Selling a mobile home can be a daunting and arduous task and is not something that we all have experience with. Sometimes it is helpful to have the steps broken down for us to make it more manageable. The internet is a great place to start for searching the laws and guidelines for your country. If you live in a mobile home park, you will also need to first find out the regulations that are set for approval to sell. If you are living in a mobile home park, the management of the park will most certainly have guidelines and resources that you will need to be aware of. In addition to this, you will have to consider one important question:
Are you going to sell your mobile home on your own or hire an agent?
Once you have considered this, you will be ready to get started with the following 10 steps to sell your mobile home. If you are hiring an agent, some of these steps will be the responsibility of the agent so this will mostly be helpful if you are selling independently. The following 10 easy steps are broken down into two categories that help you to get your home ready to sell and what to do after you have a potential buyer.
Prior To Listing Your Home:
1. Research the Mobile Home Selling Market
Selling your mobile home in a competitive market can be difficult. There are usually two types of buyers: a buyer who is willing to pay you cash up front or the buyer who can only make you monthly payments and a deposit. The big difference between these two individuals is the amount of money they have on hand to give you. It will be important if you have a payment buyer to ensure you receive a large enough deposit before handing over the title. A buyer with money to put down shows commitment and is less likely to leave you after a short amount of time.
It is important to take the time to research the market and understand how other people sell their mobile homes. If you live in a park, enlist advice from other mobile home owners about any experience they have had. Join community groups online that can provide support and answer questions and don’t forget to remember that you have the authority on your mobile home and you don’t need to ever feel pressured or rushed through this difficult process.
2. Get Your Mobile Home Appraised
Prior to listing your home, you will need to have it appraised. Appraising a home is an important step in determining what your home is worth and how much you list it for. Agents use special algorithms for this and consider many factors, such as condition, supply & demand, and location.
Talk to others and use popular real estate sites like Yahoo! Home, Trulia, and Zillow to find comparable mobile homes that are listed in your area. More than likely you will have to reduce your asking price by a little so it is important to factor that into the equation and know what price you are comfortable selling it for should you need to negotiate.
3. Have your Mobile Home Inspected
Think about when you were purchasing your mobile home. Before handing over the money, you wanted to know as much as you could about the home. You also want to know about the problems so that nothing unexpected came up in the years to come. This is what the buyers of your mobile home want to know.
You are probably looking at less than $500 to have your home inspected but this is money well spent when you consider how fixing problems now can increase the likelihood of a sale later. Mobile home inspection, in the long run, could increase your chances of selling the home faster and at a higher price. It also makes it smoother for the buyer as most banks will not give a loan without an inspection.
4. Prepare High-Quality Photos of Your Mobile Home
It will be important to take high-quality photos of your mobile home. You can either do this yourself or you can hire someone depending on your photography skills. Good photographs are the first step in convincing someone that they should phone or visit your mobile home to further inspect and appreciate what you are selling. If the photos are of low quality, you can be sure that someone else has created better photos to convince someone to consider a viewing.
Consider investing in this process as it will most certainly pay off in the long run. Photographs are one of the most important first steps in ensuring that your mobile home is pursued by potential buyers. Think about your own behavior when you are purchasing online, through catalogs or viewing posters. Design, color, and overall quality are important in your decision-making.
5. Advertise Your Mobile Home in Several Places
Once you have done your market research, completed an inspection and had an appraisal done, you are ready to start advertising your home. Some tips to consider when advertising are:
- Create a budget for your advertisements
- Choose multiple avenues for advertising (newspaper, flyers, online spaces, real estate agent, open houses, etc…)
- Be flexible in terms of payment plans (cash up front vs. payment plan)
- Consider paying someone to create professional designs for your advertisements as this can go a long way in your efforts to make the sale.
One important thing to note about buyers who are looking to purchase a mobile home is that they have usually enlisted an agent to find a home. Other top avenues for searching is through the internet and yard sale signs.
