Real Estate Investing Basics

5 Ways to Find Eager Mobile Home Sellers

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
224 Articles Written

As real estate investors one of our goals is to be able to attract sellers before or at the exact moment they need to sell.  If you talk to 100 different investors you may get 100 different techniques to find sellers and their properties.  Below are 5 great techniques that are actually working in today’s economy  to attract and locate eager mobile home sellers.

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Expired Listings: To help sell his home, a seller may sign a contract with a Realtor (usually 90 days to a year).  If the seller’s Realtor cannot find a suitable buyer before the listing contract expires, then the responsibility for selling the property is usually returned to the seller.  This is an excellent time for you as an investor to initiate conversations with the seller.

Ask a local Realtor for a list of mobile home properties that are days away from expiring or that have expired within the last few weeks. Make sure to double-check that these properties have not been re-listed with another Realtor or licensed agent.

Unpaid Property Taxes: Concerning mobile homes that sit atop land which you own; property taxes typically must be paid every year.  A great precursor to a homeowner needing to sell in a hurry can be that the homeowner has the lack of money to pay their yearly property tax bill.  If this bill is not paid within a certain amount of time (usually 1-3 years) the local government authorities may decide to foreclose on the property to compensate for the back taxes owed.

Most counties allow anyone with internet access to view unpaid property tax records.  Make sure to mail letters to an owner’s ‘mailing address’ and not the physical address.  The seller of record may not live or receive mail at their property.

Networking with Other Investors: In your area there are likely dozens of active real estate investors marketing and advertising for winning deals on all sorts of properties.  Many of these investors will not be interested in mobile homes (perhaps because they believe them to be deals not worthy of their time).  Other investors are a great source of mobile home leads!  Tell every investor you meet that you are now purchasing mobile homes; mobile homes on land and inside parks.  Pay a referral for any homes you close upon.

Mobile Home Park Managers / Leaders: Most mobile home parks/communities have a manager or some type of community leader.  These individuals have their fingers on the pulse of who is selling or about to sell their mobile home property inside a particular park.  Perhaps this park manager will give you a heads up on any mobile home owners inside their park that are behind on their monthly lot/pad rent.  Back lot rent is another great precursor to finding eager mobile home sellers.  Many park managers may not give you this private information (past due lot rents) unless they like, trust, and have done business with you before.  Begin slow and ask for any homes available for sale within their park.

Driving mobile home areas/parks: Any mobile homes the park manager may have missed can be found by simply driving up and down every street with a mobile home on it.  Look for “FSBO” signs in the windows, take down all phone numbers, and get all addresses for homes that look as if someone has not lived there for some time.  Call and send targeted mailings to these home owners.

You may notice that 3 of these methods are similar to finding eager sellers with ‘traditional site built homes.’  The reason for this is because mobile homes which are permanently attached to land behave in must the same way as more traditional housing.  Be aware that you may find a higher success rate using these same tactics to find mobile home sellers because of the simple fact mobile home sellers are not being contacted by as many (if any) investor in your area.

Happy Investing,
–          John

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a four-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and insights of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channel and has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest on BiggerPockets and other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

    Greg B
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Great stuff John. I use the last two methods to find many MH’s. Thanks for posting your thoughts.
    Ryan Moeller
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Very informative. Many of these can be used to find residential and commercial deals too. Thanks for the article.
    Larry
    Replied about 9 years ago
    Great articles John! How about an article about 5 Ways to find buyers (should I include “qualified”)?
    Larry
    Replied about 9 years ago
    Great articles John! How about an article about 5 Ways to find buyers (should I include “qualified”)?
    John Fedro
    Replied about 9 years ago
    Thanks for commenting Greg, Ryan, and Larry! Some of the most classic ways to find traditional real estate work great to find mobile homes too, but because there are less active mobile home investors in the market compared to traditional real estate you are going to have a much more receptive seller, higher closing averages, etc. Larry, good article advice! I will be writing a mobile home mini-series soon but I may have to use your suggestion first, I think that could really help out a lot of readers. – John
    Bobb
    Replied almost 9 years ago
    Great value….can’t wait for the “finding buyers”article.