Photo is for display only. It was posted on the internet
Honestly, for all I know, I may have been one of the inventors of the term "home flip" that is now in an over abundant vernacular use.
I bought my first home to renovate and resell in 1966, and not including the plumbing, electrical or floor coverings, my wife, brother and I did all of the remodeling work.
We didn't make but about a grand when all was over, but we worked hard, and initiated those lessons learned in the sequential seventy or so renovations that followed. Some we kept and rented, but the majority we sold.
It provided a good supplemental income for an accountant, a school teacher, and a real estate licensed broker - savings and loan vice president.
Home flipping has taken on a dangerous complexion in recent years, and we should be concerned about it.
Real estate professionals, like attorneys and CPAs, are licensed by the state in which we pactice, not for our particular benefit, but to protect the public from those who would otherwise be unknowing and/or unethical law breakers.
On top of those licenses, all three of those professions have an even higher bar. They have created professional organizations that provide continuing education and strict ethics codes.
Enter today's home flippers and their supporters. At least in the State of Texas, they require no specific license, there are no tests to determine that they have competence, and there are no real estate rules that they must follow to acquire and to sell homes.
Here's an example. There is a married couple who are attorneys, licensed real estate brokers, and Realtors. They frequently blanket certain areas of a large city with "friendly" mail-outs. They offer to buy homes at current value, and specifically state that there is no need for a seller to get representation for a Realtor or an attorney. Save money, they say.
Neither the Texas Association of Realtors, the Bar Association or the Texas Real Estate Commission, when contacted and shown the actual mail-out, felt that there was any violation of law or ethics.
Recently, I was asked to list a flipper's for sale home. I turned it down. There were multiple code violations, the most obvious was a new 200 amp. service and breaker box that had been installed, but attached inside of the house to old knob and tube wiring.
Was any of the work permitted? If it was, it most certainly was a blatant affront to the code.
I believe it is time for states real estate commissions to take control of flippers, require them to be licensed just as they all did with home inspectors. And when they are licensed, it's time for them to be encouraged to become members of their local Realtor association, where they will find that they have to adhere to stated ethics.
We're in the real estate business, a business we promise to our clients that we take seriously. Part of taking it seriously requires that we be aware and take action to control those who are tinkering in our business
BILL CHERRY, REALTOR