Do You Need a Real Estate License to "Flip" Properties?

Mortgage and Lending with ASAP Mortgage
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, and then double close
A large majority of states use the "for another" language in their 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."hit counter
Joe Sampson
Exit Realty Experts - Saint Augustine, FL
Good post.
Jul 27, 2007 06:54 AM
Cristy Smith
mmm - Austin, TX

Thanks for the great info!


Jul 27, 2007 07:44 AM
1SG (Ret.) David Kucic
Hawaii Military Realty, Inc. - Ewa Beach, HI
President and Owner

Justin-This is true, they do not need a license to buy and flip.  However, how are they going to find the property in the first place?  Most likely, if they find it on the local MLS, there will be an agent representing the seller.  The seller will most likely be offering a courtesy to the buyers agent.  So why on earth would someone go in and try to represent themselves when they can be represented by an agent for FREE?

There certainly are cases where the home may be a FSBO, foreclosure or short sale and maybe there is no agent involved.  But that will potentially be a big problem when two parties that dont know real estate try to buy/sell a home.


Aug 02, 2007 05:15 AM
Andrew Campbell
ASAP Mortgage - Madison, WI


nice post with some very good info.

Aug 06, 2007 01:58 AM
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Nice post, and great information.

Tom Braatz

Nov 07, 2007 01:11 AM