Avoid Real Estate License for House Flipping
5 minute read
July 18, 2023


Do you need a real estate license to flip a house? Is getting a real estate license a good strategy for a house flipper?

The quick answer is: no.

Why not, you might ask? After all, a real estate agent can look up houses that come on the market right away and grab them quickly before the competition swoops in. Besides, you can make extra money in the same industry practically at the same time, right?

Think again.

More than likely, this strategy will turn into a giant waste of time and money and may even kill your budding flipping career before it starts.

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Reason 1: Double learning curve

One of the primary reasons you should reconsider getting a real estate license while flipping houses is the steep learning curve associated with each endeavor.

As a new investor, you’ll already face numerous challenges in mastering the art of house flipping. These include understanding the local market, accurately estimating repair costs, and managing renovation projects.

The licensing exam

Suppose you decide to pursue a real estate license simultaneously.

In that case, you’ll need to learn an entirely different skill set to pass the licensing exam—several of these regulations may not directly benefit your house-flipping business.

Juggling both tasks at once can be overwhelming and ultimately hinder your progress in both areas.

By focusing solely on flipping houses, you can dedicate your time and resources to mastering this craft without added stress.

Reason 2: Wasted time and money

As mentioned above, many of the subjects you’ll be studying to obtain a real estate license—topics such as federal housing laws and other regulations—are unlikely to benefit your house-flipping endeavors directly.

Besides, all that time and effort you put into passing the test? You could have spent it completing an entire house flip project.

It’s not just the first exam, either

Additionally, a real estate license requires annual continuing education courses; further consuming your valuable and limited house-flipping business resources over an extended time.

Instead, aspiring house flippers could put their efforts toward building knowledge and skills in the specific domain of house flipping—including learning about property valuation, renovation techniques, and effective project management strategies. 

Reason 3: Lack of focus

Each profession—house flipper and Realtor— demands full attention and dedication.

For instance, successful real estate agents must continuously build their network, market themselves to buyers and sellers, and stay updated on local housing trends.

Meanwhile, a professional house flipper must concentrate on a myriad of smaller factors like finding appropriate properties, managing renovations, and selling homes for maximum profit. Each one of these factors can make a difference toward a successful conclusion.

Jack of all trades, master of none

Attempting to juggle both roles at once can result in a subpar performance in each field. Instead of dividing your time and energy between two disparate professions, it’s more effective to focus solely on your house-flipping business and build a strong team to support your endeavors.

Get financing for your next fix and flip.

Reason 4: Your direct access to MLS is unnecessary

A common argument for obtaining a real estate license as a fix and flip investor is having direct access to the super-important Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

However, this overlooks the benefits of delegating tasks to a strong team that can provide you with the necessary resources and expertise—skills they likely already possess.

Instead of investing time and money into getting a real estate license solely for MLS access, it’s far more efficient to hire a top-notch real estate agent. A skilled agent can alert you as soon as a promising property hits the market.

MLS is not the “be-all, end-all” of new listings

Moreover, many of the best investment properties for flipping never even make it onto MLS.

As a house flipper, a potential job is to proactively seek out potential deals by knocking on doors and inquiring about purchasing distressed properties—before they even get listed on MLS.

Once a property is listed, competition increases, and your chances of securing a great deal diminish significantly.

By concentrating on building a solid agent and team, you can avoid obtaining a real estate license.

Not only does this save you valuable time and resources, but it also allows you to keep your eye on the ball—namely, honing your fix and flip skills.

Reason 5: A “regular job” is often a better choice

For new and serious fix and flip investors, a steady income source while building your business is a good strategy.

However, having a regular job that provides financial stability and allows for nights and weekends free can be a much better “backstop” to support your house-flipping endeavors.

Being a successful real estate agent requires extensive marketing efforts, networking, and time investment to secure clients and close deals.

If your primary focus is somewhere else—on flipping houses or any other major project—it’s unlikely that you’ll generate substantial supporting income as an agent.

Flipping often requires a regular schedule

A conventional job with a predictable 9-to-5 schedule and income can provide financial stability to support your house-flipping venture.

The bottom line is no—you don’t need a real estate license to flip

Obtaining a real estate license to flip houses is not a recommended approach for aspiring fix and flip investors.

The double learning curve, wasted time and money, lack of focus, unnecessary MLS access, and the benefits of a regular job as a backstop all argue against pursuing a real estate license.

Instead, concentrate on building your house-flipping business, assemble a strong team, and maintain financial stability through a regular job for greater success in the long run.

Connect with the best lender for your project.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.

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