Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan
Luxury caravan, mobile home, landscaped with front lawn, palm trees, clear sky
Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan

    How to Sell a Mobile Home

    Selling a mobile home can seem overwhelming, but with the right preparation and knowledge, the process can be relatively straightforward. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to sell a mobile home, covering everything from preparing the home for sale to negotiating with buyers.

    Prepare the Mobile Home Before Selling

    Cleaning

    Don't get ready to sell a mobile home without giving it a thorough cleaning first. Start by wiping down all surfaces and scrubbing the kitchen, bathrooms, and furniture. Alternatively, this can be left to a professional cleaning company if needed. Remove clutter or personal items from home. This will help the potential buyers focus on the home’s features, rather than the current tenants’ belongings.

    It’s also beneficial to make sure the yard is tidy and the outside of the home is well-maintained.  Take care of landscaping by trimming overgrown greenery or mowing the lawn. The exterior of the home might need a power wash, as well as the driveway and walkways. Outdoor furniture should be in good condition, otherwise replace it or stow it away for the time being.

    Maintenance

    Once the cleaning is taken care of, it’s time to take care of any maintenance issues. This includes things like checking and repairing any plumbing or electrical issues, replacing any air filters, and testing all the appliances. Look out for cracks in ceilings or walls and that all doors and windows are functioning properly. It wouldn't hurt to get the furnace serviced either since an efficiently running furnace will use less energy and save you money. Whether it's a new water heater or a more efficient air condition unit, we highly recommend installing a few energy-efficient appliances. 

    It’s also important to make sure the mobile home is up to code with up-to-date electrical and plumbing systems, and proper insulation. Finally, it’s important to make sure the mobile home is up to date on any required safety inspections. This includes things like carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. To go that extra mile, have the place inspected by a licensed professional before putting it on the market to identify potential issues and give potential buyers peace of mind that the home has been professionally reviewed.

    Staging

    Once the mobile home is cleaned, maintained, and repaired, it’s time to start thinking about staging. Staging is making the home look as attractive as possible to potential buyers, which can be completed by anything from rearranging furniture to adding decor.

    Your goal is to help potential buyers visualize themselves living in the home and make them feel as if they could move in the next day. A well-staged home is what makes a home memorable and stands out from the competition. To make the staging successful, the home should be strategically staged for the intended buyer. If the home is being marketed to families, add some family-friendly decor. If it’s being marketed to young professionals, highlight a potential home-office space. 

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    Set the Price

    Research Prices

    The first step in setting the price for your mobile home is to research prices. You can do this by looking at recent sales in the area and researching what similar mobile homes in your area are being sold for. To get an idea of what you can expect to get for your home, follow our guide on “How to Conduct a Comparative Market Analysis.” 

    After determining what you can expect for your mobile home, factor in the expenses of the repairs and upgrades necessary in order to attract buyers. Calculate services for painting, cleaning, landscaping, or anything else needed to pass a home inspection. 

    Calculate Profit and Set the Price

    Don't let the possibility of having to pay taxes on the sale of your mobile home slip your mind. Factor in closing costs, commissions, or any fees that are needed in order to complete the sale. After calculating your profit, use this number to determine the price you will set for your mobile home.

    Set your price based on the market price for similar mobile homes in the area. While setting a price, you should also deliberate whether you want to extend any special offers to attract buyers. This could include offering to pay for closing costs or offering a discount if the buyer pays cash. You should also consider any incentives you may want to offer to a buyer, such as a free appliance or an offering to pay for the first year of rent in a new park. Once you have set a price and considered any special offers or incentives you may want to make, you will be ready to list your mobile home and start attracting buyers.

    Market the Mobile Home

    Create an Ad

    Create an ad that highlights all of your home’s best features alongside its size, condition, amenities, or improvements that have been made. Along with the features, you should include photos of the home and any surrounding areas. Your ad should also include the price of the home and any additional costs that may be associated with it, such as land leases or park fees.

    Make sure you are honest and accurate in your ad description. Misrepresenting the home or leaving out important details could cause potential buyers to become frustrated. Additionally, if you’re selling a mobile home in a park, be sure to include any rules that are in place that may affect the sale.

    Networking and Handling Inquiries

    Anything you can do to get the word out about your mobile home is crucial to selling it. Network with potential buyers by attending local events related to mobile homes, such as home shows or expos. To reach a larger audience, try joining online groups related to mobile homes, such as Facebook groups or forums. Another option is local real estate agents who specialize in manufactured homes, who can help you market your home and can help you find the right buyer quickly.

    Respond to inquiries quickly to demonstrate that you are serious about selling and are willing to help them make an informed decision. Offer your contact information so they can reach out to you directly and feel as if addressing their concerns is your priority.

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    Negotiate With Buyers

    Set a Firm Price

    Before you can even begin to negotiate with buyers, you must set a realistic yet firm price for your mobile home with land. Don't be too quick to discount your home’s price. While you should definitely be reasonable, remember that you are the one in control of the negotiation process and you know your home's value best. The power to determine how much you are willing to accept for your home is yours alone.

