Selling Mobile Homes
By Steve Gillman - 2008
Selling mobile homes can be tricky because they do not always
finance like other homes. This is especially true if the mobile
is an older one. In fact, some old mobile homes are even difficult
to insure, making lenders unwilling to lend on them at any interest
How, then, do you sell mobile homes quickly and for a decent
price? Whether selling your own mobile that you live in, or selling
mobile homes you have as rental investments, there are several
things you can do. But most of them need to be done before you
put up that "for sale" sign.
Selling Mobile Homes - Preparation
The usual preparation helps, of course. Clean the place up,
fix any obvious problems, and mow the lawn. Also, if it is an
older mobile home that needs an occasional cot of tar on the
roof, this can be a relatively cheap way to increase the perceived
value. The more important preparation, however, is not for the
Prepare a list of places that finance mobile homes. This might
take some research online and a few calls around town. Mobiles
are not as easy to finance as other homes, so at least make it
easier for your prospective buyers to find financing. A great
offer isn't great if your buyer can't get a loan.
While doing your research, ask about the requirements for
financing. Is there a limit to the age of the mobile? Is there
a limit to the loan amount? How much of a down payment is required?
You need to be ready to help that buyer.
If it is an older mobile, you may find that almost no insurance
company will write a policy on it. Buyers will want to get home
owners insurance, of course, but more importantly, they will
not be able to get a loan without it. The fact that your insurance
company is currently covering the property doesn't mean that
they will sell a policy to a new buyer. Call and ask them about
this. You may also want to find another insurer or two that cover
mobile homes, so you can send the buyers their way.
Have an information sheet available with all the important
details about the property. Your real estate agent should do
this for you. If you're selling mobile homes on your own, this
is up to you. Be sure to indicate whether the home comes with
land, needs to be moved, or is on a rented lot. Have copies of
this information ready to mail out or hand out, and keep an information
box in the front yard with the "for sale" sign.
Selling Mobile Homes - Providing Financing
If you are in a position to finance the mobile home, you can
get a better price. People buy mobile homes not just because
they are cheaper than other housing, but because the payments
and down payments are often lower (they would buy a $300,000
house if they could pay just $500 per month). Make it easy for
them to buy and you can get as much as 10% more for the home.
Don't do this by letting them assume the payments on your
existing loan. This is dangerous, because their default will
go on your credit report before you even know it happened. There
are other ways to help, though.
If you owe nothing on the home, you can sell it on payments.
Have a lawyer draft the loan and mortgage documents. This resolves
the problem of selling a difficult-to-finance place, and you
can combine a low payment with a five-year balloon so they can
get in easy while you don't have to wait too many years for the
final payoff. I am convinced that we got about 13% more than
we could have for our last mobile home by offering financing.
If you owe on the mobile, and so the buyer needs to get his
own financing to cash you out, you can still help him out. Often
the biggest problem people have buying a home isn't getting the
loan or affording the payments. It is the up front cost - the
down payment and other costs of buying. If you pay all the closing
costs, and even help with the down payment to the extent allowed
by the lender, you can often sell for a much higher price - high
enough to more than cover these costs.
Make it easy for the buyers when selling mobile homes. This
means preparing for any questions, knowing where to send them
for financing and insurance, and helping with their cash needs.
This how you sell faster and for a higher price.