Accession Law LLC


Sep 28, 2010

Get Rich Quick In Real Estate

Attorney James N. Graham, MS, JD
There is an easy way to get rich quick in real estate (and in just about any other kind of business).  Get many people to give money to you.  You must convince them that they will get rich quick(ly) by giving money to you.  This is, as you probably know, the basis of a pyramid scheme.

Every few months, I receive a call from someone who claims to be a real estate investor and who is shopping for a real estate attorney.  The person then asks a series of questions about using a particular technique in acquiring, negotiating for, or selling properties.  For example, they may have a series of questions designed to test my familiarity with the use of the "lease-option" concept. 

It is not unusual that I get a call from someone who is exploring a particular business strategy and who is trying to find a knowledgeable attorney.  What is peculiar, however, it that I will get a flurry of calls with very similar questions about a particular tool.  Then, after several months, I get a flurry of calls about a different tool.

What I eventually learned was that the genesis for most of these calls arises through the "get rich quick" market.  A national speaker or "guru" comes to our area or at least targets our area with marketing materials.  The guru offers, for a fee of several thousand dollars, to reveal the secrets of the guru's wealth.   By the way, lest one might be skeptical, the guru's wealth is loudly and ostentatiously proclaimed and is one of the key selling points of this type of scheme.

The guru offers, (in addition to a set of classes, or a bootcamp, or a series of webcasts), a set of forms to be used for whatever the technique is.  "These forms have been tested in all 50 states by some of the country's best lawyers," they apparently tell their students.  "All you need to do is to have a local attorney confirm that they `work' in your state."  Or something to that effect. 
I have to break the unfortunate news to the "student."  The law does not work this way.  There are no magic formulas that work under all (or most) circumstances. 

Gurus are mostly unregulated, and apparently they feel unrestrained from telling their students virtually anything.  Occasionally they are imprisoned for one of their frauds, but, for the most part, they go around saying whatever is necessary to get people to hand over their wallets.

An attorney, on the other hand, is licensed by a particular state and governed by a code of professional responsibility.  The profession requires competence, diligence, and attention to the best interests of the client.  Failure to do so is the basis for sanctions including loss of license and monetary damages. 

So, I cannot do what the gurus apparently say that I should be able to do.  I cannot bless their forms or their schemes because it is not a matter of getting a blessing.  One hires an attorney for professional experience and advice within the parameters of the law. This may well help one to get rich, but it probably will not be quick, and it almost certainly will not involve a guru.