate market. This helps to ensure the wholesaler stays within the legal boundaries set forth by Mississippi law.
In a word, yes.
Wholesaling real estate in Mississippi is legal if the real estate wholesaler ensures their actions remain within the legal limits set forth by Mississippi’s lawmakers and does not violate any relevant Mississippi legal statute.
The concept of real estate wholesaling has become a ‘hot topic.’ Those who argue against it assert real estate wholesaling creates a real estate transaction in which the wholesaler behaves like a real estate agent or broker and thus, needs a license.
The reality is that the wholesaler - as a party to a legally enforceable contract, is trying to sell their legal rights as the buyer in an executed purchase contract, not the property itself. (Refer to the Doctrine of Equitable Conversion)
From this perspective, real wholesaling is widely considered legit. But note, and this is a critical thing to note - real estate wholesalers must ensure they remain current with regard to Mississippi’s law. Further, business activities cannot violate Mississippi law, and the wholesaler's actions cannot rise to the level that requires a real estate license.
A real estate wholesale deal mandates that the real estate investor legally commit to purchase (through the execution of a legally enforceable agreement) with a property’s seller/owner. The contract of sale (or purchase agreement) is the legal instrument that creates the wholesaler’s legal right to sell/market/assign the subject property as delineated by the contract’s terms and provisions.
The purchase agreement is a bilateral contract – which means both contract parties are required to perform each requirement. Most purchase agreements, by default, are assignable. But note, a provision in the contract can be added to make an assignment conditioned on the owner’s approval or even prohibited by the language in the written agreement. [See Section Below – Mississippi Wholesale Contract]
Pro Tip – A real estate wholesaler must market their ‘right to buy’ the property and cannot market the property itself. This is because that action would violate license law & require a real estate license in Mississippi.
There are no laws on Mississippi’s books specifically addressing wholesaling as a real estate investment strategy.
However, Miss. Code Ann. Title 73 – Professions & Vocations Chapter 35 – The Real Estate Brokers License Law of 1954 sets forth the state's rules for real estate activities. The first provision notes those behaviors that are unlawful without a real estate license -
Source – mrec.ms.gov
According to § 73-35-3, a real estate broker is defined as follows -
Further, these definitions apply -
Perhaps the most relevant of real estate licensing considerations include the following provision, which details when a real estate license is required –
It is illegal for real estate wholesalers to perform or act for another – for a fee as that would rise to the definition of the actions that require a real estate license in Mississippi. It is, however, legal for a real estate wholesaler to represent themself as a party looking to sell an asset – which are those rights created by the execution of a legally enforceable purchase agreement.
No – a real estate investor in Mississippi wholesaling an investment property will NOT need a real estate license if the wholesaler's actions fall outside the boundaries that require a Mississippi real estate license.
Additionally, it is essential to note that Miss. Code Ann. Title 73 – Professions & Vocations Chapter 35 does not apply in these instances -
It is noted that the following individuals are exempt from licensing requirements denoted in Miss. Code Ann. Title 73 – Professions & Vocations Chapter 35 – Real Estate Brokers Section- (7) – essentially, noting that any bona fide homeowner is exempt from these licensing requirements -
Exempt from the licensing requirements of this chapter shall be any person, partnership, association or corporation, who, as a bona fide owner, shall perform any aforesaid act with reference to property owned by them, or to the regular employees thereof who are on a stated salary, where such acts are performed in the regular course of business.
Investors who wholesale real estate may opt to become licensed by the state of Mississippi, although it is not a requirement to wholesale legally. The Mississippi Real Estate Commission (MREC) is the state agency responsible for administering and enforcing real estate license provisions in Mississippi.
Note this recent legal update – effective July 1st of 2021 (originally House Bill 1263) by the Mississippi legislature -
Mississippi is the second state in the U.S. to pass legislation that is viewed as a pro-growth economic policy. Arizona passed a law providing for universal recognition of occupational license a few years ago.
In addition, the state’s licensing boards will be required to issue a professional license for any individual who has worked for at least three years – if that particular state had no licensing requirements while the individual was employed.
Real estate contracts are legally enforceable documents that delineate the real estate transaction’s terms and are the most important documents in a real estate wholesale transaction.
The contract of sale (a.k.a., the purchase agreement) sets forth the provisions that dictate the guidelines as an individual/company seeks to purchase real property from another owner. A purchase agreement includes relevant information detailing the responsibilities, rights, and rules of the real estate deal.
In Mississippi, the purchase and sale agreement is used when presenting an offer to purchase. The agreement can be modified (or countered by a party to the contract) – up and until both parties sign the legal document. When fully executed, the agreement becomes legally binding.
At the very least, a contract should include the following information –
Here is a copy of the first page (of six pages) of the Mississippi REALTORS Contract For The Sale and Purchase of Real Estate -
A real estate assignment contract is a legal document that transfers both the rights & the obligations of a purchaser (aka - the assignor) under one contract of sale to another buyer (aka - the assignee).
Source – Judicial Title
The assignee is often a cash buyer who closes the deal and then compensates the assignor/wholesaler for managing the real estate deal together. Mississippi real estate law is silent regarding the details about contract assignments.
Generally speaking, a contract is assignable – by default- unless the contract's language expressly prohibits its use or requires the seller's approval. However, many agreements may include disclaimers and other relevant information.
According to Mississippi Code Title 75 – Regulation of Trade, Commerce & Investments, § 75-2-210 (2) details the legality of a contract assignment -
As your real estate attorney will likely advise, the most important aspect of real estate investing and wholesaling is transparency with all parties involved. This can be accomplished by proactively managing the expectations of each party relative to the position in the transaction.
A well-crafted contract of sale by an experienced attorney is not only a Mississippi state requirement but the best prudent way to mitigate potential legal issues. For additional information, there are many online websites (including virtual wholesaling programs) and podcasts dedicated to real estate wholesaling education.
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