6. Stage Your Home
Regardless of whether you are selling on your own or with an agent, you will need to stage your home. The major difference between staging and decorating your home is that decorating your home highlights you are the owner and your general appearance. Staging is really more about featuring the home rather than the seller and creating an environment that makes your home attractive and a place that the buyer would want to live.
When staging your home you really want to appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Here are some helpful things to consider when staging your home:
- Limit the furniture and decorations to a minimum.
- Invest in good lighting in each room. Lighting also makes the room seem larger.
- Remember that plants can help the environment and soften weaker features.
- Keep the painting of your walls as neutral as possible so the buyer can envision what he/she would want the room to look like.
After Finding a Potential Buyer
7. Follow Up and Verify Funds with Buyer
Once you have a potential buyer and he/she has agreed to pay cash for your mobile home or will be financing it through the bank, you will want to make sure that they have the funds required and you will want to follow up with them.
To verify that the buyer has funds, you may request a proof of funds from the buyer who will need to get this information from where their funds reside. Typically, a proof of funds would be on official letterhead with the name of the account holder and funds available for withdrawal.
There are a number of different forms of a proof of funds and you will need to discuss with your agent or with the buyer what is required if you go the independent route. You could always consult with your bank as to what they would provide you should you be in a position to need a proof of funds.
If you are in a park, then the park management should let you know when the buyer has been approved. Until that point, continue to advertise your home and follow up with any potential buyers within 48 hours of a verbal agreement. If your buyer is not approved at the park within 48 hours, this is a good indication that they may be stalling and the situation should be investigated before you decide to take it off the market.
8. Prepare Closing Documents
Once the above has been investigated and you have a confirmed buyer, you will need to prepare a number of closing documents.
- If the buyer is on a payment plan, you will need to collect something called a Seller’s Information Sheet with their important information such as social security number, bank information, contact details, etc…
- A bill of sale is an important document that describes the terms of the sale. You and the buyer will each get a copy.
- A Promissory Note is only necessary if you have an agreement on monthly payments. Each party will receive a copy and it will detail the agreements.
- Agreement After Closing – in the rare event that you would need to stay in the property after the official closing then you would prepare this document.
The above documents will differ depending on where you are selling and what laws and guidelines you are under. You will need to prepare these documents prior to creating an appointment to do the official closing.
9. Create an Appointment to Close
One of the final steps is to create an appointment to close. This is when the title of the home is transferred to the new owner. Ensure that you’re put as the “Lein Holder” to the new Title. Do not hand over the original Title until you are fully paid.
If you have made arrangements with the buyer to receive monthly payments, make sure that the buyer has insurance on the home in case of fire or damages. Recommend that they buy a Home Owner’s policy and add you as one of the insured people.
10. Do Not Be Bullied
It will be important throughout all of this to remember that you are the seller and this is your home. The process can be stressful and overwhelming at times and many people will want to give you their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. You know your home well and you have done the necessary work to prepare it for sale. Also, you have prepared and worked through all of the necessary paperwork to ensure a smooth transition in the handover.
In all the steps listed above, do not allow yourself to be bullied or manipulated. If you are not comfortable with something or you are having second thoughts about a potential buyer, remember you are in control at any point of the transactions. It isn’t until the final transfer of Title and exchange of monies that the home is no longer yours.
Knowing how to sell your mobile home can be stressful and it is overwhelming to know where to start. These 10 Easy Steps should provide a course of action for you as you navigate this process. If followed, these steps should bring comfort and peace of mind to you as you ensure you have covered all the things needed to make sure that you get as close to your asking price as possible and that the buyer is happy with their purchase.
Each location is going to have a different process for paperwork and it will be up to you to research the necessary documents that you will need for your area. Consider hiring a lawyer or an agent to help you, if needed. Taking the stress off your shoulders can make the difficult process of selling a mobile home that much easier and smoother.