Do I Need A Real Estate License To Flip Houses?


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“I live in New York state. Do I need a real estate license to flip houses?” – Bharuch Asolay

The answer is no. But you need a real estate license to represent other people in a deal.

You don’t need a license if you’re representing yourself in the deal. You can always buy and sell your own property. That’s why we have for sale by owner deals. So the question is, what makes you a principal in that transaction?

You get a principal position in that deal by having the right to sell that property through the document that says you have the right to buy that property and make that right assignable. And that makes it legal when you sell the property.

Unless you have your option or an assignable purchase signed, then it’s not legal for you if you don’t have a license. If you have a license then you can do it, but it’s not necessary to have a license when you are just starting out.

Sometimes I think if you don’t have a license now, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time and money getting a license doing this, until maybe you’ve been in the business for a while.

I’ve had a license for thirty years. I work as a broker. I no longer list and sell properties. I did that many years ago and I don’t enjoy it. I find investing much more profitable than that.

But I keep my license active. I go to the continuing education every year and I sit through the stuff that I’ve learned thirty years ago. I do it because that’s the requirement for me to be able to keep my license and I think it gives me some credibility with some of the people that I talk to that I have the license. And that does help a little bit.

But it’s not necessary, and I’ve had so many students who don’t have a license and have been very successful with this business.

Hope that answers the question. And before I sign off here, I guess I should say this: I am not an attorney. Don’t even play one on TV. I can’t give legal advice, so I’m just giving you my opinion and experience in this business for the last thirty years.

However, it’s not legal advice and if you feel uncomfortable about anything that I’m saying, please, please, please, talk to an attorney. Hire somebody and get their take on it. Because if you’re not comfortable with what you’re doing legally, you’re probably not going to end up doing it.

You’re going to find a reason not to do it. So get comfortable with it legally and then move forward and that way you can feel like, I’m heading in the right direction, I’m doing this honorably, ethically and morally. You know you’re following the law and that’s very important in this business.

It’s the only way you can have a long term sustainable business. You’ve got to treat people like they’re family. You’ve got to treat them with love and respect.

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