Let s see---you want to know several things. 1. You want to find "rundown" houses in your area 2. You want to sell the "rundown" houses to investors 3. You want to know what a double closing is and functions 4. You want information on the process and function of an Assignment of Contract with realtors 5. You want the realtors to, then, sell the properties to people who buy "ugly houses." I believe I have them in order. 1. Finding "rundown" houses is as easy as a trip to the Register of Deeds office in your county seat and the County Treasurer s office. In the Tax office, you research what houses are in foreclosure or who are in arrears in their taxes. In some states you can even ask about "Tax Lien Certificate Purchases." This is a method of purchasing a home by paying only the "back taxes". Most states, however, have auctions on the "courthouse steps." You can find those sales in the legal section of your newspaper. So, say you ve found some properties that are in foreclosure and you go take a look at them; which brings us to #2. 2. Before you purchase any properties, make sure you ve established some type of dialogue with a bank. I have, in the past, used "bridge loans" until I could flip the house. A "bridge loan" is a loan that is taken out for about 6 months to a year; you pay only the interest until the house is sold. Then you would pay off the loan, as well as closing costs. Which brings us to #3. 3. Whether you arrange to be a partner with the "ugly house investors" or you decide to get a bridge loan, you will only have to have one closing fee if the house is in foreclosure. Many times the mortgage companies holding the foreclosed property will waive closing costs. If you have a bridge loan, then there is only one closing---after you have improved the property and sold the property. But will you want to completely sign over your rights to the property prior to the proprety being improved and sold for more than you paid? Or will you be a partner? Which brings us to #4 4. Let s look at the Assignment Contract. The Assignment of Contract provides for a written transfer of a contract from one of the original contract parties to someone else. WHY Contract rights and obligations are in the nature of property. This means that, like other kinds of property, they can be transferred to someone else. Because the act of assigning contract rights involves an agreement itself, it is best to put the assignment terms in writing. WHO As a general rule, any party to a contract may assign his or her rights unless (1) the contract prohibits the assignment, or (2) the law prohibits the assignment. These issues are discussed further below. ASSIGNMENT AND DELEGATION Transferring rights, like the right to receive payments, is called "assigning". Transferring obligations, such as the promise to do some work or deliver some goods, is called "delegating". The party making an assignment is called an "assignor". The person who receives the assignment is the "assignee". If an obligation is transferred, the that delegates his or her duties is a "delegator". The person who accepts the obligation is called the "delegatee". As a general rule, parties to a contract are free to assign rights or delegate responsibilities, subject to certain exceptions. First, the parties are free to make their own rules in their contract and prevent or restrict assignments. As a result, contracts now commonly provide a restriction on assignment that covers at least one of the parties. Second, the law prohibits assignment if the transfer of rights would increase the performance obligations of the other party. For example, consider a contract to deliver goods to the buyers warehouse, which is close to the sellers facility. If the buyer assigns the contract rights to someone else in another city, this creates a hardship on the seller. Its substantially more expensive to deliver to another city, so this assignment would not be permitted. The same principle applies if duties are to be delegated. Those who have made promises cannot delegate the responsibility to someone else if it would cause an undue burden on the party receiving the performance, or if the delegation changes the character of the promised performance. This is most common when the promised performance involves something of a personal character. For example, you might hire a well known artist to do a portrait of your child. The artist could not delegate that responsibility to another artist. Similarly, the law will not let you delegate a promise to repay a debt. The promise to repay a debt is personal in nature, and the person to whom the promise is transferred may not be an acceptable credit risk. Again, these rules can be modified by the agreement of the parties. DO OBLIGATIONS GET TRANSFERRED WITH RIGHTS? Often, contracts are assigned with no mention of transferring duties. A court will look at all of the circumstances to determine if the parties intended a transfer of duties, too. In most cases, it is presumed that the parties intended to transfer both rights and duties, unless the facts suggest otherwise. As always, it is best to make your intentions clear in a written assignment agreement. This form includes language that clearly makes the assignee responsible for any remaining obligations. CONSENT Double check the contract carefully to see if the other party s consent is required before assignment. If consent is required, make sure the other party gives you that consent in writing before committing to assign. Which brings us, finally, to #5. 5. Why would you need a realtor in the middle? The people who buy "ugly houses" are already backed by investors, I believe, and you would not have to pay the realtor fees if you contacted the Investor Representatives ("ugly house people") directly. My suggestion, after you have done the leg work--and there is leg work---your research at the Treasurer s Office and the Register of Deeds, is to talk to a bank, a mortgage company, and one of the "we buy ugly houses" folks. Keep accurate notes of your meetings with all of them, then you will have a relatively good picture of how the process will work each time you want to flip a property. Location, Location, Location is also a good rule in residential real estate. Another piece of research is in the County Commissioners and Land Use departments of your county offices. You will know if roads will be coming in or out, whether there are any encroachments on the properties surrounding the properties in foreclosure, etc. All of these factors will affect resale values. This may seem long, but if you break everything down---one rock at a time---you can move the mountain. Good luck to you.