Question: “Can Realtors also work as wholesalers?”
Depending on the situation, but in many scenarios they cannot; clarifying the question or using a specific example might help explain. This is a question I've heard a couple of times during conversations about real estate in Washtenaw and surrounding counties.
First, let’s specify: By 'wholesaler' I assume you mean a wholesale buyer, which would be a buyer who is purchasing a property with the intent of re-selling the property or assigning the contract to purchase a property over to another entity to settle/close that purchase in exchange for a margin or a profit built into that assignment. “Wholesaler” is a type of buyer, so as any other buyer who also holds a real estate license in Michigan would, a real estate licensee should disclose whether they are also acting as a buyer in a transaction.
There should never be a situation where a licensee is working both as an agent for a seller while also working as or on behalf of a buyer (including a “wholesaler” buyer), since doing so could create a conflict of interest between the two parties. For example: Agent A goes to meet a Homeowner B to interview to sell his condo in Ypsilanti; but Agent A becomes interested in buying the condo for themselves; Agent A should then disclose themselves as a buyer before Homeowner B divulges confidential info to them and before Agent A enters into a listing agreement to market the property for Homeowner B. This way the agent can work for themselves as a buyer, and the seller can accept an offer without having to market and show the home to the public (and without unwittingly sharing confidential information intended for their agent/fiduciary, to the buyer on the other side of the deal instead).
I've noticed Ann Arbor and Ypsi Realtors using marketing techniques similar to what wholesalers use, and sell properties with contract clauses including options, assignment clauses and unconventional financing. These practices aren't inherently problematic if they're done legally and ethically (with disclosure, etc). So to recap, a Realtor can be a wholesaler if they are working as or on behalf of a buyer when they follow state law and abide by the NAR code of ethics.