Real Estate Wholesaling vs. Flipping: What’s the Difference?

Real estate investing industry offers multiple opportunities to make money. Two of the commonly known investment strategies are wholesaling and flipping. Both strategies aim to earn a profit in the real estate market, but the process to reach the profit is quite different. Here’s what you need to know about real estate wholesaling vs. flipping.

Real Estate Wholesaling:

Real estate wholesaling is a strategy where an investor looks for distressed properties, contracts with the seller, and then assigns or “flips” the contract to another buyer at a higher price than the contracted price. The investor does not take the ownership of the property, but only the contract, in which they are granted the right to purchase it from the seller.

Wholesaling is beneficial for investors with limited capital as it does not require much investment in the property. Additionally, it allows investors to make a profit without the need to repair or renovate the property. Investors who like to purchase multiple properties in a short duration can benefit from this strategy as it requires relatively less time and effort.


Flipping involves more work, effort, and typically higher investment than wholesaling. Flipping is a strategy where an investor purchases a distressed or undervalued property, renovates it, and then sells it for a higher price. Flipping is a long-term strategy that requires renovation and repair work of properties to make them attractive to potential buyers.

Flipping can be profitable as it allows investors to add value to a property and sell it for a higher price that represents the added value. However, investors must have a more comprehensive understanding of the real estate market, including renovation and repair work, costs, and time involved.

The Differences:

The primary difference between wholesaling and flipping is the investor’s ownership of the property. Wholesaling allows investors to earn a profit without taking ownership of the property, while flipping requires investors to purchase the property and, consequently, assume the risk associated with it.

The two strategies also differ in their level of risk, investment amount, and potential rewards. Wholesaling requires relatively less financial investment and risk, but it also offers lower rewards than flipping, which requires a higher investment and carries a higher risk but offers the possibility of higher rewards.

Which one is right for you?

Choosing between wholesaling and flipping depends on individual circumstances of the investor, including capital availability, risk tolerance, market knowledge, and expertise. Investors with limited capital or less experience may prefer wholesaling, while those seeking more substantial rewards may choose flipping.

Both wholesaling and flipping are profitable strategies for real estate investors. However, considering the differences and risks involved can help investors choose the right strategy that aligns with their goals, available resources, and area of expertise.