Wholesaling Real Estate Salary: How Much Can You Make?

On average, profit per wholesale deal typically ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, though it can be higher or lower.

11 min
October 19, 2023

Wholesaling real estate presents investors with a unique profit avenue without the typical property investment. But what kind of earnings can you expect? In this article, we'll break down the factors that influence wholesaling income and provide a clear picture of potential returns. Whether you're new to the game or looking to refine your strategy, let's delve into the numbers.

How Much Can You Make Wholesaling Real Estate?

How Much Can You Make Wholesaling Real Estate? 

Wholesaling real estate is an avenue for generating profit without the traditional property investment. The primary investor draw is the possibility of high returns with a lower capital outlay. But quantifying these earnings isn't black and white; several factors come into play.

Alex Klimenko asked this question on BiggerPockets 6 years ago… 

This is one of the best answers…

But here are the factors that come into play… 

Understanding the Basics:

Wholesaling primarily revolves around securing a property under contract at a lower price and then selling that contract or the rights to the property to another buyer at a higher rate. The profit is the difference between these two figures.

Average Earnings Per Deal:

The profit on a single wholesale deal can vary greatly. On the lower end, wholesalers might earn anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per deal. However, in more competitive or high-value markets, this figure can rise to $20,000, $30,000, or even more for a single transaction. It's essential to note that these figures are before deducting any operational costs.

Annual Income Potential:

The total annual income for a wholesaler depends on the number of deals they close within a year. A part-time wholesaler who completes a few transactions annually might see earnings in the range of $10,000 to $30,000. In contrast, a full-time, seasoned wholesaler who consistently finds and closes deals could earn upwards of $100,000 or even higher, especially if operating in a hot market.

How Do Real Estate Wholesalers Make Money?

Wholesaling is a unique niche within the real estate sector, distinct from traditional buying and selling houses. Rather than purchasing properties and then selling them for a profit after some duration or after renovations, wholesalers operate on a different mechanism. Here's a breakdown of how they generate income:

1. Assignment of Contract:

Concept: After securing a property under contract at a specific price, wholesalers can assign or sell that contract to an interested buyer.

Profit Source: The profit comes from the difference between the contracted price and the price at which the contract is sold or assigned to the buyer. For instance, if a property is under contract for $100,000 and a real estate wholesaler assigns that contract to a buyer for $110,000, the wholesaler's profit is $10,000.

2. Double Closing:

Concept: In this approach, a wholesaler gets a property under contract and then simultaneously closes on the purchase and the sale of the property. This often occurs within a short time frame, sometimes even on the same day.

Profit Source: The profit is the difference between the purchase price from the original seller and the selling price to the end buyer. Using double closing, wholesalers don't merely sell the contract but rather buy and sell the property in rapid succession.

3. Back-to-Back Transactions:

Concept: Similar to double closing but involves two distinct transactions – one for purchasing from the original seller and another for selling to the end buyer.

Profit Source: As with double closing, the profit is the spread between the purchase and sale prices.

4. Transactional Lending:

Concept: Some wholesalers use transactional lending for double closings. Here, they might borrow funds for a very short period (often just a day) to purchase the property, then repay the loan once the property is sold to pay the end buyer.

Profit Source: The profit remains the difference between buying and selling prices, but the wholesaler must also account for lending fees or interest.

In essence, real estate wholesalers make money by capitalizing on their ability to find below-market deals and quickly connecting those opportunities with interested buyers, thus earning a profit from the price spread. However, the business requires agility, networking, and a deep understanding of local market dynamics to succeed consistently.

What is The Average Wholesaling Salary? 

When discussing the average salary in real estate business of wholesaling, it's essential to differentiate between a traditional salaried role and the earnings of a wholesaler. Wholesaling earnings are inherently variable, and many factors can influence them. Here's an overview:

1. Earnings Per Deal:

  • Low-End Profits: In some markets or for beginners, profits per deal may range from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Average Profits: On average, many wholesalers report earnings between $5,000 and $20,000 per transaction.
  • High-End Profits: In highly competitive or upscale markets, profits can occasionally soar to $30,000, $40,000, or even higher for a single deal.

2. Annual Income Breakdown:

  • Part-Time Wholesalers: Those treating wholesaling as a side gig might close a few deals a year, leading to annual earnings from $10,000 to $50,000, based on the profitability of each deal.
  • Full-Time Wholesalers: A dedicated wholesaler actively working the market can potentially close one or more deals each month. This frequency can yield an annual income ranging from $60,000 to $240,000 or even higher, given the variability in deal profits.
  • Top Performers: Like any industry, there are outliers. Some seasoned wholesalers with extensive networks and effective strategies can surpass the average earnings, bringing in $300,000 or more annually.

