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I was recently in communication with the investigative supervisor of the Ohio Department of Commerce, who informed me that his department was actively pursuing wholesalers who are marketing properties they do not yet own without a real estate license. He defined having ownership as having a recorded deed interest; and not an equitable interest such as options, contract for deed, etc.
He called it "unlicensed activity," even though there is a purchase and sale in place.
When I asked him about marketing the contract vs. marketing the property, he never responded.
The department threatened to fine unlicensed wholesalers $1,000.00 per day per violation.
It would be in the best interest of the wholesale community to get to the bottom of this. I have spoken with a local attorney in Ohio, and learned that there is a lot of grey area in laws concerning real estate, because it exempts people with an interest (a deed), and not people with an equitable interest (contractual interest or option, etc).
If you are wholesaling in Ohio, or if you know someone who is, then please pass along this information; because the investigative supervisor said that they have 4 wholesalers on their "watch list," and that they are actively pursuing more. A wholesaler basically has to close first before re-marketing the property, which goes against how most transactional lenders want to lend. The Ohio State Commissioner's interpretation of the law will hurt a lot of good people in the wholesaling business. While I know there are a lot of wholesalers that do not know what they are doing; there are those that do, and they provide a solid value to their customers.
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