    Be Prepared to Negotiate

    Negotiations are inevitable in real estate, which is why doing your research on the current and local market is so consequential to guide your counteroffers. Be prepared for any potential pitfalls during the negotiation process. You want to be on guard should any legal or financial issues arise during the negotiation process. This could include such things as zoning restrictions, liens, or financing issues. Being aware of potential problems in advance will help you to avoid them during the negotiation process.

    Finally, it’s important to be prepared with a list of questions that you can ask potential buyers. This will help you to get a better understanding of their situation and make sure that they are just as serious about buying as you are selling.

    Secure a Deposit

    Once you have found a buyer and you have agreed on a price, it’s time to secure a deposit. A deposit is a sum of money that the buyer puts down as a sign of good faith that they are serious about purchasing the home. It is a legal agreement that binds the buyer to the purchase and protects you from any potential losses.

    When it comes to deposits, the amount can vary, but it's generally advisable to ask for 10% of the purchase price. You don't want the amount to be so large that it financially burdens them out of buying the home, but just enough to show their commitment to the sale. It’s important to remember that the deposit is refundable if the buyer backs out of the purchase.

    Once you have received the deposit, it’s a good idea to put it in an escrow account. This will ensure that the money is safe and that it will be returned to the buyer if they decide not to go through with the purchase. It will also ensure that the money is available when it comes time to close the deal.

    Agree on Closing Costs

    Once you have agreed on a price and secured a deposit, it’s time to agree on closing costs. Closing costs are fees associated with the purchase of a home and can include such things as title fees, transfer taxes, and legal fees. Generally, the buyer is responsible for paying the majority of the closing costs, but you may be able to negotiate who is paying for what. By making sure that both parties are clear on what they are responsible for, you ensure that the sale is completed in a timely manner and according to the agreement.

    Closing the Sale

    Secure Financing

    Depending on the type of home being sold and its location, there are several types of financing options available for buyers. If the home is on land that you do not own, then buyers may need to look into a chattel loan, a personal loan, or a seller-financing arrangement.

    In the case of a chattel loan, buyers can apply for a loan from a lender that specializes in manufactured homes. If you are willing to take on some of the risks, you may be able to arrange a seller-financing agreement. This type of arrangement involves you providing the financing for the home and collecting the monthly payments from the buyer. This type of arrangement can be beneficial to both you and the buyer, as it allows the buyer to purchase the home without needing to go through traditional financing.

    Prepare Documents

    Figuring out the necessary documents will depend on whether you are selling a manufactured home that is on land that you own or not. For those who own the land, prepare a real estate contract, along with any other documents required by your state. If you don’t own the land, then you will need to prepare a contract of sale, which is similar to a real estate contract but is specific to the sale of a manufactured home.

    In addition to the contract, you will also need to prepare all of the necessary closing documents ( the deed of sale, a bill of sale, a title transfer form, etc.). 

    Transfer Title and Finalizing the Sale

    Once the financing and documents have been prepared, the next step is to transfer the title of the home.  In most cases, the title will be transferred to the buyer at the time of closing. Sometimes the title is transferred before closing if the buyer is unable to pay the full purchase price or if there is a lien on the home. Finally, if the home is in a mobile home park, then the title will need to be transferred to the park owner. This is typically done at the same time that the title is transferred to the buyer. It is important to make sure that the title is transferred to the park owner correctly, as this will ensure that the park owner is properly compensated for allowing the buyer to live in the home.

    Finalizing the sale means all documents have been signed in order for the buyer to be considered the rightful owner. At this point, you will be able to collect the purchase price and any related closing costs, and the buyer will be able to move into their new home.

    Static caravan houses

    Essential Tips

    Maintain Good Records

    Keeping accurate records of your mobile home’s history is essential when it comes to selling. Make sure that you have everything from ownership documents to repair records to any permits needed for the land it’s on. This will provide potential buyers with the information they need to feel comfortable about the purchase.

    You should also collect any relevant information about the land your mobile home is on, such as the deed or lease, zoning or deed restrictions, or any laws or permits related to land use. If you have any recent appraisals or assessments of the land and mobile home, you should also keep these records. 

    Know Local Laws

    Before you start selling your mobile home, it’s important to be aware of the laws in your area. Different states and municipalities may have different rules related to selling manufactured homes, particularly if you’re selling the home on land you don’t own. Be aware of any zoning laws or other restrictions that may apply to the land your mobile home is on.

    Start Early

    You should also start marketing the home as soon as possible. If you’re working with a real estate agent, they can help you create a marketing plan, which can include things like listing the home on websites, advertising in local papers, and holding open houses. Starting early will help you get the most visibility for your home and attract more potential buyers.

    Conclusion

    By following these steps, you can ensure that you are prepared to put your mobile home on the market and have the best chance of selling it quickly and for the best price.

    Check out our selling options at unrealestate.com/sell or find your perfect home at unrealestate.com/search.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts about this article and our blog. Let us know how we did by completing the Unreal Estate Blog Feedback Survey.

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