15 Factors That Impact Wholesaling Profits

Navigating the landscape of real estate wholesaling comes with its set of challenges and variables. While the potential for profit is evident, several factors can influence the magnitude of those profits. Understanding these can be the difference between a successful deal and a missed opportunity. Here are the key factors:

1. Market Conditions:

Economic trends, interest rates, and housing demands can greatly influence property prices and the volume of available deals.

2. Property Location:

The adage about investing in "location, location, location" holds true. Urban areas, growth corridors, or neighborhoods undergoing gentrification often have higher profit potentials.

3. Wholesaler's Experience and Skills:

Experienced wholesalers are often more adept at evaluating deals, negotiating terms, and foreseeing potential pitfalls.

4. Marketing and Outreach:

The effectiveness of a wholesaler's marketing strategies can determine the quality and quantity of leads they receive.

5. Depth of Network:

Having connections with various real estate professionals, such as agents, rehabbers, or cash buyers, can impact deal, cash flow, and closing success.

6. Due Diligence:

Failing to assess property values accurately, underestimating repair costs, or overlooking legal constraints can erode profits.

7. Contract Flexibility:

The terms of the purchase agreement, including contingencies and clauses, can affect profitability, especially if unexpected challenges arise.

8. Competition:

In saturated markets, multiple wholesalers might vie for the same deals, leading to reduced margins.

9. Access to Capital:

Wholesalers using transactional lending or other financing might have fees or interest rates that impact the deal's bottom line.

10. Regulatory Landscape:

State and local regulations can influence wholesaling activities. Some areas have stringent requirements or restrictions, impacting the ease of doing business.

11. Economic Climate:

Broader economic trends, such as recessions or booms, can influence buyer sentiment, property values, and overall market activity.

12. Property Condition:

The state of the property in question, whether it's a fixer-upper or move-in ready, can influence potential profit margins based on the end buyer's preferences.

13. Speed of Transaction:

The ability to close deals quickly can impact holding costs and, subsequently, the profit margin.

14. Negotiation Skills:

Securing properties below market value and selling them at optimal prices largely hinges on negotiation acumen.

15. Exit Strategy:

Whether opting for assignment, double-closing, or another exit method can have varying profit implications.

By the way, the best way we know of to optimize your wholesaling profit is by managing your business well — organizing your data, using targeted marketing, and automating follow-up tasks… all of which you can do with our software, REISift

Do You Need a License to Wholesale Real Estate? 

The question of licensing is a common and essential topic in the realm of real estate wholesaling. Aspiring wholesalers often wonder whether they need to undergo the process of becoming a licensed real estate agent or broker to start wholesaling real estate. Here's a comprehensive answer:

1. General Perspective:

In many areas, real estate wholesaling doesn't technically require a real estate license. This is because wholesalers aren't acting as agents or brokers; they're entering into a purchase agreement with a seller and then assigning that agreement to a buyer. They aren't representing any party as an agent would.

2. Legal Distinctions:

However, the distinction lies in the activities performed. If you're merely assigning contracts, a license might not be necessary. But if you're actively marketing properties for others or conducting activities typically reserved for licensed agents, you may be crossing legal boundaries.

3. State Regulations:

Licensing requirements can vary significantly from one state to another. Some states have clear regulations indicating that a license is required for any real estate transaction unless it's a personal sale or purchase. Other states may be more lenient. It's crucial to research and understand local regulations.

4. Benefits of Being Licensed:

While not always a requirement, having a real estate license can offer several benefits for wholesalers:

  • Access to MLS: Licensed agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), providing a wealth of data and potential leads.
  • Credibility: Being licensed can enhance your credibility in the eyes of sellers, buyers, and other professionals.
  • Versatility: With a license, you can diversify your strategies, seamlessly transitioning between wholesaling and traditional brokerage if needed.

5. Potential Drawbacks:

  • Fees: Maintaining a license requires paying associated fees, including board memberships, continuing education, and more.
  • Disclosure: Licensed individuals may need to disclose their licensed status in transactions, which can sometimes complicate wholesaling deals.
  • Ethical Boundaries: Agents and brokers are bound by certain ethical codes, which can impose additional layers of responsibility.

6. The Middle Ground - Working with an Agent:

If you opt not to get licensed, consider building a relationship with a trusted real estate agent. They can offer the benefits of MLS access and credibility, while you bring them potential deals.

How Much Does it Cost to Start Wholesaling? 

