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Mobile Home sales
Tips and advice when buying or selling

Mobile Home sales (buying or selling) can be easy or hard, depending on many factors.  The good news is that you can make the process much easier with a little planning.

Here is some more detailed information:

Here are the basics

Buying or Selling a Mobile Home is just like normal Real Estate, with a few differences.  We will break down the process of buying and selling a property in general, with the Mobile Home sales aspect weaved in.

The Mobile Home sales process - Buying

Let's assume that you have your reasons for buying, and so you go looking around at some homes for sale.  Typically this will put you in conact with the Real Esate agent who has the listing.  You do not have to use this agent to represent you - and we suggest that you do not do this.  See the "how to choose an agent" page for more information.

You should keep looking until you find the right property (be picky - there are many good properties coming up all the time).  

Once you have decided on the right property, you will need to officially put an offer in.  Make sure you know before now if you will use an agent or not, and if so, have them picked out and under contract with you.  

Writing the offer is the first stressful part of the Mobile Home sales process.  If your agent is doing their job, this should seem easy to you.  Don't be afraid to make them work for their commission, but by the same token, don't badger them either.  Negotiate now, don't be too eager to get the property.

Once this back-and-forth is done, you will need to give your good faith deposit, and escrow is opened.  Here is where you switch gears.

Now you need to qualify for the park residency, get your inspection done (property inspection), and proceed with your loan processing.  The park might need as much or more information on you than your lender does.

Some possible hang ups in Mobile Home sales:

  • The termite report comes up with a lot of work to be done
  • The lender is requiring a lot more information and documentation from you
  • The inspection report brought up issues with the structure that you did not consider (problems)
  • The park found something it did not like about you and so you may not be allowed in

If you have done your homework (the recommendations given on this website!), then you would know that most of these issues can be over come, or addressed before getting to this stage.  But realize that Real Estate in all its forms is NEVER 100%.  Just be flexible and you will be able to adjust to what ever challenge comes up.

A little advice:

  1. Don't buy any big ticket items before qualifying for a loan (autos, etc.)
  2. Don't quit your job or retire before qualifying for a loan
  3. Save as much money as you can, it never hurts to have extra
  4. Realize that buying a home (mobile or otherwise) is very expensive.  Lots of fees and lots of people are involved to make this transaction happen for you.
  5. Don't plan to move in the day you are scheduled to close escrow - give yourself a day or two.  Typically, an escrow will close on time, but not always - don't have movers showing up when the home is not yours yet.
  6. Try to limit your vacations if you can help it during the process

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The Mobile Home sales process - Selling

The Mobile Home sales process, again, can be easy or hard. Selling a home is the same if it is mobile or not, but here is the normal process and some helpful advice.

Your decision to sell will then be followed up by the decision to try it your self or hire an agent or broker.  See the "should you use an agent" page for more information about this decision. Follow the rule that you get what you pay for, and make sure you interview your potential agents thoroughly.  Ask a lot of what if questions.  Make sure to see the "how to choose an agent" page and the recommended agents as well.

Either doing it yourself or hiring an agent, the next step is letting the world know that your home is for sale and advertising is a key part.  Don't be cheap - spend some money on good advertisements, or make sure your agent is doing this.  The Mobile Home sales process is expensive, know this going in.

If all goes as planned, you will have an offer in fairly soon.  If not, then consider dropping your price.  How soon and how much is hard to say, but usually a home that is priced correctly will sell in about 3 months.  If an offer comes in sooner, then you may not have asked too much, and therefore you may want to not be as flexible in your price or terms.  However, if 2 months go by with no interest, then you should consider dropping the price at least a little bit.  A great agent will earn their money at this stage and the next.

Negotiation - the stress mounts.  Let's assume an offer comes in and it is good.  There are two schools of thought:  first, take it and run; second, negotiate hard.  Most will depend on what the offer is like and how close to your asking price it is.

Finally, escrow is opened, the inspections are done and then the buyer comes back and asks for additional items to be fixed or changed.  Such as a cracked window in the shed they want replaced.  This is minor and completely up to you.  However, if the termite report comes back with major damage, then you got problems!  Again, a great agent will be in valuable at this stage.

Once escrow closes you get your money!

A little advice:

  1. Don't be too anxious to drop your price if you are competitive (look at recent sales in your park)
  2. Make sure your place is VERY clean and clear the clutter away.  
  3. Make sure your home is like a hotel, you will get a higher price and more people interested the better your place looks and feels.
  4. You may need to be flexible in the time it will take to get the whole transaction done - if an extension is needed don't be too worried, although you have a right to know what is causing the delay.  Know that the Mobile Home sales process takes a lot of time.
  5. The most important factor in a quick sale vs. no sale is PRICE - bottom line.  Make extra sure you are pricing competitively and NOT to other listings, but to actual sales prices.
By Will Cunningham 

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