Most people with an interest in real estate investing are familiar with "flipping" or "fix 'n flip" investing.
Simply put, this is the act of buying a property (usually distressed), remodeling or fixing it up (bringing it up to fair market value), then selling it on the open (usually retail) market for a profit.
While this can be and is a profitable model for real estate investing that's pursued by many, it's not meant for everybody. It requires either far more expertise and knowledge than wholesaling and either personal remodeling skills or the ability to hire contractors and support construction personnel to do the "fixing" for you.
Yes, this also typically means either financial backing, loans, or otherwise tying up your own funds for the purchase, materials, labor, and time spent sitting on the market until it sells.
When I got started, I didn't have any money... and I know (since you're reading this) you're likely in that same boat. Now, it took me several years and money spent (as I could) on books, classes and seminars, software, etc. trying to piece the process together and figuring out how to make it work for ME.
See, wholesaling doesn't require a lot of money upfront (sometimes none as long as you have access to a few resources to get you started), involves little-to-no risk (provided you do it correctly), means you never have to fix anything or hire any kind of remodelers, yet can yield significant checks -- which can obviously be used for other endeavors, to scale your wholesaling business into a full-blown venture, etc. (To-date, my lowest check was $1,000... and that was on a small vacant lot that I acquired literally as an experiment. Lol)
Disclaimer: My results are not a reflection of what you can expect or guarantee of your results and should not be construed as such. You're responsible for your own efforts and outcomes. I have no accountability or liability to the level of your profit, loss, success, or failure.
In a nut-shell, you're flipping a house (deed or the equivalent in your state or jurisdiction), while in wholesaling, you're flipping a contract. That's it. Sounds really simple, right? And it is... to me. Simple, however, doesn't always equate to easy, and you'd do yourself well to understand the difference.