Delving into real estate wholesaling can be an attractive proposition for many, primarily due to the potential for high returns. However, like any business venture, it requires some initial capital to get off the ground. Here's a breakdown of the potential costs you might incur when starting a wholesaling business:

1. Education and Training:

  • Books and Courses: Expect to spend anywhere from $20 for a book to several thousand dollars for comprehensive wholesaling courses.
  • Seminars and Workshops: Attending workshops can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the event's scale and prestige.

2. Marketing and Lead Generation:

  • Direct Mail: Sending letters or postcards can cost from $0.50 to $2.00 per piece, considering printing, postage, and list rental.
  • Online Advertising: Running ads on platforms like Google or Facebook can vary widely based on your target audience and competition, but budgeting $500 to $2,000 a month can be a starting point.
  • Bandit Signs: If legal in your area, these signs can cost between $3 to $10 each.
  • Website: A basic website can cost between $100 to $500 for setup and around $10 to $50 monthly for hosting and domain fees.

3. Business Operations:

  • Legal Structure: Setting up an LLC or other legal entity can range from $50 to $500, depending on your state.
  • Business Cards: A basic order might cost between $10 to $100.
  • Real Estate Software: Tools for deal analysis, CRM, and other functions can range from $20 to $200 per month.

4. Due Diligence:

  • Property Inspections: While not always necessary, inspections can cost between $300 to $600.
  • Title Search: This can range from $75 to $200, ensuring there are no liens on the property.

5. Networking:

  • Real Estate Investment Associations (REIAs): Membership or entry fees can range from $50 to $200 annually or per event.
  • Meetups and Local Groups: Some might be free, while others could have entry fees ranging from $10 to $50.

6. Miscellaneous Costs:

  • Gas and Transportation: Visiting potential properties or meeting with sellers/buyers can add up, especially if properties are spread out.
  • Phone Services: Dedicated business lines or call tracking solutions might add $20 to $100 per month.
  • Earnest Money: While often minimal, this good-faith deposit can be between $10 to $1,000 or more, depending on the deal.

12 Tips To Increase Your Wholesaling Real Estate Income

1. Know Your Market Intimately:

Stay updated with local real estate trends, median property prices, and neighborhood development plans. The more you understand, the better you can gauge a property's potential.

2. Expand Your Buyers List:

A robust and diversified buyers list allows you to close deals faster. Attend REIAs, networking events, and utilize online platforms to continuously grow your contacts.

3. Streamline Marketing Efforts:

Test different marketing strategies, measure their ROI, and focus on those that yield the best results. This might include refining direct mail campaigns or optimizing online ads.

Learn More: The Ultimate Real Estate Investor Marketing Plan: Better Data, More Deals

4. Build Strong Relationships:

Foster good relationships with property owners, real estate agents, and other professionals. A strong recommendation or lead can sometimes be more valuable than paid advertising.

5. Master Negotiation Skills:

Being a persuasive negotiator can significantly boost your profit margins. Consider taking courses or attending workshops to hone this skill.

6. Use Technology:

Leverage software and tools that aid in lead management, deal analysis, and communication. Streamlining these processes can free up time for revenue-generating activities.

7. Educate Sellers:

Sometimes, explaining the wholesaling process and its benefits can make a seller more comfortable and willing to close a deal.

8. Diversify Lead Sources:

Don't rely on just one method of finding deals. Explore auctions, probates, for-sale-by-owners, and other channels.

Learn More: How To Find Houses To Flip in Any Market (Easy & Cheap) 

9. Set Clear Goals:

Having a clear monthly or yearly deal target can keep you motivated and provide direction for your efforts.

10. Collaborate with Other Wholesalers:

Joint venture deals or co-wholesaling can be a profitable way to split work and profits, especially on larger deals.

11. Prioritize Continuous Education:

The real estate landscape is ever-evolving. Stay updated with market shifts, legal changes, and emerging strategies through courses, books, and seminars.

12. Optimize Expenses:

Review your business expenses regularly. Eliminate unnecessary costs and renegotiate recurring expenses, like software subscriptions or advertising costs.

Learn More: What is an Assignment Fee? The Ultimate Wholesaler’s Guide

Final Thoughts

Wholesaling real estate is a multifaceted endeavor, presenting both opportunities and challenges. The landscape might seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge, tools, and persistence, it can be a lucrative venture. 

Remember, success in wholesaling doesn't stem from sheer luck but from a blend of research, relationship-building, and resilience. As the industry evolves, so should your strategies. Stay adaptable, stay informed, and most importantly, stay committed to your goals.

Listen on other platforms


Join our Ninja Newsletter

Ready for more?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Subscription implies consent to our privacy policy.